Aston Villa beats Liverpool 1-0 in Premier League

Aston Villa beats Liverpool 1-0 in Premier League

Published May. 22, 2011 3:26 p.m. ET

Liverpool failed to qualify for European football for the first time since 1999 after losing 1-0 at Aston Villa on the final day of the Premier League season.

Liverpool needed to beat Villa and hope Tottenham dropped points Sunday against a Birmingham team fighting relegation to overtake Spurs in fifth place and qualify for the Europa League.

But Villa winger Stewart Downing scored in the 33rd minute to decide a drab match, bringing down Marc Albrighton's cross before smashing a shot past goalkeeper Jose Reina from a tight angle that went in via the underside of the crossbar.

Spurs won 2-1 over Birmingham to finish four points ahead of Liverpool. Villa rose four places to end up ninth in the standings.