Villa still in it - O'Neill

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Martin O'Neill insists Aston Villa can defy the odds and progress to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup despite being held to a 1-1 home draw in the first leg by CSKA Moscow.

John Carew's eighth goal of the campaign cancelled out a first-half effort from CSKA's rising star Vagner Love, who hit the target for the ninth time in seven European games this season.

O'Neill said: "We've still got a chance. It will be difficult. They've got the away goal, and we will have to score. But it is not impossible - we are not out of it."

Villa will also have to contend with a plastic pitch in Russia, in addition to the technical quality of Zico's side.

Manager O'Neill will have to weigh up the strength of the side he decides to field in the return encounter, as the Barclays Premier League becomes the priority.

But Villa can point to 10 victories away from home in the domestic league as proof of their capability of winning on their travels.

O'Neill added: "They were what I thought they would be. They are a very good side. They won their group games in a canter. They have already qualified for the next Champions League.

"You talk about us having pace on the counter-attack ... they have plenty of it themselves," O'Neill added.

"But having said that, I thought we played really well.

"I thought we did really well; I thought we deserved to win the game against a very good side."

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Europa League
European News
John Carew
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Aston Villa

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