MŠK Žilina claimed a famous victory away to Aston Villa FC but it was not enough to keep their UEFA Cup hopes alive, while the home side progressed to the Round of 32 despite the defeat.
Two goals inside four minutes by Vladimír Leitner and Peter Štyvar set the Slovakian team on their way and although 17-year-old Nathan Delfouneso got one back for a largely second-string Villa side, the Premier League club could not draw level despite plenty of second-half pressure. Leitner was even sent off for Žilina who picked up their first win in the section at the fourth attempt.
Villa had won their previous two Group F games and started in confident mood, Zat Knight heading Ashley Young's corner firmly towards goal only for visiting keeper Dušan Perniš to tip over. However, Žilina struck first after 16 minutes when Leitner cut in from the left and curled in a cross that evaded both Knight and home custodian Brad Guzan to nestle in the far corner.
Within three minutes the visitors had doubled their lead. Štyvar was the scorer, side-footing in after a flowing move involving Adauto Da Silva and Peter Pekarík. The home faithful were stunned, but Villa responded and cut their deficit before the half-hour mark. Knight's long ball was chested down by Marlon Harewood and Delfouneso pounced to volley in low from just outside the area.
Having started with only three first-team regulars, the hosts brought on Gareth Barry and Gabriel Agbonlahor as they searched for an equaliser, yet they struggled to break down a resolute Žilina defence. Leitner received a second booking for a challenge on Agbonlahor with eleven minutes remaining, but – even though Craig Gardner hit the post in stoppage time with a header – the ten men resisted to earn a first victory over English opposition.