Villa would have qualified for Europe in the Saints' place had they triumphed but it wasn't to be and the South Coast side have just reward for a fine season.
The Europa League awaits - and what an achievement considering the by now infamous pundit predictions that Southampton would be set for relegation this season.
Boss Ronald Koeman deserves huge credit and he responded to news of his side's European qualification on Twitter by declaring his pride:
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Fraser Forster (currently injured) also took to social media after the big Southampton news.
The big test for the Saints now, of course, will be balancing the Premier League and the Europa League - a tough task many sides have failed to get the better of.
Everton were affected this season, while Swansea City, Stoke City, Wigan Athletic, Birmingham City, Newcastle United and - regularly - Tottenham Hotspur have all also struggled to keep up with both.
What will Europe be like for Southampton...?