Aston Villa do love being involved in high scoring games and following their 7-2 win over Liverpool and a 3-0 defeat at home to Leeds United they followed that up with a 4-3 loss at home against Southampton.
It was an incredible match given that by the hour mark Southampton were 4-0 up at Villa Park and effectively the game was over. Though the Saints would go on to win the encounter they would have to endure a fright first- so has been this very unpredictable Premier League season.
Southampton believed that they had taken the lead as early as the 3rd minute through an Ezri Konsa own goal but in the build up VAR had found the play to be offside. Konsa’s blushes were saved but Villa would soon pay the price anyway.
Jannick Vestergaard and James Ward-Prowse are proving to be a superb partnership, they ruined Everton’s unbeaten start to the season a few weekends ago and this one gone they paired up to beat Aston Villa. Vestergaard latched onto Ward-Prowse’s free kick with his head to give the Saints the lead just after 20 minutes.
The second goal came 15 minutes later when Ward-Prowse was rewarded another free kick this time he scored directly from it and it was a stunning strike. And it would be a game of free kicks as just before half time it was Ward-Prowse again, and again it was superb goal. Villa had been outdone by creating too many fouls on the edge of the box and Ward-Prowse is proving to be one of the deadliest free kick takers in the Premier League. The first half ended 3-0.
Though Villa had shown some promise in the first 45 minutes it was telling that Dean Smith’s side had conjured up no shots on target in that time. At 3-0 by half time the game looked dead and buried and one could only believe that a total collapse was going to let Villa back into the game but in the 58th minute it was 4-0. This time it was Danny Ings with a beautiful shot from the edge of the area.
Ten minutes later Jack Grealish set up Tyrone Mings and he headed in from close range to give Villa a consolation goal. Ings with fire in his belly thought he had scored a 2nd goal just six minutes later but it was flagged for offside. As the game went on Southampton were happy to defend deep as Villa tried to create a miracle comeback. But as the 90th minute rolled on this game was surely over. Not quite.
In the 92nd minute the Saints Ibrahima Diallo gave away a penalty. Ollie Watkins the hero against Liverpool at this very stadium converted it for 2-4. And still there would be drama as the game went into an extended injury time. In the 97th minute Jack Grealish latched onto a loose ball and smashed the ball home for 3-4. Could there be an incredible comeback? Well the answer was no when the referee blew the whistle 60 seconds later.
Though Villa had lost their 2nd game in a row after starting the season so well they could end up taking something from the way they fought back and they had clearly unnerved Southampton. At the same time being 4 goals down at home isn’t acceptable and Villa have now conceded seven goals in their last two games something manager Smith will have to work at. Aston Villa drop down to 8th place and are now 4 points behind current league leaders Liverpool.
Southampton are the form team of the moment in the Premier League and the Saints have picked up 13 points from their past 15 available. They have climbed up to 5th place after a slow start and now have 13 points the same as Everton. Southampton will be at home to Newcastle next weekend and Aston Villa will play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Jack Grealish was the best performing player in the fantasy points for Aston Villa where he earned 6 points from this game.
For Southampton the best performing player was James Ward-Prowse who earned 9 points.
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