Aston Villa lost their fifth game in a row following a 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Friday night.
Dean Smith made changes following the defeat to West Ham at Villa Park last week. Tyrone Mings, Anwar El Ghazi, Axel Tuanzebe and Marvelous Nakamba were all handed starts as Smith tried to inject something into his underperforming side.
Southampton were out of the traps quicker than Villa. They were first to every ball and won every tackle and deserved their early lead. James Ward-Prowse got the better of Emi Buendia on the halfway line as the ball deflected towards the Villa goal. The Villa defence failed to deal with the ball and Adam Armstrong struck from the edge of the box, beating Emi Martinez.
Villa were at sixes and sevens and was even seen passing around a note from the manager that ended up in Ming’s sock but nothing changed.
They went in at half-time knowing how lucky they were to only be one goal behind. Villa looked better in the second half but they never really looked like scoring.
There was half a shout for a penalty on Mings but the referee was not giving anything.
Villa started October six points above Southampton but now find themselves four points behind.
- Once again Villa were found wanting in the first half. Questions have to be asked about motivation from both the coaching staff and the players themselves. Too often they are slow out of the traps and it was no different on this occasion.
- Once again, it took too long for Dean Smith to make changes. Fans called for changes early on against Arsenal and once again against Southampton but found themselves waiting for half-time to notice any changes.
- It looked very desperate and even had Steve Bruce tones as substitutions were introduced. Smith opted to take off creative players for strikers leaving them with very little service.
- In yet another game where positives are hard to find I find myself highlighting a player. This time it’s Tyrone Mings. The captain has struggled of late but led by example and didn’t put a foot wrong all night.