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19 April 2014
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 35134
That is all we have time for at Villa Park. I have been Grant Miles. I will see you all next time.
FULL TIME! Aston Villa and Southampton share the spoils. It was a brave display from both teams. They showed plenty of endeavour throughout the 90 minutes. Paul Lambert will be particularly pleased with his side's determination to avoid a fifth straight defeat.
PENALTY SHOUT. Agbonlahor is one lucky as he takes down an oncoming Southampton player. Yet Lee Mason again waves the claims.
ONE LAST PUSH. Shay Given edges out of his seat as Villa look to make one final flurry.
The Holte End expectant. Robinson again is given the ball but is just narrowly offside. A frustrating end for the home side as they have really sparked into life.
90' + 2'
Reed is the last throw of the dice as comes on for Lallana. He would be an instant hero if scored a late winner now.
Robinson knows where the space is but hooks the ball over the bar. He can't make the most of what was a half chance at best. Villa have fought like warriors as this game reaches the 90th minute.
TENSE FINALE. Both sides desperately trying to sneak a winner as this game has an end to end finish. Any goal now would be extremely cruel on the losing side.
Calum Robinson has scored two goals in two games for the England U19 side. Lambert urges his young forward to instantly get involved. It is Davis who is continue to try and guide Southampton up the other end.
REMEMBER THE NAME. Calum Robinson makes his Aston Villa debut. The 19 year old striker would really make himself an instant Holte End favourite if he could find a goal in the closing stages at Villa Park.
Cork immediately brings the game to life. Southampton forage forward with intent. Aston Villa remain determined to not let their defence be breached under any circumstances though.
Wanyama is sacrificed in a like for like switch as Pochettino goes for broke. Both managers really trying to win this one here.
COUNTER OPPORTUNITY: Albrighton is appalled as he then has the chance to expose Southampton's defence in a three on two break. He is given the ball far too late and his flagged for offside.
K. El Ahmadi
Grant Holt finally comes on. Paul Lambert could really do with a saviour here. The former Norwich target man steps up.
HUGE ESCAPE. Aston Villa can count their blesses there. Lee Mason waves away a penalty appeal. Lallana and Wanyama push the ball side to side in the middle of the aprk.. The ball reaches Clyne who rifles the ball at Bertrand just inside the box. It looks like HANDBALL. Not given.
AGBONLAHOR was goal-side but just can't quite reach the long ball forward. He was just a yard off there and he would have certainly scored. Grant Holt patiently watches on.
It is Southampton's turn to dig deep and defend as Delph and Westwood start pumping balls to the wide men. Albrighton is a constant thorn in Southampton's side. He is constantly putting Shaw under pressure.
Aston Villa HUDDLE around Paul Lambert as they seek some fresh impetus for the final 15 minutes as there is a short break in play. Their manager looks animated as he tries to inspire his charges.
Aston Villa have had a 26 year stay in the top flight and they are playing as if survival is the aim here. Their fans are urging them on to search for a winner but Albrighton fires in a ball which is too close to Boruc. A goal now for either side would certainly settle it.
Southampton are getting OUTMUSCLED in the middle of the park by Aston Villa and the villains have used their midfield steel to remain in this encounter. The supporters still are biting their nails though.
David Moyes continues to watch on as Luke Shaw makes a great impression and hurries forward with no fear, whenever he is given the opportunity. Paul Lambert on the other hand is intense discussion with Shay Given.
Vlaar again cuts off the route to the near post as Shaw puts a searching low ball into the box. The resulting corner is collected by Guzan who is fouled as he does so.
GALLAGHER almost makes an immediate impact. Lambert drives a stunning ball low into the box at the near post and the Southampton substiute so nearly steals in.
The Southampton midfielder goes off to a ripple of applause. Pochettino puts on Gallagher to really try and find all that is missing from his team's commanding display. A goal.
Yellow Card Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw eventually gets punished for his overzealous tussles with Marc Albrighton and takes out the Aston Villa winger.
Bertrand again remains a shining light for Aston Villa. He has been terrific down the left looking to bomb forward whenever he gets the opportunity. He has a cross blocked. The equally excellent Albrighton has a ball in blocked too.
Aston Villa have struggled to make an impression at the attacking end but they continue to be resilient in defence and will fancy their chances of a smash and grab. They still have only 30% possession.
FIZZLING SHOT from Albrighton. That stings Boruc's gloves. It is shoved right down his throat from 20 yards out. He catches it then has to almost drop it in the air like a hot potato taking a few steps backwards before gathering it.
Yellow Card Dejan Lovren
Lovren gives a way a free kick after blocking off his man. Lee Mason finally reaches for his pocket. He appears to be the last man at a first glance but the referee makes the right call and only awards a yellow card.
Aston Villa are determined to hold firm in the wave of an intense spell of pressure from Southampton. Pochettino's side simply can't find a way through. Bertrand again excellently clears.
Clyne surges down the right hand side and Southampton are trying to utilise their full backs to break down Villa's resilient defence. Davis and Wanyama give the ball to Lambert who ALMOST provides the perfect ball for Lallana. Vlaar clears. Silky football from the Saints.
Lovren has to be alert as Aston Villa continue to launch an assault of direct long balls his way. The Croatian international is more than a match for them though.
Lallana is limping around after have a strange fall after missing his last opportunity to score. The Southampton capatain is moving around gingerly, before he goes back into a gentle jog.
A big crowd at Villa park today and they were nearly stunned. LALLANA should score as Shaw slides him in along the floor. The ball again falls behind him and he fails to score. The England international will be gutted with that.
Agbonlahor TWISTS AND TURNS. He demands support from the Villa faithful and forces a corner. The resulting corner goes to Nathan Baker who can't convert the chance. Villa then fire a few more balls into the box but can't break the Southampton defence.
El Ahmadi seizes on a lapse in concentration from the Southampton defence. They hesistate on the ball. El Ahmadi gets a chance to shot and tries to place it in just outside the six yard box. It was the wrong decision and Boruc collects the ball easily.
Artur Boruc has not had a single save to make so far. This game remains a midfield battle. Both sides appear to want to find a direct through ball but can't find an effective end product.
An astonishing 71% possession for Southampton in the first half and will be looking to continue in the same vein here. Agbonlahor nudges Lovren to give Southampton a free kick. Chances have been very few and far between so far.
HALF TIME- Aston Villa 0-0 Southampton. Both sides remain firmly in contention for all three points here. Lambert and Pochettino will have seen signs of encouragement, yet it remains goalless at the break.
ANOTHER GREAT BALL from Albrighton who has really grown into the game in the last 25 minutes. El Ahmadi narrowly misses out on his cross.
BERTRAND fizzes a ball into the near post and Weimann SO NEARLY converts the ball. They get a corner as a result then quickly force a second corner.
Rickie Lambert trundles forward for Southampton. He passes to Lallana who suprisingly fluffs his lines just outside the box. There is a ping pong of the ball going between both teams.
The game opens up as half-time approaches. Nobody can capitalise on a clever early cross from Albrighton. Shaw then starts another counter attack for Southampton but they don't make the most of it.
David Moyes in deep conversation with Steve Bruce in the corporate area of Villa Park as both teams continue to cancel each other out. Steve Round and Phil Neville are both watching today's game. Luke Shaw then bodychecks Albrighton and can consider himself lucky not to find his name in the book.
Bertrand and Bacuna are providing a real outlet for Aston Villa to spring attacks from down the left hand side. Agbonlahor is played in and appears to be through one on one before being flagged up for offside.
Aston Villa have scored just 35 goals this campaign and you can see why so far. There is a clear lack of composure in their attacks,. Bertrand puts another ball into the box. He forces a corner this time.
A stalemate so far. Southampton continue to have the better of the game. Wanywama catches El Ahmadi with a flailing arm. No card from Lee Mason and Aston Villa produce a set piece chance. Bertrand puts the ball into the right area but nobody gambles and the ball trickles out for a goal-kick.
Pochettino goes about his business with minimal fuss and continues to look calm as his Southampton side have once again raised the tempo. Shaw again displays superb first touch before Bacuna manages to steal the ball away from him.
SO CLOSE! Ward Prowse hits the ball in to Lambert. It bounces off his knee and he knows very little about it. The ball immediately falls at the feet of Davis who fires the ball at Guzan and it's a MAGNIFICENT save from Guzan. Villa will be delighted with his save there.
Davis hits a delightfully chipped ball to Shaw who hits a ball in first time on the volley. It is cleared for a throw on.
Steven Davis again looking to provide a piercing ball which splits the Villa defence and Vlaar stands firm. El Ahmadi again has a tussle with Ward Prowse. The players exchange a few pushes. Referee Lee Mason has a word with both players.
Lallana BURSTS through midfield to set up an encouraging attack. Schneiderlin puts in a disappointing cross and Lambert heads it easily at Guzan and struggled to generate any pace on his attempt at goal.
Southampton continue to exchange passes between their defence in midfield with Clyne particularly lively yet can't find their way past Villa's tenacious midfield.
Aston Villa have only two games left at home including today's match with Hull the only side left to visit Villa Park and they will be hoping for three points today to allay their relegation fears. They are starting to match Southampton and with tricky away fixtures to come they will want at minimum to gain a share of the spoils today.
Luke Shaw has filled out physically significantly and he is winning his tussle with Albrighton. The ball goes to Schneiderlin and Albrighton then takes out the Southampton midfielder in frustration tracking back. He is lucky not to be booked. This is a better spell from Villa, they are pressuring the ball.
A decent spell from Villa. A lot better than the opening exchanges. Southampton still look dangerous on the counter attack. Lallana fails to find the killer pass to put through Lambert and the ball is collected by Guzan.
FOUL: Schneiderlin takes down Bacuna as he charges up the left wing. The resulting play soon leads to Southampton regaining control of the ball. Luke Shaw shows exceptional positioning and reading of the game and retrieves the ball from Albrighton.
Clyne and Jose Fonte interchange at the back before pushing a long ball forward. A few nerves appear to have set in for both sides after a close start.
Luke Shaw nearly gets caught in possession by El Ahmadi as he dithers on the ball but it richochets off his opponent and it goes out for a throw in.
Lovren was made to leave the field before coming back on. Foul by El Ahamadi as he tries to seize on a poor first touch.
Offside given against Steven Davis and Villa are slowly starting to maintain some composure. Bacuna, Westwood and Delph put together a string of passes, before Bertrand puts a teasing ball into the box. Lovren puts his body on the line to clear it. Ouch! he felt that one. He heads it out of play, but goes down injured, before getting up a few moments later.
Nathan Baker suddenly passes it to Agbonlahor and the Villa striker should do much better as he closed down with his first touch too heavy. It goes out for a corner which Albrighton takes, but it is cleared away comfortably.
The game returns to it's familiar pattern as Southampton continue to neatly pass the ball around in triangles. It is too easy for the visitors. All that is missing is the cutting edge up front and the goals.
QUICK BREAK: Aston Villa surge up the other end Andreas Weimann's cut back is just short as they can't quite make the most of a counter attack.
Shay Given sat on the Villa bench appears anxious. Aston Villa fans have not had much to cheer about recently. Only 13% possession in the first nine minutes won't help.
Clyne, Ward Prowse and Lallana interchange passes in their own half and look completely in control when in possession. Southampton continue to probe forward and dictate the tempo.
Aston Villa look visibly rattled and Mauricio Pochettino will be very happy with his side's attacking start. They are looking to equal their best ever Premier League finish.
Steven Davis with a SENSATIONAL cut back to Lambert. It is again slightly behind him. Southampton wreacking havoc down the left hand side. It could be 2-0 in five minutes.
Luke Shaw marauds forward. A GREAT CHANCE for Southampton. Rickie Lambert heads it straight at Guzan. He should do better even if it is slightly behind him.
Southampton start off with plenty of intent. Steven Davis who started his career at Aston Villa the heartbeat of the midfield. Lallana is caught by Ashley Westwood and earns a free-kick.
Southampton get the match underway with PFA player of the year nominee passing to Rickie Lambert. It is 13 years since Aston Villa lost five games in a row in the Premier League.
Aston Villa starting line-up: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Albrighton.
Southampton starting line-up: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Ward-Prowse, Schneiderlin, Davis, Wanyama, Lallana, Lambert.
TEAM NEWS: Southampton are boosted by the return of Artur Boruc in goal as he has managed to shake off a back injury. This offsets the continued absence of Kelvin Davis. Top goalscorer Jay Rodriguez will be out for the rest of the season and the World Cup. The Saints will miss Rodriguez but Rickie Lambert has scored three goals in his last three Premier League meetings with Aston Villa.
TEAM NEWS: Aston Villa still have a significant number of players stuck in the treatment room. Jores Okore, Libor Kozak and Chris Herd all remain out yet Leandro Bacuna returns. Christian Benteke remains a notable absentee and Paul Lambert will have to continue without his top goalscorer. Grant Holt will step into the breach yet has only mustered one shot on target in eight appearance for Villa so far.
I'm Grant Miles, and I will be leading you through all the action, as Aston Villa attempt to resurrect their miserable home form. They have lost 10 games at Villa Park this season, only Fulham have a worse home record. Leandro Bacuna's return will be a huge boost for Villa. However, Mauricio Pochettino will be looking for revenge after watching his team throw away a two goal lead and lose to Villa at St Mary's in December.
Hello and welcome to live Premier League coverage of Southampton's trip to Aston Villa with the visitors looking to bounce back from a shock home defeat to Cardiff last time out. Aston Villa will to be looking to prove a point and put on a united front for their manager Paul Lambert today after assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and football operations manager Gary Karsa were suspended by owner Randy Lerner, earlier this week. Villa have lost four games on the spin and a win today would provide a much needed tonic for the Villa Park faithful.
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