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4 December 2013
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 29814
J. Rodriguez 48'
P. Osvaldo 69'
G. Agbonlahor 15'
L. Kozák 64'
F. Delph 80'
Wow...I think I need a lie down after that game! Thanks for joining me this evening. If your a Villa fan, well done. If your a Saint, hard luck. I have been Hayden Gribble and you have a good night!
FULL TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 2-3 ASTON VILLA. Paul Lambert's men labour in a difficult game in which they were second best for long periods to snatch all three points. Mauricio Pochettino loses three games in a row for the first time as Saints boss, who will feel hard done by to come away with nothing from this encounter. They were superb for most of the game. But it's the Villans who won it with a wonderstrike from Fabian Delph.
90' + 7'
Yellow CardRickie Lambert
90' + 7'
Yellow CardPablo Daniel Osvaldo
90' + 6'
Yellow CardAndreas Weimann
90' + 5'
HANDBAGS AT DAWN! There is a badly timed challenge from Weimann that provokes a reaction from the Saints players...expect mass bookings!
90' + 2'
The home support are emploring their side forward but it looks to me like the tank is very nearly empty. Apart from the three goals, Villa have been incredibly quiet today. Corner to Southampton...
But the England striker lashes it into the wall. The fourth official indicates there will be FIVE minutes of added on time.
Southampton have won a free-kick right on the edge of the area. If there ever a time for a Rickie Lambert special, it's now!
Karim El Ahmadi
It does not look like there is much left in the Southampton tank. They have five minutes plus stoppage tiem to equalise for a third time tonight and rescue a point.
STAT ATTACK: Mauricio Pochettino has not lost three games in a row since taking charge of the Saints last season.
Yellow CardJosé Fonte
GOAL! What a goal from Delph! Once again it is Agbonglahor who turns provider. Delph brings the ball forward and takes a swipe at 25 yard out and it flies into the top corner of the Saint net. That is the third time tonight that the visitors have taken the lead...can they hold on this time?
CHANCE! The Saints are camped in the Villa half and are racking up the chances. Osvaldo slices a volley over the crossbar. Only one team will win this and at the moment that is the home side!
CLOSE! Villa keeper Guzan is equal to yet another Rodriguez header as he turns the England International's effort wide for a corner.
With just over 15 minutes to go here, it's the Saints who are doing all the attacking. This is a really exciting game but who will emerge victorious?
STAT ATTACK: Southampton won both meetings with Aston Villa last season, with the 4-1 home win not only their biggest of the season, but also their first in the Premier League since April 2005. (BBC Sport)
GoalPablo Daniel Osvaldo
GOAL! Southampton have equalised yet again! A fantastic delivery from Fonte on the right finds Lambert, who cushions his header across goal and finds Osvaldo to head home. What a second half this has been!
PENALTY SHOUT! Benteke goes down under a challenge from Baker but the referee waves play on. Good call as the Belgian looked like he was asking for a penalty.
Yellow CardLibor Kozák
AssistKarim El Ahmadi
GOAL! As Benteke looks like he is about to enter the fold - Kozak - the man who is set to make way, connects with a superb cross from Agbonglahor and puts Villa back in front! He is still coming off though, looks miffed to me!
CLOSE! Osvaldo makes the smallest connection to Lallana's low cross and manages to steer a back heel on target. Guzan is behind it, though. The Saints are still on top, can Villa get back in front?
STAT ATTACK: Aston Villa have lost just one league fixture on their travels this season, yet they have suffered four defeats at Villa Park.
The hosts are crossing at every opportunity and win a corner. It is headed clear but Villa are hanging on here.
Is it surprising to see Villa struggle at the back as soon as Vlaar went off injured? The centre-back has reportedly gone off with a calf injury and boy, his side miss him as the Saints are marching on here, growing in confidence.
BLOCKED! Lambert lines up a hopeful free-kick from 35 yards but sees his shot blocked and cleared.
GOAL! SOUTHAMPTON ARE BACK ON LEVEL TERMS! Rodriguez gets the goal both he and his side have deserved as he scores a header from 15 yards. Game on!
CHANCE! Nearly a second for Villa as El Ahmadi gets free in the box and stabs the ball wide form an acute angle. The Saints defence was not awake there!
Southampton get us back underway!
Will Southampton keep up their tempo and get the euqliser they deserve? Or will Villa maintain the lead and take all three points back up to the Midlands? The players are coming back out...
HALFTIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-1 ASTON VILLA. The teams go back down the tunnel as the Saint will be very unhappy with the scoreline. They were all over Villa like a rash, even hitting the woodwork twice in the opening ten minutes. But a counter attack, spearheaded by Gabriel Agbonglahor, gave Paul Lambert's men an undeserved lead. The second is coming right up!
There will be ONE minute of added on time.
Villa's defence really are not in the Christmas spirit. They are given absolutely nothing away and appear less giving than Scrooge on Christmas Eve. Paul Lambert will be delighted considering they were not in this game for the first 15 minutes.
With five minutes to go before halftime, it's all Southampton at the moment. Can they equalise before the break?
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo
Groans of frustration echo around the ground as Rodriguez cuts the ball back in the box and none of his teammates are in the box. Pochettino has seen enough and looks to be making a tactical change.
OVER! Southampton look like they have regained their tempo as Lallana pulls it back for Davis, but the midfielders shot is high, wide and not at all pretty.
CHANCE! Luke Shaw shoots from 20 yards but his rasping effort is straight at Guzan. The home support has gone very quiet...
STAT ATTACK: The Saints are one of only four teams in the Premier League to remain unbeaten at home this season (along with Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton). (BBC Sport)
The home fans scream foul as Lallana appears to be brought down on the edge of the area by Baker, but their screams are futile. The Saints are looking frustrated, here.
CHANCE! Rodriguez gets up to meet a cross from the right and his flick header is well saved by Guzan! From the resulting corner, Villa get lucky as the ball nearly falls to Lambert but is cleared.
Where has the slick, creative passing and guile in this Saints side disappeared to? It looks like the Villa defence has really shut down on their opponents.
WIDE! The visitors win a corner and Baker gets away from his marker and puts a bullet header well wide.
Paul Lambert on the other hand will be hoping that his charges have weathered the storm. Villa are certainly looking more composed now!
That goal really has been a shock to the system for Pochettino and his men. They had 80 per cent possession before that goal. Now, how will they respond?
GOAL! Where did that come from? This game has been all about the home side and then suddenly, Agbonglahor springs up at the other end after taking the ball of Lallana and racing towards goal before calmly slotting it side footed past Gazzaniga. The St Mary's fall silent!
OFF THE WOODWORK AGAIN! Poor old Southampton. This time it is Rodriguez who tries his luck from distance and beats Guzan...but finds the frame of goal instead of the net. The home side should really be 2-0 up here.
The visitors are really struggling to keep the ball here. It's like a wet bar of soap to them at the moment as the Saints keep picking up every loose ball and threaten to attack at every opportunity.
Did big Brad Guzan handdle the ball out of the area, there? The keeper goes to meet a long ball intended for Jay Rodriguez and looks to have just got his paws to it before the Saints striker and kept it in the box.
Lallana wins a corner for the home side. His set piece, however, fails to beat the first man and Villa clear the danger.
OFF THE WOODWORK! It's Lallana again who is asking the questions as his cross is deflected onto the crossbar and out for a Saints' corner.
BLOCKED! What an important interception that was from Ciaran Clark. The Villa man blocks Lallana's goalbound shot with impecable timing.
The Saints are keeping possession here in the opening exchanges and Luke Shaw has seen most of the ball so far, will he be the man to pick the Villans lock early on?
We are off! Villa get us underway!
Here they come! The players emerge from the tunnel onto a floodlight St Mary's.
With just over ten minute until kick-off, who has your backing this evening? The high-flying Saints or stuttering Villa? Not long now!
For the visitors, Villans boss Paul Lambert has dropped Christian Benteke. The Belgian has not found the net in his past seven games so Libor Kozak takes his place up front supported by Gabriel Agbonglahor.
The main headlines regard the lack of names at Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino's expense in-between the sticks. Both Artur Boruc and Kelvin Davis are both out through injury as Paulo Gazzaniga steps in. Maya Yoshida, Steven Davis and Rickie Lambert all come back into the side after the defeat to Chelsea at the weekend.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Baker, Vlaar, Clark, Luna; El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph; Bacuna, Agbonlahor, Kozak. Subs: Steer, Lowton, Albrighton, Sylla, Tonev, Benteke, Weimann. Referee: Jonathan Moss
Southampton: Gazzaniga; Clyne, Yoshida, Lovren, Shaw; Davis, Wanyama; Rodriguez, Lallana, Ward-Prowse; Lambert. Subs: Cropper, Fonte, Osvaldo, Cork, Chambers, Hooiveld, Gallagher.
Good evening folks! Welcome to our coverage of this midweek Premier League clash between Southampton and Aston Villa. My name is Hayden Gribble and before I go any further, let's get the team news...
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