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Pochettino rues freakish Aston Villa loss

The Argentine boss insisted the defeat to Paul Lambert's side was difficult to take after a dominant display from Southampton and refused to blame his players

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his team were highly unlucky to be on the losing side against Aston Villa at St Mary's.

The Saints, who came into the game off the back of two straight losses, dominated possession against Paul Lambert’s side, but still managed to lose 3-2.

To make matters worse, the away side only managed just three shots on target and scored on each occasion, through Gabriel Agbonlahor, Libor Kozak and Fabien Delph.

And Pochettino feels his side were very hard done by to lose in the circumstances.

“It is very difficult to take because the team put in a great effort tonight and I thought they did very well,” he told reporters.

“It’s a football game that I think you lose one in a 1000, and tonight it happened that we lost it.

“We tried as much as we could but it just wasn’t to be tonight.”

After conceding three against Villa at St Mary’s, the Saints have now leaked eight goals in just three games, having previously received plaudits for shipping only five in 11.

Pochettino felt that his side’s defending cost them their first home defeat of the season, but still refused to criticise his players.

“We lacked what we always have, which is to be solid at the back,” he added.

“We weren’t solid at the back. When a team attacks four times and they score three goals, you know you are lacking defensive solidity and you are not solid at the back.

“But I can’t fault my players for anything as they put in a great performance.”

The three points takes Villa up to 10th in the Premier League, and Lambert felt they were well worth the result despite playing most of the game in their own half.

“No, I disagree that it was a ‘smash and grab’. You show me a stat that wins you a game of football and then I might try and buy it,” he insisted.

“I thought we deserved to win the game. We needed three points and I thought we were lethal in front of goal.

“I thought Agbonlahor’s goal was world class, second goal was a terrific header from Kozak and the third goal was lovely.

“I’m delighted with the lads.”