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Southampton v Aston Villa Live Commentary, 05/11/2021

1 - 0
A. Armstrong (3)
St. Mary's Stadium


Things look rosy for Southampton going into the international break, then, while they really don't for Villa. If results don't pick up soon, Smith might have to start fearing the worst. That's all for now. Goodbye!
Villa's run of five Premier League defeats is their longest such streak in the competition since April 2016 (a run of 11 straight losses).
Southampton rise to 12th in the Premier League table thanks to their third victory in four games. As ever, Hasenhuttl's men are able to grind out results against the teams around them. Villa stay 15th, but could find themselves in the relegation zone if results this weekend don't go their way. Smith needs to arrest his side's slide quickly.
Adam Armstrong's third-minute strike proves to be enough for Southampton to condemn Villa to their fifth straight league defeat! The hosts looked snappy in the first half in particular when they were well on top. Villa improved in the second half but Saints stayed solid and were good value for their win.
90' + 6' Smith puffs his cheeks down in the technical area. His team haven't really been at the races here. Mings goes up against Adams and helps the Saints forward to his feet.
90' + 5' Livramento has time to pick his cross from the right of Villa's box. Still, Villa manage to block it and get a free-kick near their own corner flag. McCarthy pumps it forward but the visitors hand Southampton a cheap free-kick.
90' + 3' As things are, Southampton look more likely to get a stoppage-time goal. Saints pressure Villa down their left-hand side but the visitors are eventually able to smuggle the ball away. McGinn has a shot blocked from outside the box.
M. Salisu
Yellow Card
90' + 1' Salisu picks up a late yellow card for a late challenge on Davis.
90' There'll be seven more minutes of this. Villa haven't really threatened to beat McCarthy for some time. They really miss former Saints man Danny Ings here.
88' Thankfully Bednarek is back on his feet and Villa have a chance to score! A rogue ball bounces to Cash in the centre of the box. The right-back tries to smash it towards goal but only kicks the air and Southampton clear.
87' Bednarek is down in the box looking dazed after bravely defending the corner and taking a whack to the head. The Polish international hasn't put a foot wrong all game.
86' Targett's cross from the left is headed out for a Villa corner. Southampton fans think it went out off Archer, who got the initial header. They'll be unhappy if Villa score now.
84' Villa have their first shot in a while. Archer almost races through Saints' centre-backs but gets caught at the last. Villa keep the attack going and Watkins drags a shot wide of the left-hand post from outside the box.
82' Southampton again spot an opportunity through the middle as three players race forward but Villa quickly shut the door. Villa aren't up to much but as long as this is still 1-0, they will have a chance.
A. Broja
A. Armstrong
81' Saints goalscorer Adam Armstrong heads off to warm applause. He hasn't done much apart from score, which is all he's there to do really. Broja takes his place up front.
80' Villa earn a throw-in down their right which Cash takes long. Mings keeps it alive and Watkins nods it into the box for someone to run on to. No one does though and McCarthy chases after the loose ball.
K. Davis
A. El Ghazi
Aston Villa
79' Villa substitution. Davis replaces El Ghazi.
78' Salisu goes up for an aerial ball with Bailey and comes out of it worse. While the Ghanaian gets checked over, Villa are preparing another change.
I. Diallo
M. Elyounoussi
76' Southampton substitution. Diallo replaces Elyounoussi.
75' Villa are attacking when they can but still aren't able to break down Southampton at the moment. Saints have been able to handle whatever Villa have thrown at them.
73' Archer looks to turn Bednarek and slips in the box. Villa's supporters halfheartedly appeal for a penalty, knowing it won't be forthcoming.
72' Adam Armstrong powers into space through the middle with Villa's defence briefly in a muddle. Bailey gets back to help his team-mates out and makes a great challenge to put a stop to the run.
C. Archer
E. Buendía
Aston Villa
71' Villa make another substitution. Their 19-year-old forward Archer replaces Buendia.
70' Cash takes a knock in a clash of heads with Elyounoussi. The Villa right-back gets checked by the physios who decide he's fine to continue.
69' Buendia goes down with a spot of cramp. He asks a team-mate to stretch his leg out. He's soon right as rain.
68' Villa now get a corner down their left. They get a few free headers in Southampton's box but the flag eventually goes up.
67' Saints take this corner short and Villa clear the eventual cross. Southampton are staying composed but Villa are growing in confidence.
66' Chance for Southampton! Ward-Prowse puts in a great ball for Adams who flicks it towards goal with his head. Martinez gets his fingertips to it to tip it out for a corner.
A. Tuanzebe
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
65' Tuanzebe lands himself in the book for pushing Adam Armstrong over when space opens up for the striker.
64' Bailey sets himself to take the free-kick but he gets it all wrong. The Jamaican's ball in sails over everyone and out of play.
J. Ramsey
M. Nakamba
Aston Villa
63' Villa make a change at this point. Ramsey replaces Nakamba in central midfield.
Oriol Romeu
Yellow Card
62' Romeu's firm challenge on Cash earns him a yellow card. Villa have a free-kick just to the right of the box.
61' Walker-Peters presses Cash high up the pitch, forcing the Villa defender to hoof the ball straight to Salisu. Salisu's touch is poor though and Buendia keeps the ball in play, rolling it down the line for Cash. Romeu comes across to take the right-back out as the linesman waves his flag.
60' Watkins finds himself one-on-one with Bednarek in the box. The England striker looks to beat the centre-back down the outside, lashing into the side netting.
59' Ward-Prowse's corner comes loose to a Villa player. The counter briefly looks on for Villa until Buendia miscontrols. The Argentine holds his hand up in apology.
58' Southampton get a free-kick down their left which Ward-Prowse plops into the box. Mings heads it out for a corner to the hosts.
57' In just over 10 minutes of this half Villa have had more shots than they did in the first. Saints have yet to have a shot at all.
S. Armstrong
56' Southampton make a change. Lyanco replaces Stuart Armstrong on their right wing.
56' Southampton are making an early substitution. They need to prevent Villa from getting any big ideas.
55' Southampton keep the ball for a while as they recover from that spell of Villa pressure. Ward-Prowse swings a deep cross into the box that's headed out by Mings.
54' Down Villa's right, Bailey switches the ball onto his left foot and swings a cross towards the far post where Tuanzebe is lurking. The Manchester United loanee can't reach it to trouble McCarthy though.
53' Mings has a pop at goal from distance from Buendia's cutback. It's yet another Villa corner and another Southampton clearance.
52' Villa have another corner, spurred on from their fans in the away end. Southampton hoof it away.
51' Buendia plays a one-two with Watkins on the edge of the box and arrows another effort wide of the right-hand post. Hasenhuttl patrols the technical area, giving his men some encouragement.
50' Villa are playing with far more purpose now. Watkins dribbles down the left and cuts back for Buendia who's entering the box. The Argentine swipes wide with his left foot.
49' El Ghazi cuts inside from the left and cannons an effort down the throat of McCarthy. The Southampton goalkeeper tips it over the crossbar for another Villa corner. Saints survive the corner but can't spring forward on the counter-attack.
47' Saints see the corner out without too much difficulty. Still, they don't want to give Villa too much belief. They were all over their visitors in the first half.
46' Southampton struggle to play out from the back and El Ghazi races into space down the left. Bednarek gets a vital head on his cross and Villa eventually get a corner out of Livramento who blocks El Ghazi's header from the ball back in.
46' Southampton get the second half going. Neither side has made any changes at half-time.
Villa have won none of their last 13 away top-flight matches played on a Friday, with their last such win way back in April 1950. As things stand that run looks likely to continue. Smith needs a reaction from his side in the second half. Otherwise recent questions about Villa will persist.
Southampton go in at the break with the lead thanks to Adam Armstrong's thunderous strike. That'll make a few end-of-season lists for sure. Saints have been positive and deserve their narrow advantage. Villa have had a few opportunities on the counter-attack but on the whole Hasenhuttl's men look comfortable.
45' There'll be one minute of additional time in this first half. It's been a pretty good one.
44' In the space of two passes, Southampton go from passing between their centre-backs to freeing Walker-Peters down the left. The full-back's cross loops up kindly for Villa. Up the other end, McCarthy deals with a rare Villa foray into his box, claiming El Ghazi's blocked shot.
42' Southampton keep Villa pinned in their defensive third and force another shooting opportunity. Romeu fires over from outside the box.
41' Walker-Peters gets played in down the left and Cash nips in to concede a corner. Villa win the first header from Ward-Prowse's corner.
40' Walker-Peters knocks a pass inside to Romeu who immediately searches for Adams. Tuanzebe gets there first. Salisu's long throw-in is hoofed away.
39' Southampton put some tidy play together on the edge of Villa's box. Livramento has his pocket picked but Saints recover the ball quickly to keep the pressure on.
38' Adam Armstrong lures Tuanzebe out of position and turns the centre-back to dart in behind him. Luckily for Villa, Mings is in the right place to mop up.
36' Villa appeal for a penalty as El Ghazi goes down in the box but they're not getting one. There was no contact whatsoever. Salisu's slack backpass almost puts Southampton in trouble but Martinez spots the danger and bails his teammate out.
34' The resulting corner doesn't lead to much but Southampton are still on top. The referee gives Villa a free-kick as Stuart Armstrong barges into Watkins.
33' Martinez proactively catches a cross in and rolls it out to another Villa player. Villa can't keep the ball though and the goalkeeper dives to his right to keep out Ward-Prowse's drive.
32' Adams shows some silky skills to carry Southampton forward from the edge of his own box. His team-mates oblige and Saints end up with another corner.
31' Mings and Targett are fine and Villa have a free-kick to boot. They take it short and Cash pings the ball towards the corner flag. Villa can't stop it from going out for a Southampton throw-in though.
30' McCarthy flaps at this corner and Southampton rush upfield but Villa still have the ball. There's a collision between Armstrong and Targett that sees the latter crash into Mings. The referee halts play to check the two Villa players are OK.
29' Villa are growing into the game after surviving Southampton's storming start. The visitors force a corner down their left, and then another.
27' Walker-Peters' cross from the left is deflected out for a corner which Villa see out. The Villa players circulate a note apparently sent from their boss Smith. Mings eventually tucks it into his sock for safe keeping.
26' El Ghazi shows more of what he can do in an attacking sense as he plays a one-two, sees off the challenge of Livramento and fires over with his right foot from the left of the box.
24' El Ghazi tugs down Livramento as the 18-year-old beats him to burst down the line once again. The Dutchman needs to be careful. He's already on a yellow card.
23' Southampton continue to push. Martinez claims a tame header from the right of the box.
22' Southampton's corner this time is less successful as the Saints players huddle together on the edge of the box in one of those newfangled corner routines. Villa clear it easily, along with Ward-Prowse's second ball in as Salisu's header is blocked.
21' Villa overcommit forward and Southampton try to capitalise. Cash blocks Walker-Peter's pass but it still makes its way through to Elyounoussi who hangs the ball up to the opposite side of the box. The hosts get a corner out of it.
19' Bailey picks up possession and thumps a shot towards goal from way out. It lands straight in the arms of McCarthy.
17' Salisu hurls a long throw into Villa's box from the left. Villa clear it and it briefly looks like they'll be able to counter until Martinez races out of his box to sweep up.
16' Ward-Prowse skips through the middle and finds Walker-Peters who rolls the ball to Elyounoussi on the underlap. The Norwegian crosses first-time and Villa get there first to block.
15' Mings clears as Elyounoussi cuts onto his favoured right foot and tries to thread Adams through on goal. Mings calls for his teammates to stay compact.
14' Elyounoussi goes up against Cash and earns Southampton a corner. Again, Ward-Prowse's delivery isn't too far off as Adams heads high, wide and out for a Villa goal-kick.
13' Villa look to build an attack but McGinn harmlessly knocks a pass wide out of play. Southampton have had 77 per cent possession so far.
A. El Ghazi
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
11' El Ghazi picks up the game's first yellow card for a poor challenge on Saints' young right-back Livramento.
9' Southampton win a corner down their left. Ward-Prowse swings it in and it's flicked on to Stuart Armstrong at the far post. Armstrong skies his effort from the right of the six-yard box with Martinez rushing out to close him down.
7' This has been a riproaring start to the game. Villa burst forward as McGinn sends Bailey scampering down the left. The Jamaican squares the ball for Buendia whose low shot is straight at McCarthy.
6' Watkins is brought down by Salisu down Villa's right. The visitors float the free-kick into the box. It comes out to McGinn and the Scot blasts just over the crossbar on the half-volley.
4' Southampton have started full of confidence, understandably after that strike. The Saints fire a cross into Villa's box from the right. Villa just about get rid of it.
A. Armstrong
3' GOAL! SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 ASTON VILLA! What a goal by Adam Armstrong! Cash can't clear a long ball with Adams lurking. It rebounds on the edge of the box to Armstrong who lashes it clean and true on the volley into the bottom left corner. You don't keep those out.
1' The visitors Villa get this game under way!
The two captains Mings and Ward-Prowse meet and clasp hands on the centre circle. There's a moment's silence as The Last Post is played on the bugle before applause erupts around St Mary's.
After winning here 1-0 in January, Villa are looking to win consecutive away league games against Southampton for the first time since the late 1990s. That's the only loss the Saints have suffered to Villa in their last nine meetings. The home side's won just once in the last six meetings between these sides. Is Villa's recent poor run about to end?
Hasenhuttl makes just the one change to the Southampton side that won 1-0 away to Watford last week. Stuart Armstrong replaces Nathan Redmond. There are three changes to Villa from their 4-1 home thumping by West Ham United. Mings returns to captain the side with Ezri Konza suspended. Tuanzebe and El Ghazi also come in. Ings misses out through injury.
SUBS: Carney Chukwuemeka, Jacob Ramsey, Cameron Archer, Jed Steer, Kortney Hause, Aaron Ramsey, Ashley Young, Keinan Davis, Jaden Philogene-Bidace.
ASTON VILLA (4-2-3-1): Emiliano Martinez; Matthew Cash, Axel Tuanzebe, Tyrone Mings (c), Matt Targett; John McGinn, Marvelous Nakamba; Anwar El Ghazi, Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey; Ollie Watkins.
SUBS: Lyanco, Romain Perraud, Theo Walcott, Moussa Djenepo, Armando Broja, Fraser Forster, Nathan Tella, Ibrahima Diallo, Shane Long.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Alex McCarthy; Valentino Livramento, Jan Bednarek, Mohammed Salisu, Kyle Walker-Peters; Mohamed Elyounoussi, James Ward-Prowse (c), Oriol Romeu, Stuart Armstrong; Adam Armstrong, Che Adams.
While Southampton are on the up, Aston Villa are heading in the opposite direction. Dean Smith's men sit 15th, having lost each of their last four league games, their longest such run since they were relegated in 2015-16. However, Villa have at least scored in each defeat. There should be goals in this game then.
After a difficult start to the season, Southampton are starting to click. The Saints have taken seven points from their last three Premier League matches, as many as they had in their previoius 10 combined. Having built up a bit of a buffer between themselves and the bottom three, Ralph Hasenhuttl's men can start to look up.
Hello! Welcome to our live text commentary of this Premier League match between Southampton and Aston Villa at St Mary's.