Monday 11 December 2017

Delph the hero as Villa end Saints record

Southampton 2 Aston Villa 3

Fabian Delph
Fabian Delph

Tom Prentki

Fabian Delph blasted in an unstoppable shot 10 minutes from time to decide an enthralling contest at St Mary's as Mauricio Pochettino endured a third successive defeat as Southampton manager for the first time and the loss of his proud unbeaten home record.

Even the much-lauded Argentinian is not immune to the manager of the month curse, it seems.

Meanwhile his opposite number Paul Lambert earned his reward for taking the decision to drop misfiring Christian Benteke to the bench. His vindication seemed to come almost immediately, with Gabriel Agbonlahor clinically converting Villa's sole chance in the first half.

The Saints had started the game eager to expunge the memory of successive defeats at the Emirates and Stamford Bridge and were much the better side in the opening stages, with Adam Lallana hitting the bar.

But a mistake from Maya Yoshida let in Agbonlahor, who accelerated clear to shoot beyond Saints' stand-in 'keeper Paulo Gazzaniga on 15 minutes.

Pochettino made it clear he was in no mood to hang around as he withdrew James Ward-Prowse from his defensive-midfield berth and replaced him with striker Dani Osvaldo before half-time.

Two minutes after the interval, the manager's instincts were rewarded when Jay Rodriguez headed Nathan Clyne's cross beyond Brad Guzan to equalise.

Villa took advantage of the hosts' mounting injury problems to go back in front as Karim El Ahmadi robbed Jack Cork and clipped the ball to Libor Kozak who nodded home. Two chances, two goals.

The pendulum soon swung again as Ricky Lambert rose to nod the ball across goal for Osvaldo to level.

But back came Villa. Delph raced into a gap, kept going and ended his 40-yard run with the crispest of shots to give Villa the three points. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport