Monday 19 February 2018

Villa beat Southampton in rollercoaster game

Aston Villa's Fabian Delph (second right) celebrates scoring the winner
Aston Villa's Fabian Delph (second right) celebrates scoring the winner

Simon Peach

Fabian Delph's first Premier League goal was one to remember, rifling home from distance to secure Aston Villa a thrilling victory at high-flying Southampton.

Having twice been pegged back after going ahead, it looked like Paul Lambert's men would have to settle for a share of the spoils on the south coast.

However, Delph's wondrous strike 10 minutes from time saw Villa secure an impressive smash-and-grab 3-2 win at Southampton, becoming the first team to win at St Mary's this season.

All three of Villa's goals came against the run of play, as Saints were made to pay for their failure to turn their domination into goals.

Having lost at Arsenal and Chelsea, this defeat saw Southampton fall to three defeats on the trot for the first time since Mauricio Pochettino's arrival in January.

Saints began brightly and captain Adam Lallana saw a cross clip the bar, before Gabriel Agbonlahor showed pace and composure to net the opener after 15 minutes.

Karim El Ahmadi was inches away from shocking Saints again moments into the second half, only for Jay Rodriguez to head home at the other end shortly afterwards.

It was no less than Saints deserved after dominating possession, but again Villa went ahead through Libor Kozak - starting in attack instead of Christian Benteke, dropped after seven scoreless matches.

Again Southampton showed character to level through substitute Dani Osvaldo, only for Villa to snatch victory in the 80th minute.

Delph was allowed time and space to rifle home a superb effort from distance, extending Villa's unbeaten league run to five matches.

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