Southampton increased the pressure on Aston Villas manager Dean Smith as they took a comfortable 1-0 win over St Mary’s.
Adam Armstrong gave the Saints the perfect start when he thundered home a cruel half volley just three minutes into the match, giving Emi Martinez no chance in the Villa goal.
There could have been a few more goals for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team in the first half as they completely dominated the course. A few sloppy touches cost them in the final third, but Southampton could hardly have been more comfortable in the initial 45 if they had tried.
Smith calmed down at the break and Villa started the second half on top, putting enormous pressure on Alex McCarthy’s goal while not really creating any clear chances.
In fact, it was Southampton who had the next opportunity. Che Adam’s header was cleverly kept out by Martinez, who did so well to scratch the ball behind.
Villa had a couple of half chances when the clock started to go down, but in the end they did not have enough with them to avoid falling to a fifth straight defeat.
Walker-Peters had a dominant game / Steve Bardens / GettyImages
Alex McCarthy (GK) – 7/10 – Managed well with the few rescues he was required for. Deserves praise for being quick from his line to handle some sketchy back passes.
Tino Livramento (RB) – 7/10 – Not as involved as previous weeks but was a threat in the attack and solid in the defense. What more could you ask for?
Jan Bednarek (CB) – 7/10 – A quiet, competent evening.
Mohammed Salisu (CB) – 6/10 – Decent enough defensively but guilty of some horrible passes back to McCarthy. Could easily have given Villa a way back into the match.
Kyle Walker-Peters (LB) – 8/10 – So dominant at the bottom left. If he was actually left-footed, he would have partyed in the first half. Calmed down after the break.
Romeu was really impressive / James Williamson – AMA / GettyImages
Mohamed Elyounoussi (RM) – 7/10 – Looked nice in the attack and was always willing to do the dirty work in the defense.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) – 8/10 – Made some brilliant challenges and only dominated the midfield battle. Really bad corners though.
Oriol Romeu (CM) – 8/10 – Did his job as a midfielder but added some really nice passes as well. Right play sometimes.
Stuart Armstrong (LM) – 7/10 – Missed a real sitter early but continued to offer a nice threat at the bottom left. Coupled well with Walker-Peters.
? “What a way to end your goal drought.”
Adam Armstrong takes the lead for Southampton for the first three minutes ⌚
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– Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 5, 2021
Che Adams (ST) – 7/10 – A little brilliant defensive work together with some really nice moments in the attack. Gave Villas backline a cool time.
Adam Armstrong (ST) – 8/10 – An absolute goal scorer and continued to terrorize Villa all the time.
Lyanco is fast becoming a favorite with fans / Robin Jones / GettyImages
Lyanco (CB) – 6/10 – Comes with so much energy. Just screaming at everything. Infectious.
Ibrahima Diallo (CM) – 6/10 – Helped Southampton gain some control over the game. Calm and composed throughout.
Armando Broja (ST) – 6/10 – Replaced Armstrong with ten minutes left.
Fantastic rescue from Martinez?
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– Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 5, 2021
Emiliano Martinez (GK) – 6/10 – Generally not that bad. Made a couple of brilliant saves to prevent this from becoming too humiliating.
Matty Cash (RB) – 5/10 – Completely burned all night but it was almost entirely due to Bailey’s lack of defensive work. Worked incredibly hard and actually came from the fact that this looked good.
Axel Tuanzebe (CB) – 3/10 – Could not handle Adams or Armstrong and needed to be rescued by Mings far too often.
Tyrone Mings (CB) – 5/10 – Made guilty of some bad decisions sometimes but seemed to find himself in the right place to wipe out danger.
Matt Targett (LB) – 3/10 – Looked confused every time Livramento or Adams ran at him. Some sloppy challenges.
Bailey was greatly distressed / Mike Hewitt / GettyImages
John McGinn (DM) – 2/10 – Sat next to him and watched as Ward-Prowse showed him exactly what he should have done.
Marvelous Nakamba (DM) – 2/10 – Sloppy in ball possession and weak in tackling. Offered nothing at either end of the field.
Leon Bailey (RM) – 1/10 – Some of the worst tracking back you’ve ever seen. Saw cash being lit constantly and just didn’t care enough to sort it out. Really embarrassing in the first half, but a small improvement after the break prevents him from getting a 0.
Emiliano Buendia (AM) – 3/10 – A cruel first half but really came to life after the break. Looked dangerous but did not compensate for his miserable start before he was suspended early.
Anwar El-Ghazi (LM) – 3/10 – Booked early and then somehow escaped second yellow for a cynical foul and a dive within the first half hour. Stepped up after the break but should not have had the chance.
Watkins reads a note during the game / Steve Bardens / GettyImages
Ollie Watkins (ST) – 4/10 – Painfully isolated. Have never had a chance because of the surroundings.
Another change …
⬅️ Emi Buendía➡️ Cameron Archer
? 1-0? [71′] #SOUAVL
– Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) November 5, 2021
Jacob Ramsey (DM) – 5/10 – Offered more than most of Villa’s midfielders, but that’s not really a compliment.
Cameron Archer (ST) – 6/10 – Added some real energy to Villa’s attack but his inexperience at this level was pretty obvious.
Keinan Davis (ST) – 5/10 – A physical presence in the box but did not really engage.
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