Aston Villa earn welcome win as Jacob Ramsey settles scrap with Southampton:
Steven Gerrard had stated his wish for Aston Villa to produce a performance that would make Prince William proud and while it was a game that made grim viewing and one that will not live long in the memory, the result will have been gratefully received by all of those of a Villa persuasion.
Southampton have had a mixed start to the season, winning seven points in their opening six games. They beat Chelsea 2-1 in an impressive performance at St Mary’s, but they failed to build on the win after losing 1-0 to Wolves in their last game.
Aston Villa are winless in their last four league games and are currently 17th in the league standings. They did however gain a positive point against Manchester City and show they can perform at a high level this season despite only winning one of their opening six games.
What we learned from Aston Villa vs Southampton
Villa go back to basics: After a poor run of form they went back to an ultra-defensive system to get the draw against Man City last time out and they kept that solid look for this win. Gerrard’s side weren’t pretty to watch. At all. But John McGinn scrapping away in midfield and Mings and Konsa clearing everything with a safety first approach summed up their approach. Villa hardly created a chance aside from the rebound Ramsey stuck away. They were savvy, solid and smart. That was all that was needed.
Saints lack any kind of cutting edge: They wanted to sign a striker late in the summer window and you can see why. Saints had no cutting edge throughout the game and barely created a chance. Their young players did okay but what will disappoint Hasenhuttl most is that the experienced trio of Che Adams, James Ward-Prowse and Mohamed Elyounoussi all struggled massively. This was Southampton’s worst display of the season by some distance and with so many young players there will be a lot of ups and downs as their win against Chelsea have been followed up by defeats at Wolves and Villa.
Two teams who could struggle: This was not a great game. At all. And it underlined that both of these teams may well be down in the lower reaches of the Premier League for most of this season. For Southampton they kind of expected that this season after signing so many inexperienced players. For Villa? They expected to be pushing for the top 10, at least, but on this showing, and even though they got the win, they are a long way off it.
Aston Villa move into 13th place, still one spot behind Southampton. Gerrard’s side will travel to Leeds in their next game after the international break while Southampton host Everton at the start of October.
The game started slowly for both teams as they struggled to find the quality needed in the final third to score a goal. Aston Villa slowly grew into the game and pushed for an opener while Southampton could not break down the home side’s defence. The deadlock was broken just four minutes before the break and Ramsey put home the rebound from Watkins’ header, with the ball striking the crossbar three times in the build-up. The second half was quiet from both sides with only one shot on target from either side. Ramsey almost scored a second but his shot was blocked well by Bella-Kotchap.