Aston Villa secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, as Unai Emery’s revolution continues with another big three points on the road.
While VAR intervened at key moments in the game, Villa controlled much of the first half but lacked an end product as the Saints responded well after the break.
However, we stuck in and eventually found a breakthrough, with Ollie Watkins heading home a Douglas Luiz free-kick to break the deadlock in the latter stages, and while Emi Martinez was called into action with a brilliant stoppage-time save, we managed to hold on for all three points.
That’s now five wins in seven league games under Emery, three wins on the bounce away from home and that impressive run leaves us just three points adrift of sixth place in the Premier League table.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Southampton:
Emi Martinez, 8.5 – Excellent performance from the Argentine, as his distribution was good throughout and he raced out of goal on a few occasions and swept away danger well as Villa continue to play a high line. That shows good organisation and awareness, while he produced a fantastic late save to protect our lead in another game-changing contribution.
Ashley Young, 7.5 – Another important shift for the team as his discipline and experience add solidity to the backline. Got the nod ahead of Matty Cash and showed why, as he brings an important balance to the backline too with more of our attacking play going down the left side.
Ezri Konsa, 8 – A strong, commanding display from both centre-halves in this one to keep Southampton really quiet, especially in the first half. Showed good physicality up against Adams and Armstrong, and kept things tight at the back for us.
Tyrone Mings, 8 – A composed and assured performance defensively and even pushed forward more in this one than we’ve seen since Emery arrived. Along with the rest of the defence, they came under more pressure in the second half, and while we rode our luck on occasion, we stuck to the task well.
Alex Moreno, 7 – Southampton did look a threat down that side of the pitch as he struggled at times defensively. However, stayed resolute and disciplined, while he showed his attacking quality too on occasion with some clever passes and bursting runs forward down the left flank.
Jacob Ramsey, 7.5 – Adds energy and drive to our play and always puts in a solid shift for the team too. In the thick of it with the big decisions at either end of the pitch, as he had two penalty shouts in the first half and then VAR disallowed a Southampton goal after he was fouled. Working his way back to top condition after his spell out, but got into good attacking areas and played an important role in the win.
Douglas Luiz, 7.5 – Showed good composure and control to give us a foothold in midfield and in the game in general. Passing was accurate and tidy to keep us ticking over and even advanced into good areas at times to provide service for our attacking players in the final third.
Boubacar Kamara, 7.5 – Another impressive performance as he showed good physicality and reading of the game to break things up in midfield and win the ball back, and combined that with his usual classy efforts in possession to give us control over the tempo and possession.
Emiliano Buendia, 6.5 – Worked hard off the ball and tried to probe and unlock the Southampton defence, but it didn’t really come off for him in the final third on this occasion. Did link up play well at times as we started to find some rhythm and speed up our passing, but it was the final ball that wasn’t there.
Leon Bailey, 6.5 – On one hand, it could be said that he looked a real threat whether it was with his direct running and pace or his ability to get into dangerous positions to be a menace for the Southampton defence. On the other, he was wasteful and lacked a clinical edge to his play in front of goal, and on another day it could have cost us. Needs to be more composed and consistent and he’ll make a bigger impact.
Ollie Watkins, 8 – Battled hard up top to hold play up and bring others into the game. Didn’t have much joy when running at defenders and trying to be a more direct threat, but constantly on the move to provide an option and worked hard defensively too. Rewarded with the winning goal as he produced a good header to beat Bazunu. His form will be absolutely crucial now with a lack of options up front, but two goals and two assists in five and a bit league games under Emery shows he’s responded well to the Spaniard.
Philippe Coutinho, 5 – Didn’t really have the desired impact in terms of adding more quality to our play in the final third, but played his part as we held out for the win.
Matty Cash, N/A
Leander Dendoncker, N/A