• MATCH REPORT: Aston Villa 2-4 SAINTS - Barclays Premier League - 2015-16




    Dušan Tadić scored twice as Saints saw off already-relegated Aston Villa.



    Saints scored four goals, but Ronald Koeman's side conceded twice to the rock-bottom Villans.

    Koeman made four changes from the side that drew 1-1, with Jay Rodriguez handed a start up front.

    Cédric, Oriol Romeu and Steven Davis also came into the side, with Cuco Martina, Jordy Clasie, Sadio Mané and Graziano Pellè dropping to the bench.

    Within the opening two minutes Saints had already beaten Villa keeper Brad Guzan, when Rodriguez flicked on for Shane Long, but his effort rattled the crossbar and bounced away from goal.

    Just before the 15 minute mark, Long put Southampton in front when he escaped the attentions of Joleon Lescott to head low into the net after an inviting cross from Ryan Bertrand.

    Virgil van Dijk then smacked a low effort against the outside of the post as the pressure continued to mount.

    Just five minutes before the break, Saints doubled their advantage when Leandro Bacuna overhit a pass to Lescott, allowing Long to square the ball for Dušan Tadić to convert from close range.

    Villa hit back before the two sides returned to the dressing rooms, however, when Ashley Westwood hit a half-volley past Fraser Forster after Jordan Ayew's cross eventually broke to the midfielder.

    Saints nearly had a third goal within minutes of the restart, with Cédric's cross falling for Rodriguez, who was only denied a first Premier League goal since his injury by a Lescott block.

    American stopper Guzan then denied Long, before tipping Steven Davis' free-kick away from the top corner of his goal.

    With just under 20 minutes remaining, Saints had a third goal when Tadić released Long, before receiving a pass from the Irish forward before rifling a low effort into the hosts' net.

    Saints failed to clear a corner in the 85th minute, allowing Westwood to score again with a low effort across goal, before the result was put beyond doubt in added time.

    Cédric got to the byline before crossing for substitute Mané to glance a header inside the bottom corner of the far post, bringing an end to a nervous last few minutes.

    Saints gained two points on European rivals Liverpool - who threw away a two-goal lead at home to Newcastle - and will now face Manchester City live on Sky Sports next Sunday.



    SAINTS: Forster; Cédric, Fonte, Van Dijk, Bertrand; S. Davis, Romeu, Wanyama (Clasie - 46'), Tadić; Long, Rodriguez (Mané - 70').

    Unused Subs: Stekelenburg, Martina, Yoshida, Ward-Prowse, Pellè.






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