Saturday, 19 April 2014

Aston Villa 0 - 0 Southampton match report April 19th 2014

Aston Villa earned a vital point against high flying Southampton to help boost their push for Premier League survival.
In a week when chief executive Paul Faulkner called for everyone involved at the club to pull together after manager Paul Lambert’s two assistants were replaced, Villa desperately needed a win to lift them away from the relegation zone after four straight defeats.
In a game of few chances, it was the Saints who took control of the game early on and almost went ahead when Rickie Lambert looked odds-on to score but saw his side-footed shot blocked by Villa centre-back Nathan Baker.
As the half wore on Villa started to impose themselves more on the game with winger Marc Albrighton very influential in all his side’s attacking moves; whipping in crosses from the right but his team-mates failed to connect.
The Villans’ best chance fell to Gabby Agbonlahor who picked up the ball on the half way line and used to pace to race away from the Saints defence but unfortunately the striker over-hit his final touch inside the box and the ball was hacked clear before he could get a shot away.
After only gaining 29% of the possession in the first half, Villa came out stronger in the second period with man of the match Albrighton once again firing in the crosses but it was clear that Paul Lambert’s team were missing their talisman Christian Benteke out with a season ending injury.
England’s young left back Luke Shaw had a torrid time against Albrighton but at the other end of the pitch the 18-year-old fired in a cross from the left which just fell behind Adam Lallana and the midfielder completely fluffed his shot.
With Fulham losing earlier in the day, Villa missed a vital opportunity to pull further away from the drop zone but a point was all they could muster against a Saints team who have already assured themselves safety.
After the game Villa manager Paul Lambert described the match as a chance to "stop the bleeding" after a run of four straight losses. He described the outcome as ‘a huge point’ against a very good Southampton side.
Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino said his team created enough chances and had enough possession to win the game. Despite his team being safe in eighth position and with potential England World Cup players in his team, he said he still had high intentions of winning the match.

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