Southampton 2 Aston Villa 3: Adam Lallana unable to explain Saints defeat following Fabian Delph winner

Villa managed just three shots on target but all three went in and was enough to take the three points

Adam Lallana was left scratching his head after Southampton somehow managed to lose to Aston Villa and vowed to make amends against Manchester City this weekend.

Saints enjoyed 77 per cent possession in Wednesday night's Barclays Premier League clash, having 21 shots and completing almost six times as many passes as Villa.

Paul Lambert's side managed just three shots on target but all of those found the back of the net, with Gabriel Agbonlahor, Libor Kozak and Fabian Delph netting in a 3-2 win at St Mary's.

It was Saints' first home defeat of the season and their third loss in succession - hardly the best preparation for Saturday's encounter with high-flying City.

"It's such a strange feeling now," Lallana told Saints Player. "It's just one of those games.

"I can't wait to go back and play Villa because I thought they didn't deserve to get anything out of the game and we deserved to get a result. I want to go there later on in the season and get three points.

"We've got a big game on Saturday, massive in fact.

"It's not that we're not playing well. We are playing well. We might have a couple of knocks on the back of this game, so we've just got to assess everyone [on Thursday].

"We've got to prepare and get everyone as fit as we can. It is a big month. We've proved we can beat Man City. We did last season, so let's do it again."

February's 3-1 defeat of City was the first victory of Pochettino's reign, when a series of errors at the back cost the title hopefuls.

Last night it was Southampton reeling from defensive mistakes, meaning equalisers from Jay Rodriguez and Dani Osvaldo counted for nothing.

Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino said it was "the type of game you lose maybe once in 1,000", but counterpart Lambert disagreed entirely.

"You show me a stat that wins you a game of football and I might try and buy it," the Villa boss said of the one-sided match facts.

"I've had pats on my back in certain games when we've been turned over. It is not what you look for - you try and win.

"I thought we deserved to win the game. There have been times when we have had loads of the ball and got nothing. All you get is a pat on the back.

"We needed three points and I thought we were lethal in front of goal.

"I thought Agbonlahor's goal was world class - when he is like that with his speed and power there are not many people can catch him.

"The second goal was a terrific header from Kozak and the third goal was worthy of any win.

"I think we should have had a penalty when Christian Benteke gets brought down, so I am delighted with the lads."

PA

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