Southampton 2 Aston Villa 3 match report: Fabian Delph wonder-goal steals win as Saints defence starts to look leaky

Midfielder struck the winner with 10 minutes remaining

st mary's stadium

Has Southampton's bubble has burst after three successive defeats? This was not so much a case of Saints' system being found out of as a defence that had conceded only twice at St Mary's falling victim to individual errors and a wonder strike - even if the way the goals went in does raise questions about the depth of Mauricio Pochettino's squad.

The home side had 77 percent of the possession but never looked comfortable at the back in the absence of injured goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who is expected to miss another five weeks after breaking his hand in last weekend's defeat at Chelsea, while Pochettino's decision to give Maya Yoshida his first league start of the season in the centre of defence with Jose Fonte not fully fit backfired spectacularly.

So even though Saints twice came back to equalise, they were always vulnerable to a quick-breaking Villa side, now unbeaten in five games. The result was a first home reverse of the season and the first time Southampton have lost three games in a row under Pochettino. With Nathaniel Clyne and Victor Wanyama limping off, the situation could get worse at home to Manchester City on Saturday before it gets better.

Villa manager Paul Lambert was unimpressed by the possession statistics. “Show me a stat that wins you a game of football,” he said. “I thought we deserved to win. We were lethal in front of goal.” And that was without Christian Benteke, benched after failing to score for seven matches. Gabriel Agbonlahor charged through to beat Guzan's deputy Paulo Gazzaniga and score his first of the season after 15 minutes when Yoshida badly misjudged Fabian Delph's pass.

Southampton keeper Paulo Gazzaniga watches Gabriel Agbonlahor's finish hit the back of the net (PA) Southampton keeper Paulo Gazzaniga watches Gabriel Agbonlahor's finish hit the back of the net (PA)
Jay Rodriguez leapt above the Villa defence, now minus the injured Ron Vlaar, to equalise three minutes after the break but Libor Kozak, unchallenged, headed Villa back in front after 64 minutes. Vlaar-less Villa caved in again five minutes later, Dani Osvaldo diving to head in from close range. Ten minutes from time, though, Delph ran at a retreating defence before finding the top corner from 20 yards. - an overdue first goal in the Premier League.

Pochettino played down Osvaldo appearing to raise his hands to a Villa player as the teams left the field. “It is the sort of game you lose one time in a thousand,” he said. “We're on a bad run but we have to keep on working because we have a very tough game on Saturday as well.” 

Man of the match Delph.

Match rating 8/10.

Referee J Moss (W Yorks).

Attendance 29,814.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone