Southampton vs Aston Villa match report: Sadio Mane breaks Robbie Fowler's hat-trick record as Saints smash Villa for six

Southampton 6 Aston Villa 1: Ace Mane sets Premier League hat-trick record as pathetic Villa are hit for six

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The Independent Football

Sadio Mané’s place in the record books as the scorer of the Premier League’s fastest hat-trick will provide a painful reminder to Tim Sherwood of Aston Villa’s dismal failure to take charge of their own destiny and draw a line under their relegation concerns.

However, Hull’s defeat at Tottenham Hotspur later in the afternoon ensured Sherwood’s side will stay up anyway, but after the progress of recent weeks, this was a day the manager will want to forget, even if the main objective of survival has now been achieved.

Mane took just 176 seconds (two minutes and 56 sec) to put Southampton three up inside 16 minutes – the previous fastest treble was scored by Robbie Fowler in four minutes and 23 sec for Liverpool against Arsenal in 1994 – and swiftly draw a line under Villa’s hopes of registering the victory that would have rendered results elsewhere irrelevant.

Worse was to come for Sherwood as he watched the capitulation continue, with Shane Long adding two more for Ronald Koeman’s side before Christian Benteke offered a moment’s respite from a deepening humiliation immediately before half-time. Graziano Pelle delivered a final blow 10 minutes from time, leaving Sherwood to ponder what had happened to the side who had won three of their previous four games, ensuring that they came into this game four points clear of the bottom three.

Villa were abject but, with a home meeting with Burnley and the FA Cup final to come, Sherwood resisted any temptation he may have had to publicly condemn his players.  “Since I’ve been in the club those are the only 45 minutes I can complain about,” said the manager, who dismissed the suggestion some of his squad may already have had one eye on Wembley.

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Sadio Mane celebrates netting the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history

“We have to not get too carried away and put it behind us, as we have no choice but to move on to our next game which is Burnley at home. We’ve done brilliantly over the last couple of months. That’s why we can’t get too carried away with this. It’s a defeat, a heavy defeat and it hurts everyone.”

Villa’s failure to adapt to the pace and threat of Mané and Long was astonishing. Mané scored at the second attempt in the 13th minute after Pelle flicked on and then struck after Long’s challenge on Villa keeper Shay Given following Ron Vlaar’s under-hit backpass led to the ball breaking free.

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Mane scores his second to double Southampton's lead

The hat-trick then came when Long squared for Mané to strike first time from the edge of the box before taking over scoring responsibilities in the 26th minute after Pelle’s shot was parried by Given. Long’s second, a 35-yard curling shot confirmed Southampton’s confidence that was barely dented by Benteke’s header from Leandro Bacuna’s cross. Villa at least resisted for longer after the break but were again undone when Pelle volleyed home from Nathaniel Clyne’s cross.

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Mane scores his third to net the fastest ever Premier League hat-trick

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Shane Long curls in Southampton's fifth goal

The win strengthened Southampton’s hopes of claiming a place in the Europa League after a recent dip in form had threatened their place in the top seven.

“Even to have a chance to play European football is amazing and we know it is still difficult,” said Koeman, the manager. “Maybe we will get some help from the other teams, if not we will have to do the job next week to qualify.”

And he added: “I think it’s not normal to have a hat-trick in two or three minutes, even in the worst league in the world. But we got the space and we punished them for that. And it was fantastic. Today Sadio demonstrated what we expect from him. It’s his first season in the Premier League and he is a young player. He can do better than he did. I believe in the talent of the player.”

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Shane Long added a fourth for Southampton

Southampton: (4-2-3-1) Gazzaniga; Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand; Wanyama, S Davis (Yoshida, 72); Long, Ward-Prowse (Djuricic, 79), Mane; Pelle (Elia, 85).

Aston Villa: (4-4-2) Given; Bacuna (Lowton, 67), Okore, Vlaar, Hutton; Cleverley, Grealish, Westwood, Delph; N’Zogbia (Agbonlahor, 56), Benteke.

Referee: Robert Madley.

Man of the match: Mané.

Match rating: 7/10.

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