Dec 4, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​St Mary's Stadium
Southampton
2-3
Aston Villa
Rodriguez (48'), Osvaldo (69')
Fonte (81'), Lambert (90'), Osvaldo (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Agbonlahor (15'), Kozak (64'), Delph (80')
Kozak (65'), Weimann (90')

Live Commentary: Southampton 2-3 Aston Villa - as it happened

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino on the touchline during the match against West Brom on August 17, 2013
© Getty Images
Live text coverage as Southampton host Aston Villa in the Premier League at St Mary's Stadium.

Southampton hosted Aston Villa on Wednesday night as they looked to recover from defeats in their previous two games.

Gabriel Agbonlahor earned Aston Villa the lead with a confident finish in the 15th minute but Jay Rodriguez headed home just after the break to level the scores.

Villa regained the lead in the 64th minute when Libor Kozak headed his team ahead, despite the hosts enjoying most of the possession.

Pablo Osvaldo looked like he had secured a point for Southampton with an equaliser in the 69th minute but Fabian Delph scored a long range effort late on to earn his side a 3-2 victory.

Read below to find out how the drama unfolded.


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6.45pmGood evening everyone. Southampton have lost their last two league games following a quite incredible run of form. Can they get back to winning ways against Aston Villa? Paul Lambert's side are targeting 10th spot tonight.

6.47pmThere won't be too many complaints at St Mary's yet. The Saints can return to the top four tonight if other results go their way. Mauricio Pochettino will be desperate for his side to find their form again.

6.50pmVilla have won just once in their previous six, but they're still in a healthy 11th position in the Premier League. Christian Benteke's dry patch has made it difficult for Villa but they're certain to cause problems for Southampton tonight.

6.52pmSouthampton were dealt a big blow following the defeat to Chelsea, with the club revealing that Artur Boruc is set to miss six weeks with a broken hand. The goalkeeper has played a big role in the positive start to the season, despite his moment of madness at the Emirates Stadium a couple of weeks ago.

6.54pmWould Lambert consider leaving out Benteke tonight? There has been some reports that the striker could miss out but that would surely be a big risk even if his recent form has been disappointing. Full team news on the way.

6.57pmRemember, there's eight other games to enjoy in the Premier League tonight. Keep up to date by clicking on any match in the box to the right.

7.00pmSouthampton have exceeded expectations this season but Pochettino isn't the type of manager to easily accept two defeats, even if they do come against Chelsea and Arsenal. The Saints squad have been excellent but there might be a few nerves as they look to avoid three losses in a row.

7.03pmSOUTHAMPTON: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama, Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert

VILLA: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Luna, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Agbonlahor, Kozak


7.05pmSOUTHAMPTON SUBSTITUTES: Cropper, Fonte, Osvaldo, Cork, Chambers, Hooiveld, Gallagher

VILLA SUBSTITUTES: Steer, Lowton, Albrighton, Sylla, Tonev, Benteke,


7.07pmThe big team news this evening comes from the visitors. I said it was a risk but Lambert has decided that Benteke's recent form means he should drop down to the bench. Libor Kozak starts in attack, with support from Gabriel Agbonlahor.

7.09pmPaulo Gazzaniga replaces Boruc for the Saints, while Maya Yoshida, Steven Davis and Rickie Lambert all return to the team following the defeat to Chelsea.

7.12pmMaybe we shouldn't be too surprised that Benteke has been left on the bench following seven games without a goal. Kozak can be a big threat on his day but will it be the Belgian who makes the biggest impact later tonight?

7.14pmPablo Osvaldo was pretty disappointing against Chelsea on Sunday, so it's no surprise to see Lambert back in attack for the Saints. Morgan Schneiderlin's absence is a big blow but Pochettino does have plenty of quality in his midfield.

7.17pmLambert's record against this opposition could be another reason for his selection. The England international scored three times as Southampton beat Villa twice last season.

7.19pmSouthampton haven't lost at home this season and have only conceded two goals when playing at St Mary's. If they want to keep pace with the teams above them, that record needs to continue.

7.22pmVilla seem to be much more comfortable on the road this season. They've only lost one away game, with that defeat coming against Chelsea. Lambert's side have certainly improved this term but there's still a lot more to come from a young side.

7.26pmPREDICTION: There's just under 20 minutes remaining until kick off, so it's time to have a guess at what the score will be tonight. I fancy the Saints to find their form again. 3-1 to the hosts.

7.28pmGood results at the start of December are always crucial. It becomes very difficult to find form if you suffer a defeat early in the hectic Christmas schedule. Both managers will be wary of that tonight.

7.30pmPochettino has not lost three games in a row since taking charge of the Saints. Plenty of people have said that they cannot continue to challenge with the top sides. We'll know a lot more at the end of the Christmas period.

7.34pmThe players are heading back into the changing rooms following the pre-match warm-ups as the ground begins to fill up nicely.

7.37pmBenteke will surely be needed later this evening. It's a surprise to see him on the bench, despite the lack of goals in recent times. Kozak needs to prove Lambert right tonight.

7.40pmJust five minutes away from kick off. Who will come out on top tonight? We're about to find out.

7.43pmThe pre-match greeetings are over at St Mary's. A coin toss to follow before the action can get underway.

7.45pmVilla will get the game underway.

1 minSoutampton win the ball early game before working the ball to Rodriguez, who misreads a run from Lambert and loses possession.

2 minLallana receives the ball on the left and cuts inside to earn some space but his cross is straight at Guzan.

3 minSouthampton have settled well early on, with Luke Shaw seeing plenty of the ball on the left as Villa's midfield remain deep to offer cover for the back three.

4 minA clever turn inside the box sets up a shooting opportunity for Lallana but Vlaar reacts superbly to make a crucial block.

6 minWOODWORK! Lallana is causing problems again as his dangerous delivery is deflected against the crossbar. Great start from Southampton.

8 minVilla are starting to find their feet now as they enjoy some good possession in midfield. They cannot afford to invite the pressure from the hosts.

10 minLallana is popping up all over the pitch in the early stages and Villa are finding it difficult to keep tabs on the England international.

11 minBig appeals from the home crowd when Guzan appears to handle outside his box when attempting to beat Rodriguez to a long ball. However, a replay suggests that the referee made a good decision allowing play to continue.

13 minSouthampton are dominating possession and Villa are frustrating the visiting supporters by giving the ball away too easily when they threaten to break.

14 minWOODWORK! Villa fail to close down Rodriguez on the edge of the box and his powerful effort is pushed against the post by Guzan.

15 minGOAL! SOUTHAMPTON 0-1 VILLA (AGBONLAHOR)

16 minOne chance, one goal. Lallana gives the ball away and Villa break quickly. Agbonlahor's sprints towards goal before superbly dodging a challenge from Lovren and slotting the opener past Gazzaniga. Great finish. St Mary's is silenced.

18 minHow do the home side respond? They've been in charge but they now face a battle to end their recent run of poor form. Pochettino will be eager for his time to continue playing in the same way.

20 minKozak is doing his best to occupy space as far up the pitch as possible to worry Yoshida, who has looked slightly nervous in the first half.

21 minVilla have grown in confidence since taking the lead and it's the Saints who are beginning to make some mistakes in possession as the visitors win a corner.

22 minCHANCE! Baker loses his marker to meet the corner but he heads wide from a great position inside the box. The defender should have done much better.

24 minVilla are making it very difficult for the hosts to pick out their creative players between the visiting midfield and defence. For once, Southampton are not impressing in possession.

25 minPochettino pulls over Davis during a break in play to give him some instructions as Southampton search for an equaliser.

27 minSAVE! Clyne delivers a good cross from the right and Rodriguez rises highest to force Guzan into a great save. Lallana attempts to fire in the rebound but the ball drifts out of play.

29 minSouthampton are stepping up the tempo again now. Lallana believes he has been fouled by Baker but the referee awards a corner, which is well cleared by Villa.

31 minVilla are applying good pressure on Ward-Prowse and Davis to restrict their freedom in midfield. The home crowd are beginning to become frustrated.

33 minMuch better from the hosts. Davis starts the move with a great flick in midfield. Lambert chips the ball over the Villa defence but Baker makes a good tackle to prevent Lallana from equalising.

34 minSHOT! Shaw targets the top corner with few other options available but his effort is straight at Guzan, who saves easily.

36 minSHOT! Lallana is finding those pockets of space again as he collects the ball in the box to pick out David, who drills a shot wide from the edge of the box.

37 minWard-Prowse delivers a lovely pass to Rodriguez in the box but the forward fails to get his head up and a pass across the box is collected by Vlaar.

38 minSUBSTITUTION: Pochettino is clearly not happy. Ward-Prowse isn't injured, but he comes off to make way for Osvaldo. It looks like the forward will join Lambert up front.

40 minPochettino is shouting instructions at his players as they look to level the scores before the break. The home side are still dominating possession but Villa's defensive effort has been excellent.

42 minIt hasn't been Lambert's night yet. The forward has drifted wide on too many occasions but he makes a mistake in a central position following a good pass from Lovren as another move breaks down.

44 minVilla have barely threatened in the past 10 minutes. Kozak is looking an isolated figure in attack. They'll be hoping that Baker's miss won't matter later on.

45 minAgbonlahor is looking to start a counter attack but play is pulled back for an apparent hand ball. Just one minute of added time to be played.

45+1 minSouthampton are ending the first half strongly but it looks like they'll head in behind.

8.31pmHALF-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-1 ASTON VILLA

8.33pmSouthampton have dominated in front of their home supporters but Villa will not care one bit. Agbonlahor's goal hands the visitors the lead at the break, despite their lack of chances.

8.36pmLambert will be delighted with his team. Villa have an obvious game plan of sitting deep and only rushing out to apply pressure on the Southampton midfield players. Lovren and Yoshida have seen plenty of the ball but they're not worrying the visitors.

8.39pmIt's going to be difficult for Villa to keep up this effort in the second half, while Southampton will surely improve. Benteke could have a big role to play off the bench as Villa look to create a few more chances.

8.41pmPlenty of goals being scored in the Premier League this evening. Keep up to date here - Wednesday latest.

8.44pmYou can read a report of the events in this match here - Saints 0-1 Villa

8.45pmThe players are almost ready to return to the pitch. Osvaldo has already come on for the hosts, but we haven't seen much of him yet.

8.46pmSUBSTITUTIONS: Changes for both sides at the break. Matthew Lowton is on for Vlaar, while Southampton's second change sees Jack Cork replacing Wanyama. The hosts get the second half underway.

47 minCHANCE! Villa are inches away from going 2-0 ahead. A ball over the top causes problems for the hosts but El Ahmadi hits his effort just wide from a tight angle.

48 minGOAL! SOUTHAMPTON 1-1 VILLA (RODRIGUEZ)

48 minJust moments after El Ahmadi's miss, the home side are level. Clyne is gifted too much time to curl in a great cross, which Rodriguez heads past a diving Guzan. It's a superb finish, can they go on to win now?

50 minLambert's hopeful long range effort from a free kick is blocked by Villa, who are dropping deeper with every passing minute.

51 minVlaar has reportedly been taken off due to a calf injury, which is a big concern as Villa's defence already looks weaker due to his absence.

53 minVilla are being forced to clear a lot of crosses, with the home side threatening from both open play and set pieces early in the second half. The visitors are struggling to get the ball forward since that El Ahmadi chance.

55 minKozak wins the ball in the air in attack but neither he or Agbonlahor can retain possession. Is it time for Benteke?

56 minClyne clips another great pass over the top to Rodriguez, who breaks into the box before winning a corner.

57 minVilla clear the corner and the pass from Cork but the relief is only temporary. Clyne seems to be struggling with an injury.

58 minShould Southampton have a penalty? Clark is a very lucky boy as he trips down Osvaldo, who refuses to throw himself on the floor. It's a poor challenge and Villa have got away with one.

59 minSUBSTITUTION: Pochettino is forced to make his final change with over 30 minutes left in the game as Jose Fonte replaces the injured Clyne.

61 minDavis and Cork are seeing the ball a lot in midfield, which is opening up space for the home side's attacking players. Villa need to push further up the field.

62 minSouthampton are playing some lovely football now, with Osvaldo at the heart of most things for the hosts. Agbonlahor threatens to sprint towards goal but the offside flag stops his progress.

63 minThe ball sits up perfectly for Lambert 25 yards from goal but he fires a half-volley well wide of the target as Villa survive another Southampton attack.

64 minGOAL! SOUTHAMPTON 1-2 VILLA (KOZAK)

65 minCork gives the ball away on the right and El Ahmadi takes advantage to whip in a perfect cross to Kozak, who is about to be replaced, and he heads home confidently from close range.

66 minSUBSTITUTION: Amazing. Kozak's final contribution is to head his team into the lead against the run of play. Benteke comes on for the visitors.

67 minBenteke starts in confident mood as he forces his way into the box. Fonte collides with the striker but the referee ignores the optimistic appeals for a penalty.

68 minSAVE! Rodriguez does well to find Osvaldo, who displays great skill to earn some space and fire a shot straight at Guzan.

69 minGOAL! SOUTHAMPTON 2-2 VILLA (OSVALDO)

69 minThe drama keeps on coming as Osvaldo heads Southampton level. Fonte delivers a brilliant cross to the back post, where Lambert heads back across the box to give his fellow striker an easy finish from close range.

71 minCan either of these teams find a winner? Southampton seem to keep dominating possesion but they've looked nervous at the back this evening.

72 minWorrying signs for the home team as Lovren limps off to receive some treatment on the side of the pitch. Southampton have used all of their changes.

73 minLovren jogs back on but he certainly doesn't look 100% on his return. Will Villa take advantage? Benteke might target the central defender.

74 minSAVE! Guzan just manages to keep out another header from Rodriguez following a clever cross from Lallana on the left wing.

76 minOsvaldo links well with Lambert on the edge of the box but the former's chipped pass is well cleared by Clark as Villa look to hang on in the closing stages.

77 minDavis delivers an excellent free kick to the back post but Lovren heads the ball back across the box too firmly. The move is kept alive until Osvaldo slices a shot over the crossbar.

78 minVilla are adopting a direct approach now but that might not be a bad option with Benteke looking dangerous. However, they have to find a way to retain possession late on.

80 minGOAL! SOUTHAMPTON 2-3 VILLA (DELPH)

81 minWow, what a goal! A long ball forward breaks loose to Delph, who advances towards goal under no pressure at all. The midfielder considers his options before unleashing an unstoppable effort to send the ball into the top corner. Villa lead for the third time. Can they hold on?

82 minYELLOW CARD! Fonte receives the first booking of the game for a late challenge on Agbonlahor.

84 minIt's Southampton asking the questions again in the closing stages. Villa have six minutes plus stoppage time to survive.

85 minSouthampton work the ball in midfield patiently. Rodriguez eventually collects the ball on the edge of the box but he hits an effort well wide of the target.

87 minSUBSTITUTION: Andreas Weimann is on for El Ahmadi as Lambert turns to the bench in the closing stages.

88 minSouthampton are applying all the pressure as they look for a third equaliser. Villa are holding firm, with Clark making clearance after clearance.

89 minBaker is too eager to win the header as he fouls Lambert just inches outside the penalty area. Is this the chance the host need?

90 minLambert hammers the free kick straight at the wall. Five minutes of stoppage time will be played.

90+1 minOsvaldo is pretty unlucky to concede a free kick when his foot makes contact with Baker, who wasn't far off the floor as he headed away.

90+3 minLambert drops deeper to collect the ball and chip a good pass to Fonte, who heads the ball across goal. No one takes a gamble though as Guzan collects inside the six yard box.

90+4 minBaker makes a great block to stop Lambert's powerful effort from the edge of the box. Lallana curls in the corner but Villa clear the danger.

90+5 minYELLOW CARD! Late, late challenge from Weimann results in the forward receiving a caution. The Southampton players aren't very happy and there's plenty of pushing going on. Osvaldo is booked moments later for clashing with Clark. Just a few moments left in this game.

9.39pmFULL-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 2-3 ASTON VILLA

9.41pmWhat an unbelievable game at St Mary's Stadium. Southampton came from behind twice to level the scores but Delph's stunning striker has earned Villa all three points.

9.42pmSouthampton were not at their best but they will not understand how they have lost this game after dominating possession for so long. Villa approached the game with a game plan and they executed it perfectly to claim the win.

9.43pmPochettino's side have now lost three games in a row. Villa's supporters head back home with huge smiles on their faces. Thanks for joining me for a brilliant night of football. Goodnight.

Rickie Lambert of Southampton celebrates scoring the winning goal from a penalty with team matesduring the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton at The Hawthorns on August 17, 2013
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