MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 23:04:47| >> :60:207:207:
Apr 23, 2016 at 3pm UK at Villa Park
Attendance: 29,729
Aston Villa
2-4
Southampton
Westwood (45', 85')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Long (15'), Tadic (39', 71'), Mane (94')

Live Commentary: Aston Villa 2-4 Southampton - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of Southampton's 4-2 victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League.
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Southampton have remained in contention for a place in next season's Europa League with a 4-2 victory away at Aston Villa.

Two goals from Dusan Tadic and efforts from Shane Long and Saido Mane did the damage for the Saints while Ashley Westwood netted twice for already-relegated Villa.

Southampton now sit just one point behind seventh-place Liverpool although the Merseyside giants do have a game in hand.

Read below to see how the action unfolded in the West Midlands.


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Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Premier League between Aston Villa and Southampton.

With just over five minutes until kickoff, let's take a look at the two starting lineups!

ASTON VILLA XI Guzan; Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Cissokho; Sanchez, Westwood, Gana; Bacuna, Ayew, Sinclair

ASTON VILLA SUBSTITUTES: Veretout, Gil, Bunn, Lyden, Gestede, Grealish, Toner

SOUTHAMPTON XI: Forster, Cedric, van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand, Romeu, Wanyama, Tadic, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Long

SOUTHAMPTON SUBSTITUTES: Yoshida, Clasie, Mane, Martina, Ward-Prowse, Pelle, Stekelenburg

The big news coming out of the two dressing rooms is the role handed to Jay Rodriguez. It's his first start in seven months! Let's hope he can come through it without any complications.

The two teams are out on the pitch at Villa Park. We will be underway very shortly!

Right on schedule, we have kicked off. Villa are already relegated but this is a must-win game for the Saints if they are to keep pace with the teams competing for a Europa League spot.

CHANCE! It's almost a dramatic start at Villa Park! Long was released through on goal but after being Guzan with his shot, the ball struck the underside of the crossbar and went clear!

Before Long hit the woodwork, Daniel Sturridge had put Liverpool 1-0 ahead against Newcastle United. It's obviously very early days but if that result remains the same, Southampton cannot afford any dropped points.

It's been all Southampton in the early stages in the West Midlands but Villa managed tow in a free kick in a threatening position. Bacuna's set piece was poor but Forster was forced into a save to stop Ayew's effort hitting the back of the net.

The Villa supporters had jeered the efforts of their players after Long's near miss but things have calmed down a touch now. They no doubt feel that they are owed a performance this afternoon, though. They need to experience some positivity ahead of what could be a long summer.

SHOT! More good play from Ayew leads to him getting another shot away but on this occasion, he can only find the side-netting.

GOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton (Long)

Remember when I said that things had calmed down in the stands? Forget that. Southampton take the lead at Villa Park through Long, who was in the right place at the right time to head home from Bertrand's left-wing cross. That's Long's sixth goal against Villa in his career.

Lescott was partly at fault for the goal and it hasn't made his afternoon any easier. The Villa supporters have started a chant of "weight off his shoulders", in reference to his quotes after last weekend's relegation.

Back on the pitch, Villa are attempting to play with the freedom that Lescott implied they would have for the rest of the season. Bacuna had an opportunity to equalise but after meeting a cross from Westwood, his header went wide of the target. In all fairness to Villa, they aren't performing too badly in attack but they look like conceding every time the ball enters their penalty area.

Up the other end, Long had an opening to net his second of the afternoon but his header lacked any real conviction and Guzan was able to claim the ball. With Pelle and Austin ahead of him, there was a time when Long could have been frozen out at St Mary's but he looks to be Koeman's number-one frontman at the moment.

Elsewhere, it remains 1-0 to Liverpool, who are pushing for a second goal against Newcastle United. With Southampton having played a game more, the Saints desperately need the Merseyside giants to drop points this afternoon.

That's probably not going to happen, however. Liverpool have doubled their lead through Adam Lallana.

WOODWORK! Very nearly 2-0 to Southampton! A Saints corner caused all sorts of problems inside the Villa penalty area and after the ball rebounded to Van Dijk, his shot rattled the post and went behind for a goal kick.

Long has the ball in the net for a second time but on this occasion, he is ruled offside. Villa are living very dangerously now...

SHOT! Sinclair has been quiet for Villa in this first half but he gets a shot away after creating some space for himself with a direct run from midfield. Unfortunately, he cannot hit the target.

Villa have been better during the last few minutes and they are really giving it a go before half time. Ayew received the ball in a wide position before firing it across goal but Westwood could not add the decisive touch.

GOAL! Aston Villa 0-2 Southampton (Tadic)

So then...I was saying. Southampton double their lead in the West Midlands and it's the fault of Bacuna, whose stray backpass let in Long and after the Irishman played in Tadic, he had the simple task of tapping home into an empty net.

Some of the Villa supporters are on their way home...unless there is a special offer at the burger van.

You get the feeling that many of these Villa players will be happy to see the summer. As I've mentioned, they don't look that bad going forward but in defence, they are having a shocker.

GOAL! Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton (Westwood)

Villa are back in it! It's Westwood with the goal, with the midfielder finding the bottom corner after connecting with a loose ball at the back post.

HALF TIME: Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

I wonder if that goal will see the supporters return to their seats in the second half?! Their defending has been poor but Villa probably deserve a goal for working away in the final third. Eric Black has something to work with at the break.

The two teams are slowly emerging back onto the pitch for the second half. Given Villa's late goal, I don't anticipate any changes.

Ignore that, both teams have made one! Villa had sent on Academy player Kevin Toner in place of Micah Richards while Jordy Clasie has replaced Victor Wanyama for Southampton.

Villa get us back underway.

Not much to report from this game but Newcastle have pulled a goal back against Liverpool. Good news for Saints fans.

Southampton have created a couple of corners but neither came to anything. Very low-key start here but maybe that is what both sides needed for contrasting reasons.

Rodriguez has been quiet on his return to action but I'm sure he won't mind too much as long as he can get through the game without picking up another injury. The attacker thought he was about to extend Southampton's lead but Lescott got in front of the ball to stop his effort going on target.

SHOT! After Guzan denied Long at the near post, Southampton won a free kick in a threatening position after a foul on Bertrand. Davis's set piece appeared to be heading for the corner but Guzan got across to make the save. Saints are pushing here. Gestede has replaced Ayew for Villa.

SHOT! More pressure from Southampton but again, Guzan stands up to another shot on target. This one came from Rodriguez, who held off the attention of a defender before firing a long-range strike straight at the American international.

Gestede has posed an extra aerial threat since his introduction and he comes close to finding an equaliser for his side when meeting a Cissohko cross but the ball cleared the crossbar. Better from Villa though - they have been second best since the restart.

Now then - Newcastle have equalised at Anfield! As it stands, Southampton are closing the gap on the Reds. Villa have made a final change, throwing on Jack Grealish for Sanchez.

SUBSTITUTION! There's been a change for Southampton too, with Saido Mane replacing Rodriguez. It's been a very beneficial 70 minutes for the attacker.

GOAL! Aston Villa 1-3 Southampton (Tadic)

Definitely game over now. Just when Villa were coming back into the game, Southampton find the third goal that they had been looking for through Tadic, who found the bottom corner from 20 yards after receiving a pass from Long.

As expected, there are more protests from the Villa supporters. It's fair to say they want change at their football club and who can blame them.

CHANCE! Despite conceding three goals, Guzan has had a good game today but he almost ruins it after failing to deal with a cross from Cedric Soares. Fortunately for the American, Long could only prod the ball over.

The scoreline doesn't favour them and they have nothing but pride to play for but Villa are still going here. Hutton tried his luck with a shot from an acute angle but Forster was able to deal with the effort at the second attempt.

GOAL! Aston Villa 2-3 Southampton (Westwood)

Maybe this game isn't over after all! Westwood nets his second of the game with a low drive from the edge of the area and all of a sudden, Villa have hope that they can retrieve something from this match.

Long has an opportunity to wrap up the points for Southampton after being found in space down the flank by Tadic but his shot goes into the side-netting.

There will be five minutes of added-on time.

GOAL! Aston Villa 2-4 Southampton (Mane)

FULL TIME: Aston Villa 2-4 Southampton

The full-time whistle goes at Villa Park and Southampton have registered a 4-2 victory over Aston Villa. The final goal came courtesy of Saido Mane after he converted a Cedric Soares cross and it capped a fine away-day display from his side.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us and we hope that you can stick around for all of the reports and reaction from the other games that have taken place this afternoon. Goodbye for now.

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Ronald Koeman gets ready for battle ahead of the Premier League game between Southampton and West Ham United on February 6, 2016
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Wednesday's key events


ROWING
· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

CYCLING
· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

DIVING
· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

EQUESTRIAN
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