MX23RW : Sunday, July 25 09:21:55| >> :120:33586:33586:
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')

Result: Dusan Tadic double helps Southampton edge out Aston Villa

Southampton register a 4-2 victory over already-relegated Aston Villa to maintain their hopes of qualifying for next season's Europa League.

Two goals from Dusan Tadic have helped Southampton record a 4-2 victory over Aston Villa to move within one point of seventh-placed Liverpool in the Premier League table.

Shane Long celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Aston Villa and Southampton on April 23, 2016© Getty Images

Shane Long had already hit the crossbar before he eventually gave Southampton the lead after 15 minutes, with the Irishman beating Joleon Lescott to the ball to head home a cross from Ryan Bertrand.

Villa could have equalised through Leandro Bacuna, who headed wide from an Ashley Westwood cross, but the home side were fortunate to remain just the one goal behind when Virgil van Dijk struck the post after a corner caused confusion inside the penalty area.

However, six minutes before the break, the Saints did double their advantage when a poor backpass from Bacuna allowed Long to move towards goal and play in Tadic, who had the simple task of converting into an empty net.

Dusan Tadic celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Aston Villa and Southampton on April 23, 2016© Getty Images

The goal saw many Villa supporters head for the exits but in added-on time in the first half, Westwood found the bottom corner of Fraser Forster's net after connecting with a loose ball at the back post.

The West Midlands outfit had the momentum when they came back out for the restart, but it was Southampton who pushed forward for a third with Long, Steven Davis and Jay Rodriguez all having shots saved by Brad Guzan within the space of five minutes.

Ashley Westwood celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Aston Villa and Southampton on April 23, 2016© Getty Images

Villa substitute Rudy Gestede almost made the visitors pay when meeting a cross but after his header cleared the bar, Southampton went down the other end and looked to have put the result beyond doubt.

After receiving a pass from Long, who enjoyed an excellent game at Villa Park, Tadic found the bottom corner from 20 yards for his eighth goal of the season.

However, with five minutes remaining, Westwood netted his second of the match with a low drive into the bottom corner from 18 yards, and it gave his team hope of salvaging a point during the closing stages.

They were unable to force an equaliser, however, and deep into added-on time, Sadio Mane netted a fourth for the Saints to help them close the gap on the teams above them as they target a late bid for a Europa League spot.

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Leandro Bacuna in action for Aston Villa on January 1, 2015
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Sunday's key events


SURFING
· Wave conditions permitting, surfing will make its Olympic debut (11pm-8.20am)

SKATEBOARDING
· Another debutant sport at this Olympics, most eyes will be on American Nyjah Huston in the men's street contest as he looks to add Olympic gold to his four world titles and 12 X-Games golds. (12.30am-5am)

TAEKWONDO
· History beckons for Jade Jones as she looks to become a three-time Olympic champion - something never done before in the sport prior to these Games (2am-1.45pm)
· Team GB's Bradly Sinden - world champion two years ago - is also going for gold in the men's -68kg category (2am-1.45pm)

GYMNASTICS
· Already-legendary gymnast Simone Biles makes her first appearance of the Games in the women's qualifying event (2am-2pm)

SWIMMING
· The first swimming medals of the Games will be dished out, with home favourite Daiya Seto going for gold in the men's 400m individual medley (2.30am-4.20am)

CYCLING
· Lizzie Deignan is among the Team GB team looking for success in the women's road race (5am-9.30am)

TENNIS
· Reigning two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray starts his title defence against Canadian hotshot Felix Auger-Aliassime (7am approx.)

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