1/11/2020 12:00 pm
Referee: Darren England
|Mings (62), Watkins (pen 90+3), Grealish (90+7)||Vestergaard (20), Ward-Prowse (33, 45), Ings (58)|
Following on from last week’s hugely disappointing defeat to Leeds United, the Aston Villa squad and head coach Dean Smith have had a solid week back out on the training ground as we look to rediscover our spark and hopefully prove our second half capitulation was a one off.
Nobody really expects us to be in the top six at the end of the campaign, and of course, we are going to lose matches this year as we are still rebuilding – but it’s been a great start and we cannot ruin it by letting the mentality slip.
And we’d need it against an organised Southampton side.
Well, it was a bright start, but not for us and having been opened up a little bit too easily, Southampton scored three minutes in from the resulting corner. But it was offside, VAR to the rescue!
We were a little bit more lively, but the visitors were again the next to test our goal as Danny Ings clipped the woodwork, but at least we were starting to trouble their defence now.
Having warmed into the game we were on top for good periods, it was just the final ball that was letting us down, but Southampton’s threat had largely disappeared.
That was until they finally won a freekick in a rare sortie into our box and when the ball came in I can only assume we thought a musical statues routine to defending it would confuse them. It didn’t.
We still didn’t wake up, we were slow and ponderous and another poorly defended set piece had them 2-0 up.
Another poorly given away freekick, another goal for James Ward-Prowse. 3-0 and the second half against Leeds wasn’t a one off.
So what did the final 45 have in store for suffering Villa fans?
We finally got two shots on target, and then the visitors made it 4-0 with their fourth shot on target.
And then Mings scored – was the strangest comeback in history on?
No, we could’ve easily closed the scoreline up with the chances we did fashion, but we just weren’t clinical enough. It’s not much to shout about but at 4-1 we did wake up and actually looked like we wanted to get back into the game, but it was way too little, way too late.
Jack did win a late penalty and Ollie Watkins converted to make it 4-2. Undoubtedly the second half was ours and we had double the chances they did, but we’d wasted the chance of a comeback and the stats make us look better than we actually were. Jack then got himself on the scoresheet and that just made it worse really as it’ll paper over how bad we had been for long periods – yet at the same time, we came so close to getting something out of it once we did dig in and after Leeds that would’ve been the reaction we were looking for.
Small positives if you look hard enough, but sadly, plenty of familiar questions. Have to take the strong finish and hope we start like that in the next one.