2019-20 English Premier League
  • Shane Long (8')
  • Stuart Armstrong (90'+5')

Long and Armstrong give Southampton win over Villa

Southampton continued their surge from the Premier League's bottom half towards mid-table after opportunist goals from Shane Long and Stuart Armstrong gave them a 2-0 home win over Aston Villa on Saturday.

The result left Southampton 12th with 34 points from 27 games while beleaguered Villa stayed 17th on 25 points, one above the relegation zone.

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The home team's manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was delighted with the outcome and a solid display.

"An important victory as our home record was not the best before today," the Austrian told the BBC.

"It was a perfect afternoon for us and the crowd was absolutely behind us. This was a great performance from everybody.

"The only negative was that we needed to be more clinical as we had 28 shots on goal. We knew we had to do everything to defend our box and congrats to the guys, they did their job."

The Saints dominated proceedings and debutant William Smallbone hit the post with a deflected shot in the sixth minute before Ireland striker Long netted the opener two minutes later.

The lively Moussa Djenepo poked in a cross from the left flank with the outside of his right foot and Long bundled it in at near post with his thigh past Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

Reina denied Southampton a bigger lead as he kept out efforts by Danny Ings and Djenepo in the first half before he parried a ferocious Pierre Hojbjerg volley on the hour mark.

The home team's captain Armstrong sealed the win with the last kick of the game when he put the ball into an empty net from a Che Adams assist after Reina went upfield for a Villa corner.

Villa boss Dean Smith was disappointed with his team's performance.

"We never laid a glove on them in the first 20 minutes," he said. "I try to defend the players but today was not good enough and they were miles off it in the first half. It was a game that could have been won but we didn't create enough."

English Premier League Standings