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Summary

  1. Aston Villa XI: Guzan; Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Cissokho; Sanchez, Westwood, Gueye; Bacuna, Ayew, Sanchez.
  2. Southampton XI: Forster; Cedric, Van Dijk, Fonte, Bertrand; Romeu, Wanyama; Tadic, Davis, Rodriguez; Long.

Live Reporting

By James Gheerbrant

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

Right, that's it from me. Thanks for reading, head on over to the main Saturday live text for reaction to this and all the day's other games.

FULL-TIME

Aston Villa 2-4 Southampton

And that's that. An entertaining game in which Villa put up a pretty good showing going forward, but were truly horrendous at the back. They suffer a 10th straight loss, while Southampton keep alive their faint hopes of European football.

GOAL - Sadio Mane

Aston Villa 2-4 Southampton

Sadio Mane celebrates
Reuters

More charitable defending from Aston Villa snuffs out any hope of a late fightback. Sadio Mane is afforded the freedom of the six-yard box to nod a glancing header past Guzan.

Aston Villa 2-3 Southampton

Yet again though, Villa nearly shoot themselves in the foot at the back. Brad Guzan's clearance is poor, Southampton recycle the ball to Shane Long and he almost tests out the keeper, just rippling the side netting.

GOAL - Ashley Westwood

Aston Villa 2-3 Southampton

Ashley Westwood celebrates
Reuters

Well, whadda you know? Villa reduce the deficit again. Jack Grealish crosses from the right, Rudy Gestede misses comically with his effort, but the ball comes through to Westwood, who finishes nicely with a curling first-time effort from the edge of the area.

Aston Villa 1-3 Southampton

They haven't stopped trying, Villa, even in the most trying of circumstances. Alan Hutton bursts down the right and stings the palms of Fraser Forster with a firm shot.

Aston Villa 1-3 Southampton

Protest paper planes
Reuters

The pitch, by the way, is littered with paper planes made out of those protest cards.

Aston Villa 1-3 Southampton

Goodness me, nearly another goal on a plate for Southampton. Steven Davis sends in a cross, Brad Guzan comes for it but can only bat it down to the feet of Shane Long, who stabs over the bar.

Aston Villa 1-3 Southampton

Joleon Lescott looks dejected
Reuters

It's sad to see what's happening to Joleon Lescott, to be honest. He's been torn apart this afternoon. Sadio Mane absolutely scorches and cuts the ball back, and only the intervention of young Kevin Toner prevents a fourth goal.

Aston Villa 1-3 Southampton

Aston Villa fans
Reuters

The Aston Villa supporters are staging a protest. Almost every Villa fan in the ground is holding up a card saying 'Proud history, what future?'

GOAL - Dusan Tadic

Aston Villa 1-3 Southampton

Dusan Tadic celebrates
Getty Images

Well, that will surely settle the issue. Shane Long bursts onto a good channel ball, holds the ball up nicely, drawing three defenders, slips the ball inside to Tadic and the Serb finishes confidently from the edge of the area, firing low into the corner. Villa haven't played badly, but they are so, so fragile at the back.

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Jay Rodriguez has had a good run-out on his first Premier League start since October. He's replaced by Sadio Mane.

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

We haven't seen nearly enough of Jack Grealish this season. So many great things were expected of him after last year but he's barely featured. Anyhow, he's on now, in place of Carlos Sanchez.

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Villa are still giving it a go. Aly Cissokho bursts down the left and whips a good cross, but Rudy Gestede can't quite contort his body to direct it on target.

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

That sums it up for Aston Villa. Scott Sinclair makes a really good run, keeping his balance and beating a couple of challenges, but once he's scampered out wide his cross is awful. Lots of endeavour, not much quality.

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Rodriguez tries a shot from range, but Guzan is comfortably behind it.

CLOSE!

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Southampton are turning up the heat here. Steven Davis tries to catch Brad Guzan out with a cheeky free-kick from a tight angle and the keeper has to be alert to turn it over the bar.

SUBSTITUTION

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

That's an odd change. Jordan Ayew has been Villa's liveliest player for me, but he's hooked. Rudy Gestede is on. That substitution is roundly booed.

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Carlos Sanchez and Dusan Tadic in action
Getty Images

Villa are on the rack here. This time Dusan Tadic pokes a great through ball through and Shane Long times his run to perfection, but Brad Guzan stands up well and repels the Irishman's shot.

CLOSE!

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Virgil van Dijk wriggles his way into the area, Cedric flashes the ball across the face of goal and Jay Rodriguez is only denied his first goal since March 2013 by a good block from Joleon Lescott.

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Southampton threaten to shred Villa on the break, but Shane Long takes too long over his cross and in the end his delivery is easily cut out.

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Kevin Toner, by the way, is an Irish youngster who has captained Villa's under-21 side throughout this season. He has his first real involvement, getting his head to a dangerous corner to deflect it behind.

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I'm sorry Jermaine but Villa relegation isn't horrible for the players. Some maybe but certainly not the majority. Lescott, Guzan and Gabby showed how little they think of the fans with their words and actions.

Jim in the Holte End

KICK-OFF

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Back up and running. Two changes to tell you about: 19-year-old Kevin Toner replaces Micah Richards for Villa, while Jordy Clasie replaces Victor Wanyama for Saints.

Penalty box predator

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Shane Long had a very effective first half, scoring one and setting up the second, and just look how many of his touches came in the penalty area (right).

Contrast that with his opposite number Jordan Ayew (left), who also had a very good half, but had to work so much harder, dropping deep on many occasions in search of the ball.

Jordan Ayew and Shane Long heatmaps
BBC Sport

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

'Lescott has been booed throughout, and creaked like a barn door for the second goal' Murphy

'Lescott has been booed throughout, and creaked like a barn door for the second goal' Murphy

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Chris 'Earl' Gray: WHY OH WHY has Black not picked the entire youth team today? They are head and shoulders above this pathetic inept display.

HALF-TIME

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Paper planes on the pitch
Reuters

And that's the interval. Not Villa's worst performance but it's still been all too easy for Southampton to bag two goals and the mood at Villa Park remains pretty toxic.

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Jermaine Jenas

Ex-Spurs & England midfielder on Final Score

"Westwood took it well. It wasn't a beautifully worked goal, there was a bit of a coming together and it fell to the Villa man but at an awkward height, and he dealt with it well. 

"It's horrible for the fans, but it's horrible for the players as well, relegation. This is as horrible as it gets, letting the fans down. Villa just have not been good enough this year."

GOAL - Ashley Westwood

Aston Villa 1-2 Southampton

Ashley Westwood scores
Reuters

Not the prettiest but that's a fair reward for Villa's endeavour in this half. Jordan Ayew, who has been tireless, makes a fine run down the left, cuts back and curls a cross in. Two Villa players miss it but it comes through to Westwood, who gets his knee over the ball and finishes low into the corner.

Aston Villa 0-2 Southampton

Alan Hutton looks dejected
Reuters

They're streaming for the exits at Villa Park.

CLOSE!

Aston Villa 0-2 Southampton

I'll say this for Aston Villa - it's not the most pathetic performance I've seen, they are still creating chances. They just don't have the quality to put them away. A good inswinging corner finds Jordan Ayew six yards but he puts his header wide.

Aston Villa 0-2 Southampton

Trevor Sinclair

Former England winger on Final Score

"It is unsavory to watch. Lescott has been a great pro but it is one season too much. He has got really bad knee but Long's athleticism, he can't get near him.

"That is really unpleasant for me to watch."

GOAL - Dusan Tadic

Aston Villa 0-2 Southampton

Dusan Tadic celebrates
Reuters

There's that shambolic defence again. Leandro Bacuna plays a woeful backpass that succeeds only in putting Shane Long in a foot race against Joleon Lescott. From there there's only one winner, and although Long makes a hash of his attempt to round Guzan, Tadic is there to collect Long's pass and fire into an empty net.

Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton

To be totally fair, while Villa are pretty shambolic defensively, they are showing signs of fight going forward. Jordan Ayew crosses from the right but Ashley Westwood can only scoop it into Fraser Forster's gloves.

DISALLOWED GOAL

Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton

Shane long looks dejected
Reuters

Slick interplay almost gets Southampton in, but Shane Long is clearly offside as he lifts the ball over Brad Guzan.

Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton

Southampton should have been through on goal there. Villa were caught woefully undermanned by a Southampton counter and Jay Rodriguez only had to bisect two defenders to release Shane Long, but his through ball is poor.

HITS THE WOODWORK

Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton

Ronald Koeman shouts instructions
Reuters

Villa are hanging on here. For the umpteenth time they fail to deal with a corner, Victor Wanyama has a shot blocked before Virgil van Dijk swings his foot at it and hits the base of the post.

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John Wilde: Can the entire world be wrong regards Villa? What part of 'connect with the fans and start players who care' does Black not get?

Max Baggins-Craig: Lescott, Richards & Bacuna are worthy of staying. Saints should concentrate on the league instead of becoming distracted. 

Aston Villa 0-1 Southampton

Ryan Bertrand whips in a lovely corner and Joleon Lescott just about manages to get to it ahead of Virgil van Dijk. Villa then threaten to break but Shane Long does brilliantly to track back and rob Micah Richards.