Premier League
Aston VillaAston Villa0SouthamptonSouthampton0
By Nabil HassanBBC Sport
Paul Lambert

Aston Villa ended a tumultuous week with a valuable point as they edged closer to Premier League survival after a goalless draw with Southampton.

The club suspended assistant boss Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa on Tuesday with the club struggling for form.

Southampton dominated proceedings with Steve Davis having their best chance but Brad Guzan kept out his effort.

Villa are now five points above the bottom three with four games left.

It has been a difficult week for the club off the pitch following the suspensions of Culverhouse and Karsa pending an internal investigation.

Villa's boss Paul Lambert was assisted by Gordon Cowans and Shay Given for the visit of Southampton and the result, which ended a run of four consecutive defeats, will provide some relief for the beleaguered manager.

His players seemed to be feeling the pressure of their perilous position in the table and were off the pace in a disappointing first-half performance.

They failed to muster a single shot on or off target with Southampton enjoying 71% of possession during the opening 45 minutes.

Saints dominated the first half with Rickie Lambert heading straight at Guzan from Luke Shaw's cross while later seeing a side-footed effort deflected wide.

Davis had Southampton's best chance of the half but his strike on the turn from 12 yards after poor Villa defending was superbly kept out by Guzan on the stretch.

Villa's fans had little to get excited about other than Ryan Bertrand's cross, which was beaten away by Artur Boruc and then rebounded off Dejan Lovren for a corner.

A chance eventually fell Villa's way and it came from a poor clearance by Boruc that eventually fell to Karim El Ahmadi - but after he showed neat footwork to create an opportunity, his tame shot from the edge of the area was comfortably held.

Aston Villa 0-0 Southampton: Paul Lambert on "massive" point

Southampton should have been in front but Adam Lallana skewed his shot wide from six yards after a fine surging run and cross by the impressive Shaw on the left wing.

At the other end, Marc Albrighton tested Boruc with a rasping drive from 20 yards with the Polish keeper having to gather at the second attempt.

Saints tried to claim a penalty late on after Bertrand blocked Nathaniel Clyne's cross in the box but Lee Mason waved away their appeals as a poor game ended scoreless.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "To play the way we did in the second half, against a good Southampton side, I cannot fault the effort.

Aston Villa 0-0 Southampton: Pochettino claims penalty

"The lads deserve enormous credit and with their energy and desire I couldn't be prouder. Our goal difference is pretty good, so we'll probably need one more win [to be safe from relegation].

"After the events of this week, that performance shows evidence of the players' commitment."

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino: "I thought we did enough to win the game but we are lacking luck and clinical edge in front of goal.

"We started off well, had 70% possession but are not taking chances. We are creating them and look like a team fighting to win the Premier League so I am happy with the effort.

"I saw the handball and I thought it was quite clear, replays also show it was clear but the linesman was close and he didn't even see it."

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 7Bacuna
  • 23Bertrand
  • 15Westwood
  • 4Vlaar
  • 2Baker
  • 8El AhmadiSubstituted forHoltat 80'minutes
  • 16Delph
  • 11Agbonlahor
  • 12Albrighton
  • 10WeimannSubstituted forRobinsonat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Clark
  • 13Steer
  • 18Sylla
  • 24Tonev
  • 29Holt
  • 34Lowton
  • 37Robinson

Southampton

  • 31Boruc
  • 2Clyne
  • 23ShawBooked at 66mins
  • 4Schneiderlin
  • 6José Fonte
  • 5LovrenBooked at 61mins
  • 16Ward-ProwseSubstituted forGallagherat 67'minutes
  • 12WanyamaSubstituted forCorkat 83'minutes
  • 7Lambert
  • 20LallanaSubstituted forReedat 90+2'minutes
  • 8Davis

Substitutes

  • 18Cork
  • 21Do Prado
  • 22Chambers
  • 25Gazzaniga
  • 26Hooiveld
  • 38Reed
  • 40Gallagher
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
35,134

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home6
Away3
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home11
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Southampton 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Southampton 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Harrison Reed replaces Adam Lallana.

  4. Post update

    Jack Cork (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Grant Holt (Aston Villa).

  6. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Marc Albrighton tries a through ball, but Callum Robinson is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Callum Robinson (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Brad Guzan.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Dejan Lovren (Southampton).

  9. Post update

    Grant Holt (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Callum Robinson replaces Andreas Weimann.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Jack Cork replaces Victor Wanyama.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Marc Albrighton tries a through ball, but Grant Holt is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor tries a through ball, but Marc Albrighton is caught offside.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Grant Holt replaces Karim El Ahmadi.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Brad Guzan.

  16. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  17. Post update

    Delay in match Victor Wanyama (Southampton) because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Steven Davis (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand.

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