Premier League
SouthamptonSouthampton1Aston VillaAston Villa1

Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa

By Mandeep SangheraBBC Sport
Oriol Romeu scores Southampton's equaliser against Aston Villa
Oriol Romeu scores his first Premier League goal in what was his 32nd appearance

Oriol Romeu's equaliser earned Southampton a draw against an Aston Villa side who have now gone 14 Premier League games without a win.

The visitors had to withstand an early onslaught as Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle and Jose Fonte each missed gilt-edged chances for the home side.

Southampton were punished when defender Joleon Lescott turned in a corner.

But the top-flight's bottom club Villa could not hold on as Romeu stabbed in a shot from a corner for the leveller.

Relive Southampton's draw with Aston Villa

Get the reaction to Saturday's games here

Are Villa moving in the right direction?

The Midlands club are yet to win in four games under manager Remi Garde and they would have been on the end of a heavy defeat if Southampton had been more clinical in front of goal.

Garde happy with Aston Villa spirit

Villa had made three changes to their back four from the defeat by Watford last time out and their defence lacked any cohesion as they were overwhelmed in the first half.

However, it was the visitors who took the lead when Lescott scored his first Villa goal after James Ward-Prowse and Pelle failed to clear a low Jordan Veretout corner that bounced across the six-yard box.

Villa gradually improved and, despite conceding an equaliser, Garde, whose side are six points from safety, can take the battling qualities his players showed as a positive.

"That is massive for morale," said Lescott. "We had to stand up to it today and in the first 20 minutes they could have won the game. We rode our luck.

"But we showed grit and determination, the manager wanted more desire from us and we showed that."

How did Southampton not win?

Southampton made 544 passes against a Villa side who made 321
Southampton made 544 passes against a Villa side who made 321

Southampton ended a run of three defeats with the draw but they will be left scratching their heads at how they did not win.

The home side could have been three up in the first 20 minutes but lacked a clinical edge in front of goal.

Dusan Tadic shot high after Sadio Mane's cut back, Pelle also cleared the bar from close range while Fonte had an effort kicked off the line by Rudy Gestede as Villa's goal led a charmed life in the early stages.

Saints had more than 60% possession during the match, 23 shots compared to Villa's nine, 10 corners in contrast to four for the visitors and they put in 45 crosses as opposed 10 from the Midlands outfit.

The deserved equaliser for the St Mary's side eventually came from an unlikely source as Romeu scored his first goal for the club from almost exactly the same spot as Lescott after Villa failed to deal with a corner.

Man of the match - Joleon Lescott

Joleon Lescott scores for Aston Villa at Southampton
Lescott scored and pulled off a vital interception as Villa's defence improved as the game went on

What the managers said:

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "Normally you don't sign up for one point at home, but it's a point. We made it difficult for ourselves. We had three or four big chances to score and then we concede.

Second-half display pleases Koeman

"Last year we were 4-0 up against Villa [when Saints won 6-1] and we didn't start as well as today! But we didn't score and that is the detail in football. For the first time in maybe two seasons we conceded such a soft goal from a corner."

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde: "It is a big point. We have suffered a lot, Southampton created many chances and we were under pressure for long periods. But we showed a very good spirit. I'm happy about that.

"I prefer to have this solidarity in every game than have much more talent. Solidarity is the key when you are fighting relegation. If we show this spirit again we will get more points.

"The talent at Aston Villa is not the same as at Manchester City or Arsenal but they still lose games."

The stats you need to know

  • Aston Villa have dropped 10 points from leading positions this season, a joint league-high along with Newcastle.
  • Following a six-game unbeaten run, Ronald Koeman's side are winless in their last three Premier League games (D1 L2).
  • Villa picked up their first point on the road since their 1-0 win at Bournemouth on the opening day of the campaign.

What next?

Southampton are at Crystal Palace on Saturday, 12 December, while Aston Villa host Arsenal a day later.

Line-ups

Southampton

  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 2Cédric Soares
  • 6José Fonte
  • 17van Dijk
  • 21Bertrand
  • 12WanyamaSubstituted forRomeuat 63'minutes
  • 16Ward-ProwseBooked at 30mins
  • 10ManéSubstituted forLongat 83'minutes
  • 8Davis
  • 11TadicSubstituted forJuanmiat 63'minutes
  • 19Pellè

Substitutes

  • 1Davis
  • 4Clasie
  • 7Long
  • 14Romeu
  • 15Martina
  • 20Juanmi
  • 26Caulker

Aston Villa

  • 1GuzanBooked at 90mins
  • 21HuttonBooked at 89mins
  • 5Okore
  • 16Lescott
  • 7BacunaSubstituted forRichardsonat 78'minutes
  • 17Veretout
  • 24C SánchezSubstituted forAgbonlahorat 90+5'minutes
  • 8Gueye
  • 9Sinclair
  • 39GestedeSubstituted forWestwoodat 75'minutes
  • 19J Ayew

Substitutes

  • 2Ilori
  • 11Agbonlahor
  • 15Westwood
  • 18Richardson
  • 20Traoré
  • 25Gil
  • 31Bunn
Referee:
Anthony Taylor
Attendance:
29,645

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home23
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home4
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Southampton 1, Aston Villa 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Southampton 1, Aston Villa 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Virgil van Dijk.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor replaces Carlos Sánchez because of an injury.

  5. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  6. Post update

    Delay in match Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Shane Long (Southampton) header from the left side of the box is just a bit too high following a set piece situation.

  8. Post update

    Juanmi (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

  10. Post update

    Hand ball by Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa).

  11. Booking

    Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Joleon Lescott.

  14. Booking

    Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  15. Post update

    Juanmi (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Alan Hutton (Aston Villa).

  17. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  18. Post update

    Delay in match Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Oriol Romeu (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Davis.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. Assisted by Juanmi.