Game #5643

Premier League

St Mary’s Stadium

Attendance: 30,178

Friday, 5 November 2021

Position:

15th (-)

Villa's appalling run of results under Dean Smith continues but following a torrid first 45' there are signs that the team has the quality and commitment to end the slump. Time in the Premier League is a sparse commodity however and five consecutive defeats underlines the fall under Smith.

Southampton

1-0

Aston Villa

Scorer(s) | None |

Assist(s) | None |

AT A GLANCE

Game #5643

Season | 2021-22 |
Matchday | #13 |
League Match | #11 |
Manager Game | #138 |
Friday, 5 November 2021
Attendance | 30,178 |

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager | Dean Smith |
Kick off | 8.00pm |
Referee | Andy Madley |
Half Time Score | 0-1 |
Full Time Result | Lost |
Full Time Score | 0-1 |
Last 5 Games | LLLLL |

TEAM STATS

Team Cost:
| £185.4m |

Starting XI Average Age:
| 26.27 |

Oldest Player:
GK Emiliano Martínez | 29.19 |

Youngest Player:
CB Axel Tuanzebe | 23.99 |

TEAM NEWS

Following four successive defeats Dean Smith recalls the hitherto out of form Tyrone Mings and Axel Tuanzebe in place of the suspended Ezri Konsa and unlucky Kortney Hause.

With Douglas Luiz and Danny Ings ruled out through injury and illness respectively, Marvelous Nakamba retains his place in midfield with Ollie Watkins the lone striker whilst there is a surprise recall for Anwar El Ghazi in place of Jacob Ramsey who drops to the bench.

UNAVAILABLE

Injury | 6 |

W Trézéguet |
Ligament, 10 Apr - Unknown |

W Bertrand Traoré |
Thigh, 16 Oct -Unknown |

M Morgan Sanson |
Illness, 31 Oct - Unknown |

W Jaden Philogene-Bidace |
Illness, 31 Oct - Unknown |

M Douglas Luiz |
Injury, 31 Oct - Unknown |

CF Danny Ings |
Illness, 31 Oct - Unknown |

---

Suspension | 1 |

CB Ezri Konsa |
One match |

---

On Loan | 3 |

CF Wesley |
Club Brugge KV, 26 Aug - 31 May 22 |

M Conor Hourihane |
Sheffield United, 30 Aug to 31 May 22 |

RB Frédéric Guilbert |
RC Strasbourg Alsace, 31 Aug - 30 Jun 22 |

---

Not Selected | 4 |

GK Viljami Sinisalo

CB Sil Swinkels

M Hayden Lindley

CF Caleb Chukwuemeka

MATCH STATS

Possession F | 43%
Possession A | 57%
Shots F | 14
Shots A | 9
Shots on Target F | 3
Shots on Target A | 3
Corners F | 10
Corners A | 8
Fouls F | 12
Fouls A | 12

QUOTE OF THE DAY

*We started [well] the first couple of minutes, then a cross hits Matty Cash on the bum and drops down for their lad who hits a superb half-volley to score. That knocked the stuffing out of us.

“I don’t know where the goal knocked the stuffing out of us but they were better on the ball than us. We did not get the press right, it took us time, and when we did we looked better.

“When you’re on a bad run, something like that is hard to take. They were the better team in the first half.

“It became a tale of two halves, Southampton controlled the first half and we controlled in the second. When you are getting a run of results you get kicked in the teeth and they scored a hell of a goal. I said to the players at half-time, you can’t feel the world is against you and have to go and leave everything out there which is what they did.

“We got them in at half-time and put it right. Bailey played down the middle and Buendia off the right and we looked a totally different team. We played with intensity in the second half.

“There was a response. You can’t question the character of the players.

“I have been told it should have been a penalty, we will have to ask VAR Stuart Attwell.

“We have a few injuries. Some of our subs were academy graduates. I don’t like making excuses. We shouldn’t be losing five games on the spin.

“We can get some players back to fitness during the international break and come back stronger.

“You’d like a game in the next three or four days but we can’t.

“The fans were great tonight. You heard the backing from the fans. It’s a results-based industry. We have to get better. We looked nervous after their goal but second half was the intensity I want to see.”

“I am a scrapper, always have been and disappointed to lose five on the spin. We have five players out injured and we will get players fit in the international break.

“We work hard during the break with the players that are there and get ready for Brighton. You saw what we are about in the second half, a fair score would have been a draw.”

Dean Smith.

MATCH PROGRAMME

LEAGUE TABLE

STARTING LINE UP

GK Emiliano Martínez
LB Matt Targett
CB Axel Tuanzebe
CB Tyrone Mings
RB Matty Cash
M John McGinn
M Marvelous Nakamba
W Anwar El Ghazi
W Emiliano Buendía
W Leon Bailey
CF Ollie Watkins

THE OPPOSITION

GK Alex McCarthy, RB Kyle Walker-Peters, RB Valentino Livramento, CB Karim Salisú, CB Jan Bednarek, M Oriol Romeu, M James Ward-Prowse, M Stewart Armstrong (CB Lyanco), CF Adam Armstrong (g) (Armando Broja), CF Che Adams, W Mohamed Elyounoussi (M Ibrahima Diallo).

Manager: Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Team Cost: £115.88m

ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on

SUBSTITUTES

M Jacob Ramsey for M Marvelous Nakamba | 63’ |
CF Cameron Archer for W Emiliano Buendía | 72’ |
CF Keinan Davis for W Anwar El Ghazi | 78’ |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

GK Jed Steer
CB Kortney Hause
M Aaron Ramsey
M Carney Chukwuemeka
W Jaden Philogene-Bidace
W Ashley Young

MATCH TIMELINE

3’ Goal, 0-1, (Southampton), Adam Armstrong
11’ Booking, Anwar El Ghazi, Bad foul
HT Southampton 1-0 Aston Villa
63’ Sub off, Marvelous Nakamba, Sub on, Jacob Ramsey
65’ Booking, Axel Tuanzebe
72’ Sub off, Emiliano Buendía, Sub on, Cameron Archer
78’ Sub off, Anwar El Ghazi, Sub on, Keinan Davis
FT Southampton 1-0 Aston Villa

ON THIS DAY

Dean Smith's Villa lose a fifth successive top flight League game for the first time since 2015-16 under Rémi Garde as the recent terrible run under Smith's leadership continues. Indeed the first 45' suggested a team no longer responding to the manager or the shirt. The second 45' suggested the total opposite however, but once again it was too little too late and Villa's third season back in the Premier League now looks like a battle against relegation as unexpected as it is worrying. Indeed results later in the weekend could see Villa drop into the bottom two as the freefall under Smith continues.

Meanwhile, Matty Cash made his 40th appearance for the club since his debut in September 2020.

---

Sunday, 7 November 2021

It was announced that Dean Smith had been removed from his position as manager with the following statement:

“**Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that the Club have parted company with Head Coach Dean Smith.**

"Dean was appointed Villa Head Coach just over three years ago in October 2018 and led the Club back to the Premier League via the play-offs in his first season in charge following a club-record ten-match winning sequence towards the end of that campaign.

The following season, he kept Villa in the top flight while also leading the team out at the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley, narrowly losing 2-1 to Manchester City.

CEO Christian Purslow said: “When Dean joined us in October 2018 our team was really struggling in The Championship. He immediately transformed the atmosphere and performances and achieved the ultimate success of leading Villa back to the Premier League within the same season - a rare feat.

“He then secured our place in the Premier League after a tough campaign and took us to a Cup Final at Wembley.

“However, after a good start to last season, this year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for. For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.

“The Board would like to sincerely thank Dean for his many excellent achievements, on and off the pitch, during this time. Everyone knows how much Aston Villa means to Dean and his family. He has represented the Club with distinction and dignity - universally liked and respected by everybody associated with Aston Villa – our staff, players and supporters alike. We wish him the very best.”

The process of replacing Dean will now begin and the Club will update supporters in due course."

KEY MAN

Dean Smith's desperately poor results leave the local boy hanging onto his job by the loosest of threads as Villa find yet more ways of losing, Friday, 5 November 2021.

MATCH REPORT

*BBC Sport*
Friday, 5 November 2021

Adam Armstrong’s early goal helped Southampton continue their Premier League revival as they inflicted a fifth defeat in a row on Aston Villa.

Dean Smith’s side are short on confidence and got off to a disastrous start with Matt Cash failing to clear a long ball and Armstrong smashing in a sensational first-time effort from 20 yards.

Villa were a mess in the first half and Southampton could have led by several goals at the break, while the visitors’ Anwar el Ghazi was lucky to avoid a second booking for a blatant dive.

But Villa looked like a new side in the second half with El Ghazi and Emiliano Buendia going close.

They also had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Oriol Romeu pulled Tyrone Mings’ shirt, but they could not find a leveller and the pressure increases on Smith.

Asked if he will be given time to turn round Villa’s form, he said: “I have no idea.

“I have never had any control over that so I never worry about it. I always concentrate on my job day to day and continue to do that.

“I am very confident if given time that we will turn it around with the squad we have got, and the players we have got coming back [from injury].”

Southampton move up to 12th, while Villa remain only three points above the relegation zone before everybody else plays this weekend.

Two teams going in opposite directions?

Villa were six points above Southampton at the start of October - and now sit four points behind them.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints have taken 10 points from four league matches, as many as in their previous 12 games.

It was the archetypal game of two halves on Friday night.

Southampton were first to every ball in the first half, and got in behind the Villa defence time and time again.

Adam Armstrong gave Saints that early lead and then namesake Stuart Armstrong blazed over when unmarked in the box.

Villa players passed around a note from the bench midway through the first half, which returning captain Tyrone Mings hid in his sock, but it did not change much.

El Ghazi had been booked for an early foul on Valentino Livramento and twice rode his luck. First he grabbed Livramento around the shoulders and then dived in the box, but avoided punishment each time.

Saints should have scored more with Emiliano Martinez diving to keep out James Ward-Prowse’s shot.

The second half started in the opposite manner with Villa winning 50-50s and creating chances at will.

They had more shots in the opening eight minutes of the second half (five) as in the first 45 minutes - including two from El Ghazi.

Villa’s bench were furious when the referee did not give a penalty for Romeu’s clear shirt-tug on Mings - with no activity from the video assistant referee either.

They finished with three strikers on the pitch and probably deserved to take a point - but this is now their worst losing run since January to February 2017 in the Championship.

Under-pressure Smith has 15 days until he can start turning things around, with the international break due to start.