Aston Villa 2-4 Southampton

Dusan Tadic scored twice as Southampton escaped with three points at Aston Villa.

Shane Long headed in on a quarter-hour before squaring the ball to Dusan Tadic who made it 2-0.

Ashley Westood pulled one back for the hosts, but Tadic doubled the lead from the edge of the box.

Westwood fired in his second in the 85th minute making for a nervy finish for the visitors, which was made marginally easier when Sadio Mane scored in injury time.

Aston Villa, who was relegated last weekend, was bombarded by boos in a hostile home environment from start to finish.

Flying high

Despite four goals from Southampton, the visitors hardly looked in total control and it appeared the only thing reaching full flight were the paper airplanes, which read “Proud history. What future?”, tossed onto the pitch by Villa supporters in protest throughout the match.

Southampton had numerous opportunities to see off their opponent after the restart as Jay Rodriguez’s attempt from close was blocked whilst Long and Steven Davis saw chances saved by American Brad Guzan all inside an hour.

Though Tadic’s second of the day proved vital as Westwood drew the hosts within 2-3 five minutes from full-time when his right-footed shot found the far corner.

Aston Villa by no means laid down after falling behind 2-0 and Rudy Gestede came close to equalising but his header flew over the bar five minutes before Southampton’s third goal.

It was the sixth time this season that Aston Villa, who owns the Premier League’s worst defensive record, conceded at least four goals in a match and the second time they’ve done so in April.

In their own words

Aston Villa caretaker manager Eric Black:

“We’re professional people and we have to continue to do it under whatever circumstances  they throw at us, so we’ll continue to prepare the players and see what happens.

“I purely focus on the game and that’s all I’m trying to do is work with the players on the pitch and try and make us as resilient as we can and be competitive. Though what surrounds it is what it is unfortunately.”

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman:

“Pity the two goals conceded, first of the all the first one because it’s right before halftime and the difference between the result 2-1 or 2-nil up.

“We controlled the game – we had good ball possession but finally the score wasn’t what we saw on the pitch because we were by far the better team.

“They are in a very difficult situation. The fans are against the team and against the players and it was a strange atmosphere in the stadium but okay, you have to do your job and that was the message I gave to the players.”

Southampton: Forster, Bertrand, Fonte, Van Dijk, Cedric, Romeu, Davis, Wanyama (Clasie 46), Tadic, Rodriguez (Mane 70), Long.
Unused subs: Stekelenburg, Yoshida, Martina, Ward-Prowse, Pelle.
Bookings: None.
Goals: Long (15), Tadic (39, 71), Mane (94).

Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Richards (Toner 46), Lescott, Cissokho, Sanchez (Grealish 68), Westwood, Gueye, Bacuna, Ayew (Gestede 59), Sinclair.
Unused subs: Veretout, Gil, Bunn, Lyden.
Bookings: Hutton (58), Gueye (83)
Goals: Westwood (45+1, 85).

Everton 1-1 Southampton

Sadio Mane rescued Southampton a draw at Everton.

Defender Ramiro Funes Mori put the hosts ahead after the restart when his shot deflected off Ryan Bertrand.

But Mane cancelled out the goal when he pounced on a loose ball in the box a quarter-hour from full-time.

Southampton remains in seventh on 51 points with four games left as it chases a spot in next season’s Europa League.

The Toffes missed a chance to capitalise on a rare error from Fraser Forster in the early stages when he failed to hold onto a cross from a free kick.

Jose Fonte then got an important block in on Kevin Mirallas’ effort on 18 minutes, which was headed on target.

Southampton’s Dusan Tadic volley missed the bar moments later before the wide-man tested Joel Robles, who was the busier of the two keepers, from distance.

The visitors finished the first half with a flurry of chances as Mane hit the side netting whilst Bertrand free kick was palmed away.

Shane Long’s header then struck the far post as he attacked a corner kick in added time.

Against the run of play, Funes Mori turned in his second attempt giving Everton a 1-0 lead in the 68th minute.

Tadic then broke into the box before the ball was deflected off his knee and towards Mane, who poked in the equaliser.

Southampton nearly took the lead two minutes later but Long was unable to connect with substitute Jay Rodriguez.

Everton: Robles, Ovideo, Stones, Funes Mori, Coleman (Connolly 54), Osman (c), Gibson (Davies 83), Besic, Mirallas, Deulofeu (Barkley 64), Kone.
Unused subs: Howard, Niasse, Pienaar, Lukaku.
Booking: Gibson (42).
Goal: Funes Mori (68).

Southampton: Forster, Bertrand, Fonte (c) (Yoshida 38), Van Dijk, Martina, Clasie, Wanyama (Rodriguez 72), Tadic, Mane, Long, Pelle (Davis 64).
Unused subs: Stekelenburg, Cedric, Romeu, Ward-Prowse.
Booking: Rodriguez (84).
Goal: Mane (76).

Southampton 3-1 Newcastle

Southampton defeated relegation threatened Newcastle 3-1 at St Mary’s in the Barclays Premier League.

First-half goals from Shane Long and Graziano Pelle gave the hosts a deserved lead and Victor Wanyama added a third after halftime.

Andros Townsend’s 65th minute goal made for an interesting finish but the result keeps Newcastle six points from safety with six matches remaining.

Southampton held firm in its efforts to return to the Europa League next season and is within three points of Manchester United, who has a game in hand, and an automatic place.

Pelle nearly opened the scoring on two minutes from a corner kick, but his header was saved by Karl Darlow.

The hosts were rewarded moments later as Long broke past four defenders following a one-two in the midfield with Pelle before rolling the ball past the keeper.

In a rare first-half occurrence, Ayoze Perez broke into the Southampton box in search of an immediate response but Jose Fonte blocked the attempt from reaching goal.

Newcastle twice put its keeper under duress in a span of four minutes with Darlow having to clean up mistakes following soft back passes.

Jordy Clasie then saw his curling free kick from a tight angle go narrowly beyond the far post in the 21st minute whilst Dusan Tadic had an effort prevented from reaching its target.

Though Pelle made it 2-0 seven minutes from halftime after taking advantage of Daryl Janmaat’s slip up in the midfield, which freed Tadic down the left and allowed the Serbian to play a ball into the box.

Southampton stayed on the front foot in the second half and grabbed a third goal when Victor Wanyama scored from a rebound on 55 minutes.

But down 3-0, Newcastle awoke and forced Fraser Forster into two saves just seconds apart.

Andros Townsend gave the visitors something to play for over the final half hour when he turned in a left-footed effort from distance.

Southampton’s win was highlighted by the return of Jay Rodriguez after a six month layoff from injury, who replaced Tadic in the 84th minute.

Southampton: Forster, Bertrand, van Dijk, Fonte, Martina, Clasie (Romeu 77), Wanyama, Mane, Long (Ward-Prowse 60), Tadic (Rodriguez 84), Pelle.
Unused subs: Stekelenburg, Soares, Yoshida, Austin.
Bookings: None.
Goals: Long (4), Pelle (38), Wanyama (55).

Newcastle: Darlow, Janmaat (de Jong 48), Taylor (Lascelles 46), Mbemba, Anita, Sissoko, Shelvey, Townsend, Winjaldum, Perez (Cisse 70), Mitrovic.
Unused subs: Woodman, Dummett, Obertan, Tiote,
Bookings: None.
Goals: Townsend (65).