Adam Armstrong’s early goal helped Southampton continue their Premier League victory on Friday as they inflicted a fifth defeat in a row on Aston Villa.
Adam Armstrong scored the winner with just three minutes on the clock, arrowing a sublime left-footed strike home from the edge of the area. The striker was signed for £15m from Blackburn as a replacement for Danny Ings, who left for Villa for £30m but was missing for this encounter with injury.
But Villa looked like a new side in the second half with El Ghazi and Emiliano Buendia going close.
Aston Villa’s coach, Dean Smith will come under increased pressure after a poor first half led to another loss despite rallying after the interval.
The 50-year-old said: “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 others play this weekend.