Aston Villa traveled to St. Mary's Stadium to play Southampton today. A win would guarantee safety for the claret and blues, and given their recent good form and Southampton's recent equally bad form a win seemed almost likely. But then this happened:
- Mané - 13'
- Mané - 14'
- Mané - 16'
- Long - 26'
- Long - 38'
And as halftime approached Aston Villa had themselves a 5-0 deficit. A Christian Benteke goal seconds before the whistle made it 5-1, but only a little. The five goals (including the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history) came as a result of a suicidally high defensive line. Villa set up the same way they have for the past few weeks except with Alan Hutton playing left back in place of the (presumably injured) Kieran Richardson.
The first goal saw Ron Vlaar make a mistake that led to Shay Given making a mistake that led to a goal. The second goal saw Ron Vlaar make a mistake. The third goal....
Well, you get the idea. And amazingly, it could have been worse, as Southampton had a goal disallowed on a bad offside call.
The second half was boring and Villa did not, in fact, complete the epic comeback that SkyBet would have given you 500/1 odds on at halftime. In fact, they allowed another goal.
And now onto the quick thoughts:
- Ron Vlaar had one of the worst halves we've seen from a Villa player ever. Just absolutely atrocious.
- Benteke, too, could have scored early and made it 0-1, but he shanked it to the left of the net when he just had to pop it over the keeper. Odd to think what might have happened had Villa taken a quick lead.
- Somehow, Vlaar emerged in one piece after halftime.
- Aston Villa can still be safe today if Hull lose. So... come on you Spurs.