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Southampton 2-1 Aston Villa: Graziano Pelle volley seals win over Villans

Capital One Cup fourth round

Published 28/10/2015

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Ciaran Clark of Aston Villa challenges Gaston Ramirez of Southampton during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton v Aston Villa at St Mary's Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Ciaran Clark of Aston Villa challenges Gaston Ramirez of Southampton during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton v Aston Villa at St Mary's Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Maya Yoshida of Southampton celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton and Aston Villa at St Mary's Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Scott Sinclair of Aston Villa scores a consolation goal from the penalty spot during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton v Aston Villa at St Mary's Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Southampton's Maya Yoshida scores his side's first goal of the game during the Capital One Cup, Fourth Round match at St Mary's, Southampton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday October 28, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Southampton. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Southampton's Graziano Pelle (left) scores his side's second goal of the game during the Capital One Cup, Fourth Round match at St Mary's, Southampton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday October 28, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Southampton. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Southampton's Graziano Pelle (second right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Capital One Cup, Fourth Round match at St Mary's, Southampton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday October 28, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Southampton. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Jordan Amavi of Aston Villa is upended by Graziano Pelle of Southampton during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton v Aston Villa at St Mary's Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman

Southampton progressed to the Capital One Cup quarter-finals with a 2-1 victory that added further misery to struggling Aston Villa's already sorry season.

Despite an often disjointed performance, classy goals from Maya Yoshida and Graziano Pelle proved more than enough to defeat clearly demoralised opposition and to build on the promising form of recent weeks, even amid Scott Sinclair's stoppage-time penalty.

Southampton had made seven changes from the team which drew 1-1 at Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday and it repeatedly showed.

That James Ward-Prowse, Steven Caulker and Oriol Romeu were among those recalled to Ronald Koeman's starting XI said much about the strength of their squad but instead of the often hoped-for hunger of fringe players they lacked cohesion.

Villa far from thrived in their first fixture since manager Tim Sherwood was sacked and Kevin MacDonald was placed in temporary charge but they at least showed incremental improvement and were the only team to pose a threat throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Three goalscoring opportunities fell to Rudy Gestede but the striker twice headed harmlessly wide and once at goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, who saved then as routinely as he did Leandro Bacuna's near-post shot towards half-time.

It was defender Yoshida who surprisingly gave Southampton the lead six minutes into the second half.

Exchanging passes with Ward-Prowse having run from defence, Yoshida approached Villa's penalty area with the composure of a seasoned striker before shooting with his left foot into the bottom right corner beyond goalkeeper Brad Guzan's reach.

As is so often the case with a struggling side, much of the confidence Villa had had gradually disappeared, and prompted questions about why the experienced Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott were rested.

Substitute Jack Grealish, who benefitted more than any other from Sherwood's brief reign, soon miskicked on the edge of the area but Gabriel Agbonlahor collected the loose ball and tested Stekelenburg with a curling shot.

If they were to have any chance of avoiding defeat the next goal was essential, but Pelle's soon followed and ended the fixture as a contest.

Substitute Dusan Tadic had both time and space on the left wing, and with Pelle equally free in the penalty area he sent a perfectly-weighted pass into the striker's path which he volleyed with his right foot beyond Guzan and into the bottom left corner.

Deep into stoppage time, Virgil van Dijk clumsily fouled substitute Jordan Ayew in the area to allow Sinclair to score from the resultant penalty, but even that barely felt a consolation.

Online Editors

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