23% possession enough for Aston Villa to beat Southampton

Aston Villa proved it isn't how much of the ball you have, but what you do with it that matters against Southampton.

There are thousands of statistics flying about from last night's Premier League games, but one stands out.

Aston Villa beat Southampton despite recording just 23 per cent of possession.

While the home side clearly had the initiative for much of the game, they were always chasing it, after Villa had twice gone ahead through Gabriel Agbonlahor and Libor Kozak.

Jay Rodriguez and Dani Osvaldo pegged the visitors back before Fabian Delph scored a vital late winner.

It condemned Southampton to a third successive defeat, on a frustrating night.

Credit must go to Paul Lambert's side, who completed just 49 per cent of their passes compared to Southampton's 85 per cent.

Midfielder Ashley Westwood touched the ball just 27 times, in comparison to Saints Steven Davis' 143.

It doesn't sound pretty, and it wasn't, but the only statistic which really matters is the scoreline.

Villa were ruthless. They had just three shots on target, but scored with all three, in comparison to Southampton's strike rate of 2/9.

As smash and grabs go, it was impressive. The nearest possession statistic we can recall in comparison is Celtic's 1-0 win over Barcelona last season where they 'shared' just 14% of possession.

Gabby Agbonlahor and Fabian Delph could not have picked a better time to score their first Premier League goals of the season.


image: © ell brown

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