Four key passes, 13 crosses: Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic at the centre of affairs

St Marys Southampton

Serbian playmaker Dusan Tadic was once again at the centre of Southampton's attacking efforts at Aston Villa on Monday night.

Nathaniel Clyne rescued a point for Southampton as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Monday night, despite keeping the home side on the back foot for most of the game.

Southampton conceded their first Premier League goal in 439 minutes when Gabriel Agbonlahor capitalised on a moment of indecision by Fraser Forster to give Villa the lead just before the half-hour, but Ronald Koeman’s side continued to dominate possession from there.

It still didn’t click for them in the second half, though, and they were fortunate not to fall 2-0 behind in the 78th-minute when Andreas Weimann fired wastefully over the bar from 10 yards out after a swift counter-attack.

The breakthrough finally came nine minutes from the end, however, when Ryan Bertrand’s teed up Clyne to level and keep the Saints second in the table, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Despite the frustrating result, Southampton did look likely for the entire 90 minutes, with Serbian summer signing Dusan Tadic once again at the centre of affairs, providing an impressive 13 crosses on the night – four more than any other player in the Premier League this weekend.

  Total ShotsShot AccTotal Key PassesTotal PassesPass AccTotal CrossesCross AccTotal DribblesDribble AccTouchesDispossessedMins Played
Dusan Tadic 2 50% 4 37 78% 13 38% 1 100% 58 1 90

While the end product wasn’t quite there on this occasion, the £10.9 million man exhibited his pace and trickery on numerous occasions to keep Villa’s defence on their toes, linking up brilliantly with fellow attackers Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle.

With those four key passes, the 26-year-old also moved one ahead of Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas for the league-lead with 39 in 12 games, proving that he just might be the bargain buy of the season.

Villa manager Paul Lambert commented last week how he had attempted to sign Tadic from Twente in January 2013, and the Scot must surely have been lamenting his failed approach upon seeing the midfielder continue to prove his quality against his own side.

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