Fabian Delph sends message to Aston Villa fans after Southampton thrashing

The captain has apologised for the "disgraceful" first-half performance which led to a 6-1 defeat.

Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph has apologised to travelling fans who witnessed Saturday’s 6-1 thrashing at Southampton, labelling the team’s first-half display a “disgrace”.

Delph was speaking to AVTV after his side shipped five goals in the first 45 minutes at St Mary’s Stadium, with Sadio Mane scoring the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history in two minutes and 56 seconds to put the Saints 3-0 up inside 16 minutes.

Ronald Koeman’s side were 5-1 up at the break after a Shane Long brace and Christian Benteke consolation strike, before Graziano Pelle completed the rout nine minutes from the end with his 16th goal of the season.

The performance was in stark contrast to the recent showings Villa have put in under Tim Sherwood and skipper Delph did not mince his words when speaking after the match.

"I’ve just got to apologise to the travelling fans,” he said. “That's the only thing I feel that I need to say. They’ve come a long way to come and watch a disgraceful first 45 minutes.

"We came in at half time to try and put the first half behind us. I thought we showed a bit more fight and heart in the second half but that wasn't the Aston Villa that they've been watching for the past six or seven weeks.

"Come Monday morning we'll put it behind us and focus on the next game.”

The thrashing did not cost Villa too much in the end, however, as Sherwood’s side secured their Premier League status for another season just two hours later following Hull’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham.

Nevertheless, with the FA Cup final against Arsenal taking place in the two weeks’ time, the players and fans alike will be hoping that Saturday lunchtime’s display was only a blip.

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