Aston Villa fans react on Twitter to Leandro Bacuna's midfield performance at Southampton

The Dutchman started on the wing as the visitors fell to a 2-1 defeat in their Capital One Cup fourth-round tie.

Aston Villa began the post-Tim Sherwood era with another defeat on Wednesday night, as they were beaten 2-1 at Southampton in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.

Villa had Kevin MacDonald in caretaker charge for the match after Sherwood’s sacking three days earlier and the development coach made five changes to the team that suffered a 2-1 home loss to Swansea City on Saturday.

Joleon Lescott, Idrissa Gana and team captain Micah Richards were all left out of the squad, while Jordan Ayew and Jack Grealish dropped to the bench, leaving Jose Angel Crespo, Ashley Westwood, Jordan Amavi, Carlos Sanchez and the fit-again Ciaran Clark to take their places in the starting XI.

The new-look line-up proceeded to dominate the first-half but were made to pay for spurned chances from Rudy Gestede and Leandro Bacuna six minutes after the break when the hosts opened the scoring through Maya Yoshida’s low drive.

MacDonald’s men pushed for an equaliser but fell 2-0 down to a Graziano Pelle strike with 13 minutes left, as Scott Sinclair’s stoppage-time penalty after Jordan Ayew was brought down in the box proved nothing more than a consolation goal.

Nevertheless, there were some positives for the visitors to take from the match, with the performance of Bacuna being one of them.

After being used at right-back for most of Sherwood’s reign and in a defensive midfield role against Swansea, the versatile Dutchman started on the wing at St Mary’s and proved much more impactful in a more advanced position.

As well as coming close to opening the scoring in the 35th-minute with a powerful shot, the 24-year-old showed plenty of flashes going forward and Villa seemed to lose some momentum when both he and Jordan Amavi were replaced by Jordan Ayew and Jack Grealish just after the hour.

It remains to be seen whether his performance was enough to earn him another start for Monday night’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur, but after his largely disappointing start to the season, the claret and blue faithful on Twitter certainly seemed encouraged by his midfield run-out.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch