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The home game against Aston Villa should have been a banker for Saints, but a run of defeats, one of them heavy, cast a mood of pessimism around St. Mary’s. There was no need for that, especially as Fonte returned to the side, and an examination of the visitors’ recent record shows them to be truly awful. The opening minutes were proof enough, but Southampton’s forwards couldn’t apply the killer touch needed to finish off their many opportunities. At the other end it seemed inconceivable that Villa would manage a goal with their first half approach, but they were ahead at the break after Saints managed to let their only corner of the half fall at the feet of Lescott in the six yard box. With just five points to their credit (three of them gained further along the south coast on the opening day) the visitors were desperate for a result and they now had something to defend, although they also continued to have a fair bit of luck on their side as Saints continued both to create and spurn chances. Then Ronnie made his first move from the bench on 63 minutes: Wanyama, who may or may not be injured, or even interested any more, replaced by Romeu, and Tadić replaced not by Long but Juanmi Sanchez. Both seemed odd choices at the time, but it could be that the manager has got his mojo back as both were successful – first Juanmi created a shooting opportunity for himself which Guzan saved before Romeu opened his scoring account for the club by getting on the end of Ward-Prowse’s corner for a goal that bore an odd similarity to the game’s opener. Villa had enjoyed more possession after the interval but they were unable to threaten a winner and the introduction of a third substitute (Long) failed to complete the job for Saints. Not a great day at the office, but there seemed to be an odd feeling of relief that we hadn’t lost at home to the bottom club.

LSSC Man of the Match: Steven Davis, and this time he wasn’t substituted.

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