SOUTHAMPTON, England (NWN) – Adam Armstrong’s opening goal was enough for Southampton to put pressure on manager Dean Smith after thrashing Aston Villa 1-0 in the Premier League on Friday and a fifth straight loss.
Armstrong scored his first goal since the opening day of the season with a shot in the third minute off Emiliano Martinez, when Matty Cash lost a seemingly harmless ball flight.
Both sides then had plenty of chances in a game in which Ralph Hasenhuttle’s Southampton dominated the first half, before Villa threatened a comeback in the second.
Villa striker Danny Ings was not fit to return to Southampton after leaving the club in the off-season, while fellow summer signer Emiliano Buendia had the best chance of equalizing, but scored twice in quick succession after the break. Missed.
Martinez then prevented Southampton from doubling the lead by diving at full stretch to tip a Che Adams header after a free kick in the area.
Striker Ollie Watkins fired a wide with five minutes remaining, which proved to be Villa’s last chance to save a point.
Villa have not scored a single point since their victory at Manchester United on 25 September and could find themselves in the relegation zone after the rest of the weekend with just 10 points from 11 matches.
Southampton temporarily moved up to 12th place with 14 points.
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