Southampton secured their first league victory of the season thanks to four second-half goals against Aston Villa.

Villa, looking for a first away win since January, took the lead through a Darren Bent toe poke from two yards.

Rickie Lambert levelled when he found the bottom corner and Nathaniel Clyne put Saints ahead by neatly finishing a fine Gaston Ramirez pass.

Nigel Adkins on Saints' first win

Jason Puncheon's effort went in via defender Ciaran Clark and Lambert then added the fourth from the penalty spot.

It was a stylish win and Southampton's first points of the campaign will give Nigel Adkins some breathing space after four Premier League matches without a victory had led to headlines linking former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez with the Englishman's job.

Adkins, though, insisted he and his team should be judged on their performance against Villa, rather than their opening matches against last season's top three sides, and the raucous cheers at full-time suggested the home fans were more than willing to give Adkins a stay of execution.

Analysis

"The chant 'there's only one Nigel Adkins' was echoing around St Mary's after their terrific second-half performance here. What a day for Saints as they get lift-off in the Premier League. Southampton are in business. What on earth did Adkins say to his players at the break? They struggled in the first half."

Regardless of their manager's pre-match proclamations, Southampton's four defeats - during which they had conceded a record-equalling 14 goals - did seem to weigh heavily on his mind.

The Southampton boss gave 20-year-old summer signing Paulo Gazzaniga his league debut in goal, with the Argentine replacing stalwart Kelvin Davis.

Gazzaniga, a £2m purchase from Gillingham, could not have wished for an easier introduction as neither goalkeeper was called into action until Brad Guzan held onto an Adam Lallana overhead kick in the 30th minute.

Last year's Championship runners-up were the superior side in the first half, with the triumvirate of Lallana, debutant Ramirez and Steven Davis combining well to out-pass their opponents in midfield and create a couple of half-chances for Lambert.

But for all their creativity, lackadaisical defending once again proved to be Saints' downfall as Puncheon clumsily lost possession on the edge of the box for an error which led to Bent's first Premier League goal since February.

Villa not good enough - Lambert

Villa's record signing pounced to direct a Stephen Ireland miskick beyond a helpless Gazzaniga, ensuring the visitors went into the break ahead.

Adkins introduced Frazer Richardson at half-time, while Villa boss Paul Lambert replaced Ireland with Ashley Westwood.

The change seemed to initially pay dividends for Villa as Christian Benteke sent Bent free - only an excellent save from Gazzaniga prevented the striker from scoring a second.

Benteke went agonisingly close with a header from the subsequent corner, but that was as good as it got for the visitors as Saints scored twice in five minutes.

A beautiful first touch from Lambert helped the striker evade three defenders to squeeze the ball beyond Guzan for his third of the season, and shortly afterwards Clyne had the St Mary's faithful in full voice.

Match facts

  • There have been 29 goals scored in the six competitive matches involving Southampton so far this season.
  • Darren Bent's goal means he has now scored against 27 of the 32 opponents he has faced in the Premier League.

A delightful pass from £12m signing Ramirez set the youngster free and the defender's cool finish would have impressed England Under-21s coach Stuart Pearce in the stands.

Confidence was oozing through the home side as Ramirez caught the eye with wonderful passing and a third goal came in the 71st minute when Lambert put Puncheon through, his shot clipping Villa defender Clarke on the way into the net.

Southampton concluded the match - and leaped off the bottom of the table - when impressive substitute Emmanuel Mayuka was felled by Guzan, allowing Lambert to score his second of the match and his 26th penalty for the club.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Southampton

  • 12 Gazzaniga
  • 02 Clyne Booked
  • 03 Yoshida
  • 06 Fonte
  • 13 Fox (Richardson - 46' )
  • 04 Schneiderlin
  • 08 S Davis (Ward-Prowse - 79' )
  • 10 Ramirez
  • 20 Lallana
  • 42 Puncheon (Mayuka - 74' )
  • 07 Lambert

Substitutes

  • 01 K Davis
  • 22 Richardson
  • 25 Seaborne
  • 16 Ward-Prowse
  • 21 Guly
  • 09 Rodriguez
  • 24 Mayuka

Aston Villa

  • 22 Guzan Booked
  • 04 Vlaar Booked
  • 06 Clark
  • 30 Lichaj Booked (Bennett - 68' )
  • 34 Lowton
  • 07 Ireland (Westwood - 46' )
  • 08 El Ahmadi
  • 25 Bannan (Agbonlahor - 68' )
  • 09 Bent
  • 14 Holman
  • 20 Benteke

Substitutes

  • 01 Given
  • 27 Bennett
  • 10 N'Zogbia
  • 15 Westwood
  • 11 Agbonlahor
  • 21 Bowery
  • 26 Weimann
Ref: Moss
Att: 30,713

Match Stats

Shots

12 8

On target

5 2

Corners

1 4

Fouls

5 13

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:21 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +4:17

Assist by Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton) from centre of penalty area.

90:00 +4:17 Goal scored

Goal! - Rickie Lambert - Southamp'n 4 - 1 A Villa Power penalty taken right-footed by Rickie Lambert (Southampton) (bottom-left of goal), scored.Southampton 4-1 Aston Villa.

90:00 +3:29 Booking

Booking Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa) booked for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +3:18

Foul by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa) on Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton).

90:00 +2:44

Header by Darren Bent (Aston Villa) from centre of penalty area (6 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

90:00 +1:57

Shot by Rickie Lambert (Southampton) volleyed right-footed from left channel (35+ yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

90:00 +0:37

Foul by Joe Bennett (Aston Villa) on Adam Lallana (Southampton). Free kick crossed left-footed by Gaston Ramirez (Southampton) from right wing, resulting in ball out of play. Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

88:56

Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

88:21

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) to centre, clearance by Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

88:07

Cross by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa), clearance by Gaston Ramirez (Southampton).

87:30

Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton) caught offside. Free kick taken left-footed by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa) from own half, resulting in open play.

86:05

Attacking throw-in by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

84:44

Shot by Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton) left-footed from left side of penalty area (12 yards), comfortable save (caught) by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

83:35

Shot by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) curled right-footed from left channel (18 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

80:09

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) on Christian Benteke (Aston Villa). Free kick taken right-footed by Darren Bent (Aston Villa) from right channel (20 yards), over the bar. Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

78:22

Free kick taken right-footed by Maya Yoshida (Southampton) from own half, passed.

78:22 Substitution

Substitution Southampton substitution: Steven Davis replaced by James Ward-Prowse (tactical).

78:05

Foul by Darren Bent (Aston Villa) on Jose Fonte (Southampton).

77:51

Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

77:28

Shot by Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton) right-footed from right channel (20 yards), missed right.

76:05

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) on Frazer Richardson (Southampton). Free kick taken right-footed by Jose Fonte (Southampton) from own half, resulting in open play.

75:56

Attacking throw-in by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

75:35

Foul by Emmanuel Mayuka (Southampton) on Joe Bennett (Aston Villa). Free kick taken left-footed by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa) from own half, resulting in open play.

74:43

Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) on Adam Lallana (Southampton). Free kick crossed right-footed by Adam Lallana (Southampton) from left wing, clearance by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

74:28

Attacking throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

73:20

Free kick taken left-footed by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa) from own half, resulting in open play.

73:20 Substitution

Substitution Southampton substitution: Jason Puncheon replaced by Emmanuel Mayuka (tactical).

73:16

Gaston Ramirez (Southampton) caught offside.

71:22

The assist for the goal came from Jason Puncheon. Ciaran Clark gets a block in.

71:22 Goal scored

Goal! - Ciaran Clark - Southamp'n 3 - 1 A Villa Ciaran Clark puts the ball into his own goal from 6 yards. Southampton 3-1 Aston Villa.

71:22

Shot by Jason Puncheon.

70:19

Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

69:42

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) to centre, clearance by Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

69:19

Adam Lallana (Southampton) caught offside. Free kick taken left-footed by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa) from own half, resulting in open play.

68:17

Shot by Jason Puncheon (Southampton) curled left-footed from left side of penalty area (12 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

68:01

Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa) on Gaston Ramirez (Southampton). Free kick taken right-footed by Frazer Richardson (Southampton) from right channel, passed.

67:06

Attacking throw-in by Frazer Richardson (Southampton).

67:06 Substitution

Substitution Aston Villa substitution: Barry Bannan replaced by Gabriel Agbonlahor (tactical).

67:06 Substitution

Substitution Aston Villa substitution: Eric Lichaj replaced by Joe Bennett (tactical).

66:16

Attacking throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

66:01

Attacking throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

65:00 Booking

Booking Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton) booked for unsporting behaviour.

62:51

Assist (pass) by Gaston Ramirez (Southampton) from left channel.

62:51 Goal scored

Goal! - Nathaniel Clyne - Southamp'n 2 - 1 A Villa Goal by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton) right-footed (low centre of goal) from centre of penalty area (12 yards).Southampton 2-1 Aston Villa.

62:17

Attacking throw-in by Frazer Richardson (Southampton).

61:54

Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa) on Gaston Ramirez (Southampton). Free kick taken right-footed by Jose Fonte (Southampton) from own half, passed.

60:26

Cross by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa), comfortable save (caught) by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

59:19

Shot by Adam Lallana (Southampton) left-footed from left channel (20 yards), over the bar. Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

57:10

Assist (cross) by Adam Lallana (Southampton) from right wing.

57:10 Goal scored

Goal! - Rickie Lambert - Southamp'n 1 - 1 A Villa goal by Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right-footed (top-left of goal) from centre of penalty area (18 yards).Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa.

57:08

Cross by Adam Lallana (Southampton),

55:37

Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

54:25

Defending throw-in by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa).

53:54

Defending throw-in by Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa).

53:30

Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

52:26

Free kick taken right-footed by Frazer Richardson (Southampton) from right wing, resulting in open play.

52:26 Booking

Booking Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa) booked for unsporting behaviour.

52:16

Foul by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa) on Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton).

50:46

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton) from own half, resulting in open play.

49:28

Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

49:19

Attacking throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

48:51

Jason Puncheon (Southampton) caught offside. Free kick taken left-footed by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa) from own half, resulting in open play.

47:06

Shot by Darren Bent (Aston Villa) left-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), save (tipped round post) by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton). Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Barry Bannan (Aston Villa) to centre, clearance by Jose Fonte (Southampton). Outswinging corner from left by-line taken left-footed by Barry Bannan (Aston Villa) to centre, header by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) from centre of penalty area (12 yards), missed left. Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

46:54

Attacking throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

46:20

Attacking throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

45:22

Defending throw-in by Maya Yoshida (Southampton).

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Ashley Westwood joins the action as a substitute, replacing Stephen Ireland.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Frazer Richardson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Daniel Fox.

45:00 +1:04 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +0:26

Attacking throw-in by Daniel Fox (Southampton).

44:45

Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

44:31

Cross by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa), clearance by Maya Yoshida (Southampton).

43:49

Defending throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

42:46

Free kick crossed right-footed by Adam Lallana (Southampton) from left channel, clearance by Darren Bent (Aston Villa).

42:46 Booking

Booking Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) booked for unsporting behaviour.

42:32

Foul by Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) on Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

42:11

Defending throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

41:48

Defending throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

41:09

Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

40:46

Darren Bent (Aston Villa) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Maya Yoshida (Southampton) from own half, resulting in open play.

40:00

Defending throw-in by Daniel Fox (Southampton).

39:39

Attacking throw-in by Daniel Fox (Southampton).

39:31

Cross by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), clearance by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

38:00

Cross by Brett Holman (Aston Villa), comfortable save (caught) by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

37:41

Attacking throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

37:35

Attacking throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

35:06

Assist by Stephen Ireland (Aston Villa) from left channel.

35:06 Goal scored

Goal! - Darren Bent - Southamp'n 0 - 1 A Villa Goal by Darren Bent (Aston Villa) right-footed (bottom-left of goal) from right side of six-yard box (6 yards).Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa.

35:06

Shot by Stephen Ireland (Aston Villa) right-footed from left channel (18 yards), resulting in open play.

34:05

Adam Lallana (Southampton) caught offside. Free kick taken left-footed by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa) from own half, resulting in open play.

32:33

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Adam Lallana (Southampton) to centre, clearance by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa).

31:44

Shot by Barry Bannan (Aston Villa) volleyed left-footed from left channel (20 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

31:07

Shot by Adam Lallana (Southampton) overhead kick right-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), comfortable save (caught) by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

30:14

Foul by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa) on Adam Lallana (Southampton). Free kick taken right-footed by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) from left wing, resulting in open play.

29:50

Attacking throw-in by Daniel Fox (Southampton).

29:33

Defending throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

28:52

Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

28:00

Foul by Brett Holman (Aston Villa) on Adam Lallana (Southampton). Free kick taken left-footed by Daniel Fox (Southampton) from left wing, resulting in open play.

27:46

Cross by Adam Lallana (Southampton), clearance by Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa).

25:45

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) on Stephen Ireland (Aston Villa). Free kick taken left-footed by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa) from own half, passed.

24:56

Attacking throw-in by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa).

24:32

Cross by Gaston Ramirez (Southampton), clearance by Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa).

23:18

Foul by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa) on Jason Puncheon (Southampton). Free kick taken right-footed by Jose Fonte (Southampton) from own half, resulting in open play.

22:21

Attacking throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

21:58

Defending throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

20:40

Attacking throw-in by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa).

19:59

Cross by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), comfortable save (caught) by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

19:34

Attacking throw-in by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa).

18:52

Shot by Gaston Ramirez (Southampton) left-footed from left channel (25 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

18:18

Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

17:38

Attacking throw-in by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa).

17:15

Defending throw-in by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa).

16:51

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) on Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa). Free kick taken right-footed by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa) from own half, passed.

15:05

Foul by Daniel Fox (Southampton) on Brett Holman (Aston Villa). Free kick crossed left-footed by Barry Bannan (Aston Villa) from right channel, clearance by Jose Fonte (Southampton).

14:24

Weak shot by Steven Davis (Southampton) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), missed right. Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

13:38

Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

12:39

Defending throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

12:04

Goal kick taken long by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

11:24

Attacking throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

10:15

Weak shot by Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right-footed from left side of penalty area (18 yards), over the bar. Goal kick taken short by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

7:54

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) on Jose Fonte (Southampton). Free kick taken right-footed by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton) from own half, resulting in open play.

6:42

Cross by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), comfortable save (caught) by Bradley Guzan (Aston Villa).

6:16

Darren Bent (Aston Villa) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Jose Fonte (Southampton) from own half, passed.

5:51

Attacking throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

5:09

Attacking throw-in by Daniel Fox (Southampton).

4:53

Attacking throw-in by Daniel Fox (Southampton).

4:23

Goal kick taken long by Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton).

4:01

Defending throw-in by Daniel Fox (Southampton).

3:11

Defending throw-in by Daniel Fox (Southampton).

2:21

Attacking throw-in by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

2:08

Cross by Jason Puncheon (Southampton), clearance by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

1:34

Defending throw-in by Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa).

1:16

Attacking throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

0:54

Attacking throw-in by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

0:31

Attacking throw-in by Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa).

0:10

Rickie Lambert (Southampton) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) from own half, passed.

0:00

The game gets underway.

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