Boss Paul Lambert today hailed Villa’s killer instinct after they stunned Southampton to power into the Premier League top 10. The claret and blues’ 3-2 win at St Mary’s last night extended their unbeaten run to five games.
Boss Paul Lambert today hailed Villa’s killer instinct after they stunned Southampton to power into the Premier League top 10.
The claret and blues’ 3-2 win at St Mary’s last night extended their unbeaten run to five games.
They scored with their only shots on target as Gabby Agbonlahor, Libor Kozak and Fabian Delph stunned the Saints.
And Lambert – who dropped Christian Benteke – insisted Villa’s game plan was executed to perfection.
“I thought we were lethal in front of goal," he said, with Villa now 10th. I thought Agbonlahor’s goal was world class. When he’s like that with the speed and the power, not many people catch him.
“The second goal was a terrific header from Kozak and the third goal was worthy of anyone. I thought we should have had a penalty when Benteke goes down. I’m delighted with the lads.
“Southampton haven’t been beaten here and they’ve been on a great run themselves. We had a blow losing Ron (Vlaar) to a calf injury at half time. All credit to the team they were fantastic, resolute. The young lads at the back were fantastic. Going forward I thought we were always a threat and we’ve always got goals in us.”
But Lambert denied it was a smash and grab win despite Southampton’s territorial dominance, with the Saints having 77 per cent possession.
He said: “You show me a stat that wins you a game of football. I’ve had pats on the back in certain games after I’ve been turned over. It’s not what you look for, you look to try and win.
“I thought we deserved to win the game. There’s been times when our team has had loads of the ball and come away with nothing.”
Benteke was dropped after a seven-game goal drought and replaced Kozak in the second half but Lambert dismissed the significance.
He said: “The football club doesn’t revolve around one player. I made a decision I thought was the right call. I’ve got 25 lads who have to be treated the same way. Christian was doing brilliant for me last year, as everybody knows.
“He’s just had a little spell where at this minute he’s probably not hitting the heights he was last year. But I thought when he came on he certainly looked like he was getting back to the powerhouse that he is.”