SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Stuart Armstrong of Southampton celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Aston Villa at St Mary's Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s mid-table Southampton side picked up their tenth league win of the campaign after comfortably dispatching Dean Smith’s Aston Villa team by a 2-0 scoreline. The Saints were utterly dominant in the fixture right from the off and allowed the Villans minimal opportunities to enter Alex McCarthy’s box. Goals from Shane Long and Stuart Armstrong were enough for the Saints to go level on points with Arsenal.

Southampton Players Rated In Comfortable Win Vs Aston Villa

Alex McCarthy – 6

The Southampton shot-stopper has his defence to thank for not having that much to deal with throughout the ninety against Villa. Made a couple of key stops along the way though.

James Ward-Prowse – 7

The versatile full-back was a nuisance down the right flank, as he got forward whenever the opportunity presented itself. Played a couple of neat crosses into the area as well.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 22: Shane Long of Southampton embraces Alex McCarthy of Southampton after their sides victory during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Aston Villa at St Mary’s Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Jack Stephens – 7

The experienced centre-half stood his ground whenever he was required to and offered the necessary presence when the Villans tried to press. Didn’t allow Samatta too much space.

Jan Bednarek – 7

Like his defensive partner, the centre-half was a force from any set-piece situations. Managed to control most of the Villa attacks due to his intuitive positioning and overall quality.

Ryan Bertrand – 6.5

The former Chelsea full-back could’ve had a much more productive evening, had he not left his crossing boots at home. Despite playing a couple of neat balls, wasn’t able to step up to the plate.

Stuart Armstrong – 7

Got himself a goal in the late stages of the game, but did well to link-up play overall. Could’ve had a couple more on the night, had it not been for the Saints’ misfortune in front of goal.

Will Smallbone – 8

The youngster found out just this morning that he’d be starting today, but put in a remarkably composed and calculated display in the middle of the park. Highly impressive on his debut.

Pierre Hojbjerg – 7

Typically controlling in the middle of the park, and ran the show with his passing as well as movement. Played in some neat balls to the strikers and was unfortunate not to get an assist.

Moussa Djenepo – 7.5

The speedster put in a solid display down the flank as his pace and wing-play were too much for the Villa defenders to deal with right from the start. Picked up a vital assist as well.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 22: Alex McCarthy of Southampton punches the ball during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Aston Villa at St Mary’s Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Danny Ings – 6

The Englishman put up one of his worse displays in a Southampton shirt on the night. Could’ve probably had a hat-trick had he taken all the chances that were presented to him.

Shane Long – 8

The experienced Premier League striker came up with his best performance in recent history on the night. Even managed to score one of the more peculiar goals we’ll see in the league this season.

Substitutes

Che Adams – 6

Was the man who was fortunate enough to get that second Southampton goal on the night finally.

Michael Obafemi – NA

Didn’t have time to make an impact.

Oriol Romeu – NA

Didn’t have time to make an impact.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.