Philippe Coutinho gave a masterclass and Danny Ings offered Southampton a poignant reminder of his skills as Aston Villa’s revival continued in style with a 4-0 hammer at Villa Park.
ngs, who joined Villa from Southampton for £25million in the summer, scored one goal and made two while Coutinho scored once, requested an assist and could have scored a hat-trick as Steven Gerrard’s side went on to back-to-back victories.
Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz scored Villa’s other goals in their biggest win since beating Liverpool 7-2 in October 2020, while it ended the Saints’ five-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster made key saves from Watkins, Coutinho and Ings to avoid an even worse defeat.
Southampton wore their change of yellow and blue kit to show their support for Ukraine and Saints fans hung up scarves in those colors to greet their team before kick-off.
But it was the Villa fans who cheered as their side took the lead in the ninth minute.
Watkins turned Oriol Romeu with ease before calmly rolling a shot home after Ings gave the pass.
It was the 100th goal Watkins had scored in the league, including 10 on loan to non-League club Weston-super-Mare, and his seventh this season.
In a rare break, Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong curled up in an inch, trying to find his seat.
Villa’s Jacob Ramsey, unmarked at the far post, could only head wide from John McGinn’s corner.
Watkins should have doubled Villa’s lead in the 31st minute. Coutinho delivered the perfect through ball, but his shot was deflected by Forster.
Southampton came closest to scoring in the 33rd minute. Valentino Livramento crossed but Che Adams could only go in with his head.
Romain Perraud drove too far for the visitors, who regretted their missed chances as Villa continued to dominate.
Coutinho desperately got close twice and in between set up the second goal.
First, Forster blocked his shot with his right leg after Watkins pulled the ball back from the left.
Then the Brazilian agonizingly rolled the ball wide after Watkins’ headed flick sent it wide.
In between, Coutinho’s superb movement overcame the offside trap as he latched on to Calum Chambers’ chip and unselfishly found Luiz in the 44th minute to head home.
Villa sealed the game with two more goals within nine minutes of the restart.
Coutinho spun one way and then the other before firing through Forster’s legs in the 52nd minute after Ings sliced the ball back.
Two minutes later, Ings scored with a first shot, which was deflected by Forster into the far corner of Matty Cash’s cross.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/aston-villa-see-off-sorry-southampton-with-philippe-coutinho-on-form-41415070.html Aston Villa beat Southampton with Philippe Coutinho in form