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Southampton stunned by free-scoring Villa

ESPN staff
December 4, 2013 « Man Utd want Football League B team | Chartbeat test »
Fabian Delph lashes home to give Aston Villa victory against Southampton © PA Photos
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Fabian Delph's 25-yard piledriver ensured Aston Villa ended Southampton's unbeaten home record by winning a thrilling match 3-2 at St Mary's.

Gabriel Agbonlahor's early goal had seen Villa lead in the first half but the match exploded into life in the second half as Jay Rodriquez nodded the Saints level just three minutes after the restart.

Libor Kozak briefly restored Villa's lead with a header just after the hour before Dani Osvaldo brought the scores level again with a powerful headed effort of his own from a Rickie Lambert flick on.

But with 10 minutes to go, Southampton's defence uncharacteristically gave Delph room to run at them and he took full advantage with a rising effort which flew into the top corner to move Villa into the top half of the table.

Swansea moved up to 11th in the table with what turned into a one-sided 3-0 victory against Newcastle in Wales. A poor first half at the Liberty Stadium was brought to life in stoppage time when Tim Krul weakly parried a shot straight into the path of Nathan Dyer, who volleyed home emphatically from eight yards.

Midway through the second half, Swansea took a two-goal lead as Jonjo Shelvey burst clear of Newcastle's high defensive line and when his shot was blocked by Tim Krul, it ricocheted off Mathieu Debuchy and trickled over the Newcastle defender's own line. Shelvey did get his name on the scoresheet soon after, though, with a glorious 25-yard chip. Despite the setback, Newcastle still find themselves seventh in the table.

Meanwhile, Stoke and Cardiff played out a goalless draw at the Britannia Stadium, with the only moment of note coming when Peter Crouch was wrongly booked for a push by Charlie Adam on Fraizer Campbell - Adam was already on a booking and would have been sent off but for referee Michael Oliver's case of mistaken identity.

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