Aston Villa 4-0 Southampton: Player ratings as Coutinho masterclass downs sorry Saints

Aston Villa produced perhaps their best performance of the season so far as they absolutely blew Southampton away to the tune of a 4-0 win in the Premier League on Saturday.

The game got off to a high tempo and Villa found themselves ahead inside eight minutes. Danny Ings found Ollie Watkins, who span away from his defender perfectly before arrowing his strike into Fraser Forster's top corner.

Watkins had an excellent chance to double Villa's advantage on the half-hour mark. Some superb playmaking from Philippe Coutinho put the striker through on goal, but Forster had the last laugh this time as he got his leg in front of the shot.

The closest Southampton came to scoring in the first half was soon after when Tino Livramento's cross was begging to be headed home by Che Adams, but the Scot just couldn't jump high enough to keep his effort down.

Coutinho, who was outstanding in the first 45, nearly had a goal to show for his efforts shortly before the break. Firstly, his powerful strike went just over the bar, before the Barcelona loanee fired straight at Forster from ten yards out.

Instead of scoring, Coutinho went back to assisting. His first-time cross put Douglas Luiz in front of an open goal, and he did not let his fellow countryman down.

It was 2-0 at the break but it should have been 3-0. Coutinho went through on goal but looked to lose his balance and struck wide with one of the final kicks of the half. Finally, six minutes into the second half, the Brazilian did get his goal. He flashed some nice footwork to sell three Southampton defenders before firing through Forster's legs.

Danny Ings made it 4-0 almost immediately after. Matty Cash's cut-back dropped to the feet of the striker and he showed great composure to thunder past the goalkeeper.

Southampton shut up shop after that, largely focusing on defending and limiting the damage, and Villa were more than happy to take their foot off the gas.

Changes in both personnel and formation saw the final stages become a little clunky, but the home fans inside Villa Park didn't care one bit. What a performance.

Aston Villa player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Martinez had a solid game | Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Emiliano Martinez (GK) - 6/10 - Really didn't have much to do but did make a brilliant save to deny Adams after the break.

Matty Cash (RB) - 8/10 - Impressive at the back and a massive threat going forwards. Good work for the fourth.

Calum Chambers (CB) - 7/10 - Played a ridiculous outside-of-the-boot pass for the second goal. Genuinely unreal. Prime Pirlo vibes.

Tyrone Mings (CB) - 7/10 - Had the odd lapse of concentration but generally stayed on top of things.

Ashley Young (LB) - 6/10 - Noticeably struggled against Livramento but used his experience to keep himself afloat. Did look to lose his composure late on, however.

2. Midfielders

Coutinho was outstanding | Eddie Keogh/GettyImages

Douglas Luiz (DM) - 7/10 - Shielded his defence pretty well and showed a nice poacher's instinct to tap home Villa's second.

John McGinn (CM) - 7/10 - Found it hard to get involved in attack in the first half but started driving from deep in the second and played a huge part in the third goal.

Jacob Ramsey (CM) - 7/10 - This wasn't his best game going forwards but Ramsey made up for that by doing the dirty work defensively.

Philippe Coutinho (AM) - 10/10 - My word. Villa were exceptional but Coutinho was on an entirely new level. He destroyed Southampton's back line and could have easily had a hat-trick of goals and another of assists.

3. Forwards

Ings & Watkins celebrate | Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

Ollie Watkins (ST) - 8/10 - An absolutely gorgeous goal and some great old-school target man work.

Danny Ings (ST) - 9/10 - Dropped deeper than Watkins to get involved in the link-up play and Southampton had no idea how to deal with it. He got the assist for the first and netted the fourth well.

4. Substitutes

Morgan Sanson (CM) - 6/10

Leon Bailey (RW) - 6/10

Emiliano Buendia (LW) - 6/10

Southampton player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Forster didn't deserve this | Eddie Keogh/GettyImages

Fraser Forster (GK) - 5/10 - Nowhere near as bad as this scoreline suggests. The sole reason this didn't get towards double-figures.

Tino Livramento (RB) - 3/10 - A real threat in attack but struggled at the back in the first half. Played in a more advanced role after the break.

Jan Bednarek (CB) - 1/10 - Just had absolutely no idea what he was doing from start to finish.

Jack Stephens (CB) - 2/10 - Tormented by Ings and Watkins. There's a reason he's not a regular starter.

Perraud (LB) - 2/10 - Absolutely ruined by Villa's forwards. Cash also had him on strings before he was replaced.

6. Midfielders

Armstrong wasn't awful | Eddie Keogh/GettyImages

Stuart Armstrong (RM) - 4/10 - Probably Southampton's best attacker but that is absolutely not a compliment.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 2/10 - He's obviously not supposed to do too much defending, but at some point, you'd think he'd figure out his refusal to track back was a massive problem. Watched Coutinho dance around him. Probably had more overhit corners than tackles.

Oriol Romeu (CM) - 1/10 - Completely outplayed. Nowhere near good enough here.

Mohamed Elyounoussi (LM) - 2/10 - Bullied by Cash in the first half and was withdrawn at the break.

7. Forwards

Broja put himself about | Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Che Adams (ST) - 3/10 - Really put himself about but had no luck against Chambers and Mings.

Armando Broja (ST) - 3/10 - A few problematic runs but was largely let down by a lack of service.

8. Substitutes

Yan Valery (RB) - 2/10

Kyle Walker-Peters (LB) - 5/10

Ibrahima Diallo (CM) - 5/10

Source : 90min