Southampton 1-0 Aston Villa: Player ratings as pressure mounts on Dean Smith

Southampton ramped up the pressure on Aston Villa manager Dean Smith as they picked up a comfortable 1-0 victory at St Mary's.

Adam Armstrong gave the Saints the perfect start as he thundered home a ferocious half-volley just three minutes into the game, giving Emi Martinez no chance in the Villa goal.

There could have been a few more goals for Ralph Hasenhuttl's side in the first half as they completely dominated proceedings. Some sloppy touches cost them in the final third, but Southampton could hardly have been more comfortable in the opening 45 if they tried.

Smith calmed his side down at the break and Villa began the second half on top, putting some immense pressure on Alex McCarthy's goal while simultaneously not really creating any clear-cut chances.

In fact, it was Southampton who had the next opportunity. Che Adams' header was expertly kept out by Martinez, who did so well to claw the ball behind.

Villa had a couple of half-chances as the clock began to wind down, but ultimately they did not have enough about them to avoid falling to a fifth consecutive defeat.

Southampton player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Walker-Peters had a dominant game | Steve Bardens/GettyImages

Alex McCarthy (GK) - 7/10 - Did well with the few saves he was required for. Deserves credit for being quick off his line to deal with a few sketchy backpasses.

Tino Livramento (RB) - 7/10 - Not as involved as in previous weeks but was a threat in attack and solid in defence. What more could you ask for?

Jan Bednarek (CB) - 7/10 - A quiet, competent evening.

Mohammed Salisu (CB) - 6/10 - Decent enough defensively but guilty of some awful passes back to McCarthy. Could have easily gifted Villa a route back into the game.

Kyle Walker-Peters (LB) - 8/10 - So dominant down the left. If he was actually left-footed, he'd have been feasting in the first half. Calmed down after the break.

2. Midfielders

Romeu was really impressive | James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Mohamed Elyounoussi (RM) - 7/10 - Looked nice in attack and was always willing to do the dirty work in defence.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 8/10 - Made some brilliant challenges and just dominated the midfield battle. Really bad corners though.

Oriol Romeu (CM) - 8/10 - Did his job as a midfield enforcer but added some really nice passes as well. Proper playmaking at times.

Stuart Armstrong (LM) - 7/10 - Missed a real sitter early on but continued to offer a nice threat down the left. Linked up well with Walker-Peters.

3. Forwards

Che Adams (ST) - 7/10 - Some brilliant defensive work to go along with some really nice moments in attack. Gave Villa's backline a torrid time.

Adam Armstrong (ST) - 8/10 - An absolute screamer of a goal and continued to terrorise Villa throughout.

4. Substitutes

Lyanco is quickly becoming a fan favourite | Robin Jones/GettyImages

Lyanco (CB) - 6/10 - Comes with so much energy. Just screams at everything. Infectious.

Ibrahima Diallo (CM) - 6/10 - Helped Southampton get some more control of the game. Calm and composed throughout.

Armando Broja (ST) - 6/10 - Replaced Armstrong with ten minutes to go.

Aston Villa player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Emiliano Martinez (GK) - 6/10 - Generally not that bad. Made a couple of brilliant saves to stop this being too humiliating.

Matty Cash (RB) - 5/10 - Absolutely torched all night but that was almost entirely down to Bailey's lack of defensive work. Worked incredibly hard and actually came away from this looking good.

Axel Tuanzebe (CB) - 3/10 - Couldn't cope with Adams or Armstrong and needed to be bailed out by Mings far too often.

Tyrone Mings (CB) - 5/10 - Guilty of some poor decisions at times but seemed to find himself in the right place to mop up danger.

Matt Targett (LB) - 3/10 - Looked flustered every time Livramento or Adams ran at him. Some sloppy challenges.

6. Midfielders

Bailey was largely woeful | Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

John McGinn (DM) - 2/10 - Sat by and watched as Ward-Prowse showed him exactly what he should have been doing.

Marvelous Nakamba (DM) - 2/10 - Sloppy in possession and weak in the tackle. Offered nothing at either end of the field.

Leon Bailey (RM) - 1/10 - Some of the worst tracking back you've ever seen. Watched Cash get torched constantly and just didn't care enough to sort it. Genuinely embarrassing in the first half, but a slight improvement after the break stops him getting a 0.

Emiliano Buendia (AM) - 3/10 - An atrocious first half but really came to life after the break. Looked dangerous but didn't make up for his woeful start before being subbed off early.

Anwar El-Ghazi (LM) - 3/10 - Booked early on and then somehow escaped second yellows for a cynical foul and a dive within the first half an hour. Stepped up after the break but shouldn't have had the chance.

7. Forward

Watkins reads a note during the game | Steve Bardens/GettyImages

Ollie Watkins (ST) - 4/10 - Painfully isolated. Never had a chance because of those around him.

8. Substitutes

Jacob Ramsey (DM) - 5/10 - Offered more than most of Villa's midfielders, but that's not really a compliment.

Cameron Archer (ST) - 6/10 - Brought some real energy to Villa's attack but his inexperience at this level was pretty obvious.

Keinan Davis (ST) - 5/10 - A physical presence in the box but didn't really get involved.

Source : 90min