Villa were thoroughly outplayed before and after Joleon Lescott’s close-range goal gave them the lead at half-time, but despite an obvious lack of confidence, they remained resilient amid Southampton’s increasing pressure to limit them to only Oriol Romeu’s equaliser.
“The spirit we have shown, the talent we have in the team,” Villa’s manager responded when asked why he thought survival was possible.
“A point, a very important one. We suffered a lot, we were under pressure. They have pace, have powerful attacking players. It was difficult for us. It’s a good point for us.
“The spirit the team showed... we had very tough moments where Southampton were pushing, creating many chances.”
The draw also ended a run of three straight defeats for Southampton, but while Ronald Koeman was pleased with the desire his team showed to recover having trailed 1-0, he rued wasted opportunities.
“If you start well you don’t expect to be down after 45 minutes but you hope the players will be patient and have the belief and confidence to get back in the game,” Koeman said.
“The last 20, 25 minutes I thought we showed good character, had good chances, and did everything to win the game.
“But if you get four big chances and not one on target, I don’t understand. At least in the box, close to the box, the shot has to be on target. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence but they are quality players, they have to bring more.”
Stekelenburg, Cedric Soares, Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand, Wanyama (Romeu 63), Ward-Prowse, Mane (Long 83), Steven Davis, Tadic (Juanmi 63), Pelle.
Kelvin Davis, Clasie, Martina, Caulker.
Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bacuna (Richardson 78), Veretout, Sanchez (Agbonlahor 90), Gana, Sinclair, Gestede (Westwood 75),Ayew.
Tiago Ilori, Traore, Gil, Bunn.