Southampton sees off Villa fightback for 4-3 win

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Southampton weathered a late fightback from Aston Villa to take a 4-3 win in the English Premier League on Saturday as Villa suffered its second loss after a winning start to the season.

Southampton led 4-0 thanks to three goals from set pieces and a powerful long-range strike from Danny Ings. Villa seemed out of the game, even after Tyrone Mings made it 4-1 with a header, but scored twice more in stoppage time before running out of time to earn a draw.

Southampton has won four of its last five Premier League games after starting the 2020-21 campaign with three losses. Villa was the surprise early-season leader after winning its first four, but that run was ended in a 3-0 loss to fellow promoted team Leeds last week.

Southampton had a third-minute goal ruled out by VAR for offside but Jannik Vestergaard made up for it with a towering header from a free kick in the 20th minute to score the opening goal. Captain James Ward-Prowse scored the second and third goals in almost identical fashion, curling two free kicks into the top corner. Ings made it four early in the second half with a fierce drive from outside the penalty area.

Mings headed in the first of what turned out to be three consolation goals for Villa, before Ollie Watkins scored a stoppage-time penalty for his first goal since his hat-trick in the 7-2 win over Liverpool on Oct. 4. Jack Grealish added another in the seventh minute of added time.

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