Another defeat for Aston Villa leaves Dean Smith and co in a precarious situation near the bottom of the Premier League table.
Their 16th loss of the campaign – the joint-most along with Norwich City, who are rock bottom – means they are still just one point above the drop zone. And with relegation rivals Watford and West Ham facing Manchester United and Liverpool respectively this match-day, the 2-0 loss against Southampton was a missed opportunity to put some space between themselves and those sides.
They were dealt a blow just 28 minutes into their match with the Saints, as Anwar El Ghazi was forced off the field with an injury. With four goals and four assists in the Premier League this term, the Netherlands international has been an important attacking player for the Midlands outfit. However, his misfortune gifted Mohamed Trezeguet the chance to shine, as he was the man who came on for the 24-year-old.
Unfortunately for the £9m-valued Egypt international – as per Transfermarkt – it was one he failed to take. During his time on the pitch, he didn’t make any real impact – he was unable to land a single cross, whilst he completed just one dribble. His one key pass and one shot on target does not equate to a terrible return, but Smith will still have been hoping for a lot more from his substitute.
This was the third game in a row that Trezeguet has come off the bench, with El Ghazi having been chosen ahead of him in all of those matches. This, therefore, was a chance for him to show his boss just what he has been missing, but in the end he may have in fact boosted the former Lille man’s claim for holding onto the starting spot – providing his injury isn’t too serious, of course.
Trezeguet should be kicking himself for failing to take advantage of this golden opportunity.