Southampton Under-23s suffered a disappointing 4-0 defeat against their Aston Villa counterparts in Premier League 2 at Bescot Stadium.
The hosts seized control in the first-half through Jordan Cox’s double, before second-half goals from Corey Blackett-Taylor and Callum O’Hare made sure of the points.
Radhi Jaïdi fielded a young side, but did include three first-team players as Virgil van Dijk continued his road to fitness with his first minutes since January, while Alex McCarthy and Jan Bednarek also featured in a side captained by Alfie Jones once more.
But it was the hosts who broke the deadlock after 13 minutes, when Cox picked up the ball on the edge of the area, before firing low into the bottom right corner past McCarthy.
Saints responded well to going behind and created their first real opening when Tyreke Johnson’s effort from close range was cleared off the line.
Villa soon doubled their advantage though through the lively Cox, who found space inside the box before rifling a thunderous, right-footed shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
The game continued in a similar vein after the interval, and it took the Villians just three minutes to extend their advantage further.
Richard Bakary’s back pass was short for McCarthy, and Blackett-Taylor latched on to the loose ball before tucking it home.
At the other end, as Saints continued to try and work their way back into the contest, Marcus Barnes looked to test Viktor Johanson with a drive, but it proved comfortable for the keeper.
On 53 minutes, O’Hare got in on the act when he burst forward from midfield before unleashing a low shot that found the bottom corner.
Line ups not available