Lambert penalty sinks Villa into EPL's bottom 3

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BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) -- Penalty specialist Rickie Lambert converted a first-half spot kick to earn Southampton a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday, dumping the struggling home side into the Premier League's relegation zone.

The striker scored his 31st straight penalty for Southampton, including shootouts, in the 34th minute after Villa defender Enda Stevens was adjudged to have fouled Jay Rodriguez.

Villa finished strongly but couldn't find an equalizer, leaving manager Paul Lambert under serious pressure after a winless run of five matches. The team also lost 3-1 to fourth-tier Bradford in the first leg of their League Cup semifinal on Tuesday.

Wigan's 1-1 draw at Fulham meant Villa dropped to third from bottom of the standings.