Cheat! Jay Rodriguez is the EPL’s latest shameful diver as Aston Villa lose to Southampton

This is the line all Liverpool (Luis Suarez), Manchester United (Ashley Young) and Tottenham (Gareth Bale) fans will be trotting out over the next few days.

If Jay Rodriguez was a more high profile player playing for a higher profile team then the Southampton striker would now be public enemy number one in the Premier League.

The animosity towards the 23-year-old Spanish-sounding Englishman will be borne from the killer moment during Southampton’s wonderful 1-0 away win at Villa Park, which increases the pressure on Paul Lambert’s side as they slide closer to the Championship.

With the match still goalless in the 32 minute Villa struggled badly to defend a clunky Saints attack. The ball ping-ponged around the Villa box until it fell at Jay Rodriguez’s feet, but then came the devilish moment when the forward fell in the box in close proximity to an Edna Stevens challenge.

Stevens, a 22-year-old Irishman making just his 6th Premier League appearance, never touched Rodriguez. The forward simply flopped in the box. But referee Mark Halsey was duped, and Rickie Lambert gobbled up the opportunity to score from the spot.

Nigel Adkins delivered the following defence of his player:

We could have had seven or eight penalties this season, and they say it levels out. For me there is no contact with the player but the referee has a decision to make. All we can do at our place is make sure the players are not diving. We expect the players to behave properly, it is not a dive from Jay Rodriguez, there was no contact, but if the player had not moved his leg away, there would have been contact.

Convinced by that? Neither are we!

Watch Jay Rodriguez help cheat Southampton to victory at Aston Villa below.