Southampton beat fellow strugglers Norwich City at St Mary’s to move out of the Premier League relegation zone.
The Saints went ahead in the 22nd minute when Danny Ings produced a glancing header from James Ward-Prowse’s fine in-swinging free-kick.
Southampton doubled their lead with a close-range finish from Ryan Bertrand after Shane Long’s headed flick-on.
Norwich’s Teemu Pukki pulled one back from Alexander Tettey’s pass but it was not enough as the hosts held on.
The Canaries had two chances to snatch a point in injury time but substitute Emiliano Buendia’s glancing header went wide and Sam Byram shot over when well placed.
Saints moved up from 18th to 17th, although they will drop back into the bottom three if Everton gets at least a draw in their away game at leaders Liverpool in the late match.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has now been in charge of Southampton for a full year after he replaced the sacked Mark Hughes on 5 December 2018. Saints were 18th when the Austrian took over, and secured Premier League survival, finishing 16th in 2018-19.
Hasenhuttl gained his 14th win in 43 games in charge in all competitions with an impressive first-half display to continue Saints’ revival which has seen them pick up seven points in three matches.
Ward-Prowse or Ings had scored all of the Saints’ last 10 Premier League goals – a run which started on 20 September – and the pair combined for the opener.
Ward Prowse’s delivery from the free-kick was excellent and Ings got in between Kenny McLean and Ben Godfrey to glance a header in past Tim Krul.
The Dutchman did well to tip over Moussa Djenepo’s well-struck effort from 25 yards, but it was not long before Norwich conceded again.
Once more, Canaries boss Daniel Farke will be unhappy with his side’s defending as Bertrand was left unmarked to finish from close range after Long had flicked on a fine right-wing corner from the impressive Ward-Prowse.
Long, starting a league match for only the second time this season, nearly grabbed his first goal of the campaign but prodded an effort wide from 12 yards in the second half.
Ings was unlucky to not grab his second and Southampton’s third when he did well to control Nathan Redmond’s pass on his chest and then, under pressure from two City defenders, volleyed just wide.
One concern for Hasenhuttl will be Saints again failed to keep a clean sheet and their tally of 33 goals conceded in 15 matches this season is the highest for any top-flight team.
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Source – BBC