Having waited eight months for a home win, Southampton now have two in five days, following victory against Norwich City. Inspired once more by James Ward-Prowse and Danny Ings, this victory was enough to lift them above Everton and out of the bottom three.
Four points from the last two games represented a significant uptick for both of these sides who have struggled for consistency since the start of the season.
It was a tentative start from both with the only shot on or off target in the opening stages a daisy cutter wide of the left post from Kenny McLean.
Shane Long was starting only his second Premier League game of the season for Southampton. The Irishman rose highest to head Cedric’s deep cross towards goal but he was unable to generate enough power to trouble Tim Krul.
But in Ings, Southampton have one of the league’s form strikers and the former Liverpool player stole in at the near post in front of Ben Godfrey to flick James Ward-Prowse’s whipped free-kick into the far corner and put the home side ahead.
It was the first time this season that Saints had gone in front at home. It lifted the shackles a little and Malian winger Moussa Djenepo soon went to a second with a curling left-foot shot that just dipped over.