Robert Snodgrass came off the bench to score one and set up another as Hull City came from behind to stun Southampton 2-1 at the KCOM Stadium and end an eight-game winless Premier League streak.
The Scotland winger surprisingly started Sunday’s game on the bench, but was called into action earlier than expected when Will Keane pulled up injured in the first half, only to inspire a remarkable second-half comeback that saw the Tigers, who lost their previous six in a row in the league, net twice in 125 seconds.
Southampton made the long trip north on the back of a famous triumph over Inter in the Europa League on Thursday and showed few signs of fatigue in an impressive first-half display, capped by an early penalty from Charlie Austin.
And Claude Puel’s side looked by far the better team until Snodgrass turned the game on its head in a remarkable two-minute spell, smashing home from the edge of the box before setting up Michael Dawson’s dramatic winner just after the hour.
Hull’s first league win since August means they are now on 10 points, while Southampton remain in midtable.
The Tigers had been on the losing side in each of their four previous Premier League meetings with Southampton and appeared unlikely to bring an end to that damning statistic when they conceded a penalty within six minutes.
Curtis Davies tripped a rampaging Maya Yoshida inside the box, allowing Austin to coolly send David Marshall the wrong way from 12 yards.
The Saints, buoyed by the early goal, dominated possession from the off, leaving Mike Phelan’s men chasing shadows in front of a sparse home crowd.
And the already injury-stricken hosts’ dreadful start got even worse when Keane limped off midway through the first half, an apparent hamstring strain having earlier also brought a premature end to strike partner Abel Hernandez’s afternoon.
Austin forced Marshall into action with a powerful near-post effort after drifting beyond a static defence late in the first half, with Sam Clucas’ scuffed snapshot the closest Hull came to troubling Fraser Forster in a shot-shy opening 45 minutes.
The Saints nearly made their dominance count straight after the restart when Virgil van Dijk clipped the top of the crossbar with a header as Hull struggled to clear a corner.
Against the run of play, however, the hosts equalised with their first real chance of the game.
Clucas combined neatly with Ryan Mason down the left before the former slid across the face of goal for Snodgrass to slam a first-time finish past Forster from the edge of the box.
And scorer turned provider as the Scotland international delivered a sublime left-footed free-kick that Dawson glanced brilliantly into the far corner to seal an unexpected comeback against a side who had conceded four goals in their six previous Premier League games.
Austin came close to breaking Hull hearts with the clock approaching 90 minutes, but his shot from the edge of the box was too close to Marshall before the Saints striker was denied again by a brilliant Dawson block.
There was still time for yet more late drama, as Clucas heroically cleared off the line as Davies had inadvertently deflected the ball goalwards, but Hull held on.