Southampton made it two Premier League wins in a row following a well-deserved 2-0 victory over stuttering Newcastle at a wet St Mary’s.
Adam Lallana’s simple tap-in and Gaston Ramirez’s second-half strike proved the difference as the hosts dominated for large periods.
The win moves Southampton within three points of Newcastle and lifts them out of the relegation zone at the expense of Aston Villa.
The home side started brightly, putting pressure on the visitors as they searched for their second win, but it was Newcastle who fashioned the first real chance of the game with a Demba Ba header.
Ramirez then had a shot blocked after a fine solo run as the hosts had the better of the opening 10 min
utes. The Uruguay international nearly broke into the penalty box shortly afterwards but was cleaned out on the edge of the area.
Moments after Rickie Lambert hit the bar with a free-kick, Southampton got their deserved lead on 35 minutes.
Tim Krul made a poor clearance which saw the ball fired back in, with Ramirez sliding the ball across to Lallana who had an easy finish to send the home fans into delirium.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew threw on Sammy Ameobi at half-time in the hope of fashioning more of a threat down the left flank, and the visitors had the first chance of the half as Papiss Cisse headed at Paulo Gazzaniga.
The hosts immediately burst up the other end and Adam Lallana had a close-range shot parried by Krul, who stood firm.
The Newcastle goalkeeper then gifted the hosts a second moments later as he parried a cross straight into the feet of Ramirez, who blasted high into the net to double the lead.
Jason Puncheon nearly made it three soon after when he latched on to the end of Lallana’s pass and drilled the ball into Krul’s near post.
It was then Gazzaniga’s turn to be tested as the Southampton shot-stopper produced a stunning save to deny Davide Santon’s header which looked like sneaking in low at the near post.
The woodwork was called into action again as Fonte’s looping header hit the bar, then Lallana was denied by Krul once more but the home side had done enough to earn a vital three points.
Lallana was denied by Krul once more before substitute Jay Rodriguez had a goal ruled out for offside, but the home side had done enough to earn a vital three points.