Southampton moved up to eighth place in the table after a convincing win over Burnley at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday evening.
Charlie Austin scored twice either side of Nathan Redmond’s goal to stretch the Saint’s unbeaten record in the Premier League to four games.
Burnley were awarded a penalty with less than 20 minutes remaining, but Sam Vokes’ strike proved to be nothing more than a consolation effort, on a day where the Clarets could have suffered a heavier defeat.
The result sees Burnley remain in 14th place as Sean Dyche’s side slumped to their fourth league loss in their last six games.
Austin was denied an opening goal inside the first five minutes after Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton somehow palmed away his downward header. Matt Targett provided the cross for Austin, but the in-form striker watched on as Heaton tipped his effort around the post.
Southampton’s momentum was broken when the bright Targett was forced off with a hamstring injury, as Sam McQueen stepped off the bench to make his Premier League debut.
The hosts rediscovered their rhythm on the half hour and nearly took the lead in bizarre circumstances. Fraser Forster launched an almighty kick down field after being chased down, which allowed Dusan Tadic to race through on goal. But the midfielder’s first touch was loose as he shot straight at Heaton.
After surviving considerable pressure from the hosts, Burnley provided their first real threat of the game, 10 minutes before the break. Johann Berg Gudmundsson weaved through a series of Saints defenders before Virgil van Dijk sent the midfielder tumbling in the box, but referee Mike Dean waived away the Icelandic international’s claims.
The Saints broke the deadlock seven minutes into the second half after Austin tapped home from close range. Van Dijk rose highest to meet a corner delivery, before Austin eventually forced the ball past Matt Lowton and Heaton on his second attempt.
Claude Puel’s side doubled their lead less than 10 minutes later as another corner proved to be Burnley’s downfall. Steven Davis’ set-piece bypassed the crowd of players in the penalty area to the waiting Nathan Redmond, who composed himself to rattle home an effort past Heaton.
The hosts sealed all three points just past the hour mark after debutant McQueen earned his side a penalty. The fullback looked like he clipped his own ankles, but Austin coolly slotted home the resulting penalty in front of a jubilant St Mary’s crowd.
But Burnley pulled back a consolation goal when Mike Dean pointed to the spot after Tadic was judged to have pulled the shirt of an opposition player in the box. Vokes opted to shoot down the middle as Forster came close to stopping the strike with his feet.