Southampton climbed to third in the Premier League table with a comprehensive victory over Fulham.

Saints dominated from the start and took the lead when Jay Rodriguez flicked on a James Ward-Prowse corner for Rickie Lambert to head home.

More chances followed and Lambert hit the post from 25 yards before setting up Rodriguez to make it 2-0, turning an Adam Lallana cross into his path.

Fulham's only shot saw Steve Sidwell flash a volley wide late on.

Saints players deserve the plaudits - Pochettino

Southampton's high-tempo pressing game hardly allowed the visitors so much as a sniff in front of goal as Mauricio Pochettino's side secured their sixth clean sheet in nine games.

Sadly for Cottagers' manager Martin Jol, his players were far more charitable - particularly for Lambert's opener, after 20 minutes.

That came after Fulham midfielder Scott Parker told Dimitar Berbatov to mark the England striker from James Ward-Prowse's corner, only for the Bulgarian to stand and watch the ball fly over his head for Lambert to nod in unopposed at the far post.

Southampton, who were constantly sending their full-backs Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw on raids up either flank, had already gone close when Morgan Schneiderlin's shot was cleared off the line after Sascha Riether was caught in possession.

Fulham, meanwhile, were struggling to even get out of their own half and, with Southampton pouring forward, more chances followed for the home side.

Fulham fail to threaten

Fulham's poor attacking display at St Mary's saw them become the first side to fail to manage a shot on goal in the first half of a Premier League match this season. The Cottagers did manage two efforts after the break, however.

Rodriguez was denied by Maarten Stekelenburg after surging clear, Victor Wanyama sent a low shot skidding wide and Lambert fizzed another effort against the post.

Lambert should have done better with his header after escaping Philippe Senderos to get on the end of another ball into the box, bringing a routine low save, but another Southampton goal was not far away.

Two minutes before half-time, Lallana lifted the ball to the back post, where Lambert deftly nodded it back across goal for Rodriguez to head home from close range.

Fulham had arrived on the south coast on the back of a mini-revival that had seen them win their last two games, with Pajtim Kasami scoring a potential goal of the season against Crystal Palace in the process.

Jol feared a Fulham 'hammering'

Kasami did not even get within shooting distance this time, however, as his side continued to be outplayed after the break.

Southampton kept pressing, and also kept passing as they picked Fulham apart. The only thing missing was a third goal, although Rodriguez almost obliged with an acrobatic effort which flashed wide from Ward-Prowse's cross.

The destination of the three points was still never in doubt, and the only question left was whether Fulham would even manage a shot on goal.

Saints keeper Artur Boruc was finally called into action after 75 minutes, but only to deal with Dejan Lovren's attempted clearance from Fernando Amorebieta's cross.

The Cottagers finally managed an effort themselves with eight minutes left, when a corner was not properly cleared and Sidwell hooked the dropping ball wide.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino: "It's all about the players in the dressing room, they fully deserve the plaudits. I just want to congratulate them for the amazing effort.

"I don't know how far we can go, it's more about the satisfaction about the getting the win and playing well. There are things we need to improve and we want to continue working hard."

Fulham boss Martin Jol: "Southampton are very strong, athletic, aggressive and you have to match them and if you don't you will lose these games.

"The most disappointing thing for me was that we couldn't create anything ourselves.

"You have to be tough, pick yourself up. We couldn't get a break, we couldn't score a goal, they were the better team and that's not what you want."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Southampton

  • 31 Boruc
  • 02 Clyne
  • 23 Shaw
  • 12 Wanyama
  • 06 Fonte
  • 05 Lovren
  • 16 Ward-Prowse (Cork - 92' )
  • 04 Schneiderlin
  • 07 Lambert
  • 09 Rodriguez (Do Prado - 78' )
  • 20 Lallana

Substitutes

  • 01 Davis
  • 10 Ramírez
  • 18 Cork
  • 19 Lee
  • 21 Do Prado
  • 22 Chambers
  • 26 Hooiveld

Fulham

  • 01 Stekelenburg
  • 27 Riether (Hughes - 45' Booked )
  • 15 Richardson
  • 07 Sidwell Booked
  • 04 Senderos
  • 35 Amorebieta
  • 10 Ruiz (Kacaniklic - 81' )
  • 28 Parker
  • 39 Bent (Rodallega - 75' )
  • 09 Berbatov
  • 08 Kasami

Substitutes

  • 11 Kacaniklic
  • 13 Stockdale
  • 14 Karagounis
  • 16 Duff
  • 18 Hughes
  • 20 Rodallega
  • 22 Zverotic
Ref: Andre Marriner
Att: 28,631

Match Stats

Shots

20 1

On target

6 0

Corners

10 3

Fouls

12 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Southampton 2, Fulham 0.

90:00 +2:10 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Southampton 2, Fulham 0.

90:00 +1:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Jack Cork replaces James Ward-Prowse.

90:00 +0:39 Booking

Booking Aaron Hughes (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +0:37

Luke Shaw (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +0:37

Foul by Aaron Hughes (Fulham).

89:06

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Aaron Hughes.

89:03

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Rickie Lambert.

87:59 Booking

Booking Steve Sidwell (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

87:48

Victor Wanyama (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:48

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

85:50

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

85:10

Delay in match Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) because of an injury.

83:33

Adam Lallana (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:33

Foul by Kieran Richardson (Fulham).

81:30

Adam Lallana (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:30

Foul by Scott Parker (Fulham).

81:05

Attempt missed. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left following a corner.

80:39

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

80:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Alexander Kacaniklic replaces Bryan Ruiz.

79:35

Offside, Southampton. Artur Boruc tries a through ball, but Rickie Lambert is caught offside.

78:18

Dejan Lovren (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:18

Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).

77:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Guly replaces Jay Rodriguez.

77:26

Foul by Adam Lallana (Southampton).

77:26

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:20

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton).

75:20

Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

74:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Hugo Rodallega replaces Darren Bent.

74:12

Foul by Jay Rodriguez (Southampton).

74:12

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

73:28

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Jose Fonte.

71:06

Offside, Southampton. Dejan Lovren tries a through ball, but Rickie Lambert is caught offside.

68:23

Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

66:50

Adam Lallana (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:50

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

65:12

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

65:12

Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:35

Attempt missed. Dejan Lovren (Southampton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.

59:05

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Steve Sidwell.

58:14

Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.

55:15

Offside, Fulham. Maarten Stekelenburg tries a through ball, but Steve Sidwell is caught offside.

52:00

Offside, Fulham. Philippe Senderos tries a through ball, but Dimitar Berbatov is caught offside.

50:12

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Scott Parker.

48:19

Attempt missed. Victor Wanyama (Southampton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.

47:50

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

47:11

Attempt missed. Kieran Richardson (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

46:42

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

46:42

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:37

Attempt missed. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

45:00

Second Half begins Southampton 2, Fulham 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Aaron Hughes replaces Sascha Riether.

45:00 +1:00 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Southampton 2, Fulham 0.

44:47

Hand ball by Adam Lallana (Southampton).

44:03

Adam Lallana (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

44:03

Foul by Fernando Amorebieta (Fulham).

43:11

Attempt blocked. Adam Lallana (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rickie Lambert.

42:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Southampton 2, Fulham 0. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rickie Lambert with a headed pass.

41:02

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

40:35

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Kieran Richardson.

38:17

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Sascha Riether.

38:14

Attempt blocked. Luke Shaw (Southampton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

38:10

Attempt saved. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross.

36:58

Attempt blocked. Adam Lallana (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.

36:12

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.

35:46

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

35:46

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

35:14

Foul by James Ward-Prowse (Southampton).

35:14

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:58

Attempt blocked. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Morgan Schneiderlin.

32:28

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Sascha Riether.

31:33

Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Luke Shaw with a cross.

29:04

Attempt blocked. Luke Shaw (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

27:54

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

27:54

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

25:05

Offside, Southampton. Luke Shaw tries a through ball, but Rickie Lambert is caught offside.

21:58

Attempt missed. Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

21:24

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Maarten Stekelenburg.

21:22

Attempt saved. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

19:58 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Southampton 1, Fulham 0. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) header from the left side of the six yard box to the top left corner. Assisted by Jay Rodriguez with a headed pass following a corner.

19:34

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

17:02

Attempt missed. Victor Wanyama (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.

15:47

Offside, Fulham. Scott Parker tries a through ball, but Darren Bent is caught offside.

10:04

Foul by Luke Shaw (Southampton).

10:04

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:26

Offside, Southampton. Nathaniel Clyne tries a through ball, but Adam Lallana is caught offside.

6:30

Attempt saved. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne with a cross.

4:18

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

4:18

Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:13

Attempt blocked. Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

3:11

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

3:11

Foul by Pajtim Kasami (Fulham).

1:31

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton).

1:31

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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