Southampton ended a six-game winless run with a comprehensive victory over troubled Cardiff City.

City's fans protested before kick-off against controversial owner Vincent Tan but that same fight and passion was not matched by the Cardiff players - who were easily beaten by the Saints.

Jay Rodriguez slid in at the back post to open the scoring, before his close-range volley doubled their lead.

Lambert made it 3-0 from close range inside 27 minutes to seal victory.

The result sees Southampton remain in ninth while Cardiff slide down to 16th in the Premier League table, a point off the bottom three, as pressure continues to mount on manager Malky Mackay - who was recently asked to quit or be sacked by Tan.

Cardiff fans protest

Cardiff fans protest against the ownership of Vincent Tan pre match

Mackay's departure looked inevitable before Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman released a statement on Sunday that indicated he would remain in charge for the "foreseeable future".

Dalman is trying to repair the fractured relationship between manager and owner but those efforts could be severely tested after an inept first-half performance from the Scot's side.

However, his afternoon could have been a lot different had Peter Whittingham not spurned an early chance for the Bluebirds.

The unmarked striker found space in the Saints box but side-footed Craig Noone's cross high and wide of Paulo Gazzaniga's goal.

Analysis

"What now for Malky Mackay? Cardiff were outplayed by a Southampton side who broke their run of six games without a victory. All the goals came in the first half and Saints were very good value for the win."

He was soon made to pay for that miss with Rodriguez giving Saints the lead after sliding the ball home at David Marshall's back post after a wonderful cross by England colleague Adam Lallana.

Rodriguez soon doubled their lead, again finding himself unmarked at the back post as he volleyed home Lambert's cross to punish yet more slack defending from the hosts.

Lambert then got in on the act, firing home a half-volley from close range following a Rodriguez knock-down to further compound Cardiff's misery.

Cardiff 0-3 Southampton: Manager saga hurting Cardiff - Malky Mackay

To their credit Mackay's side did not give up and Andrew Taylor's shot, which deflected off Jose Fonte, forced Gazzaniga into a sprawling save.

Cardiff introduced Andreas Cornelius at half time and he almost made an immediate impact, heading a corner wide from close range, while at the other end Jack Cork fired a fierce drive from range straight at Marshall.

Rodriguez went in search of his hat-trick and was denied by a wonderful headed clearance under his own post by Cardiff's Kevin Theophile-Catherine.

It was the last real action of a lacklustre second half, but Saints' early efforts ensured the outcome had long been decided.

See a photo gallery of all the action from Saturday's Premier League matches on the BBC Sport Facebook site. 

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino:

"The victory today was fully deserved. We were amazing today, we were excellent.

'Amazing' win pleases Pochettino

"It was important to regain our confidence and not concede a goal. It had been nine games without a clean sheet so today was important for our confidence.

"We controlled the match but we were superior to them. We were precise and my players were very brave.

"The entire team put in an amazing performance today but of course one player will get the credit but the whole team deserves credit.

"There is a long time left until the World Cup so let us enjoy today and take it each game at a time.

"There are many games coming so it was important for our confidence especially after six games with no win. It was important to get that winning feeling back."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 28 Théophile-Catherine
  • 03 Taylor (John - 61' )
  • 18 Mutch
  • 04 Caulker
  • 06 Turner
  • 16 Noone Booked
  • 17 Gunnarsson (Kim Bo-kyung - 80' )
  • 11 Odemwingie (Cornelius - 45' )
  • 10 Campbell
  • 07 Whittingham

Substitutes

  • 05 Hudson
  • 09 Cornelius
  • 13 Kim Bo-kyung
  • 19 Cowie
  • 23 Maynard
  • 32 Lewis
  • 42 John

Southampton

  • 25 Gazzaniga
  • 22 Chambers
  • 23 Shaw Booked
  • 04 Schneiderlin Booked
  • 06 Fonte
  • 03 Yoshida
  • 09 Rodriguez (Ramírez - 86' )
  • 18 Cork
  • 07 Lambert (Gallagher - 93' )
  • 08 Davis
  • 20 Lallana (Ward-Prowse - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Davis
  • 10 Ramírez
  • 13 Fox
  • 16 Ward-Prowse
  • 26 Hooiveld
  • 38 Reed
  • 40 Gallagher
Ref: Andre Marriner
Att: 27,929

Match Stats

Shots

9 11

On target

0 6

Corners

6 3

Fouls

11 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Southampton 3.

90:00 +3:29 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Southampton 3.

90:00 +2:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Sam Gallagher replaces Rickie Lambert.

90:00 +2:17

Attempt missed. Steven Caulker (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Peter Whittingham with a cross following a corner.

90:00 +1:56

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Calum Chambers.

90:00 +0:41

Attempt missed. Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Craig Noone.

89:34

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:34

Foul by Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City).

86:31

Foul by Jose Fonte (Southampton).

86:31

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

85:27 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Gastón Ramírez replaces Jay Rodriguez.

83:14

Attempt missed. Craig Noone (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Fraizer Campbell.

82:04

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Ben Turner.

80:07 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Kim Bo-Kyung replaces Aron Gunnarsson.

79:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse replaces Adam Lallana.

73:40

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

73:40

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City).

72:45

Foul by Jack Cork (Southampton).

72:45

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:45

Offside, Cardiff City. David Marshall tries a through ball, but Fraizer Campbell is caught offside.

70:23

Foul by Calum Chambers (Southampton).

70:23

Andreas Cornelius (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:50

Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Rickie Lambert with a cross.

63:43

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

63:12

Delay in match Luke Shaw (Southampton) because of an injury.

62:47

Attempt missed. Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

62:04

Rickie Lambert (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:04

Foul by Ben Turner (Cardiff City).

61:33

Attempt missed. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by David Marshall.

61:19

Foul by Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

61:19

Ben Turner (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

60:10 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Declan John replaces Andrew Taylor.

59:53

Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

58:06

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Morgan Schneiderlin.

57:26

Foul by Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

57:26

Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:45

Jose Fonte (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:45

Foul by Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City).

56:35

Attempt saved. Luke Shaw (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Morgan Schneiderlin.

55:55

Attempt blocked. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

55:04

Offside, Southampton. Steven Davis tries a through ball, but Jay Rodriguez is caught offside.

54:36

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

53:48

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

53:48

Foul by Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City).

52:04

Attempt saved. Jack Cork (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

51:28

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by David Marshall.

51:27

Attempt saved. Luke Shaw (Southampton) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jay Rodriguez.

50:04

Attempt missed. Andreas Cornelius (Cardiff City) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Peter Whittingham with a cross following a corner.

49:46

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Paulo Gazzaniga.

49:20

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Luke Shaw.

47:59

Attempt missed. Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) header from the right side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Peter Whittingham with a cross following a set piece situation.

47:18 Booking

Booking Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

47:10

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton).

47:10

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:45

Foul by Jack Cork (Southampton).

45:45

Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00

Second Half begins Cardiff City 0, Southampton 3.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Andreas Cornelius replaces Peter Odemwingie.

45:00 +2:27 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Southampton 3.

45:00 +1:24

Foul by Adam Lallana (Southampton).

45:00 +1:24

Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

39:42

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Maya Yoshida.

35:46

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

35:46

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City).

35:05

Foul by Adam Lallana (Southampton).

35:05

Andrew Taylor (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:14

Paulo Gazzaniga (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:14

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City).

30:46

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Paulo Gazzaniga.

30:42

Attempt missed. Andrew Taylor (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Peter Odemwingie.

28:37

Foul by Adam Lallana (Southampton).

28:37

Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

26:44 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 0, Southampton 3. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jay Rodriguez with a headed pass following a corner.

26:09

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Peter Whittingham.

24:22 Booking

Booking Luke Shaw (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

24:09

Foul by Luke Shaw (Southampton).

24:09

Craig Noone (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

22:44

Offside, Cardiff City. Peter Whittingham tries a through ball, but Jordon Mutch is caught offside.

22:14

Foul by Jack Cork (Southampton).

22:14

Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

21:45

Attempt missed. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Morgan Schneiderlin with a cross.

21:06 Booking

Booking Craig Noone (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

20:56

Luke Shaw (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:56

Foul by Craig Noone (Cardiff City).

19:23 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 0, Southampton 2. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rickie Lambert.

17:37

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

17:37

Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City).

16:49

Foul by Luke Shaw (Southampton).

16:49

Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

16:28

Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

16:28

Foul by Kévin Théophile-Catherine (Cardiff City).

13:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Cardiff City 0, Southampton 1. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

12:22

Offside, Southampton. Paulo Gazzaniga tries a through ball, but Rickie Lambert is caught offside.

10:52

Attempt missed. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Craig Noone with a cross.

9:06

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

9:06

Foul by Ben Turner (Cardiff City).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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