Southampton maintained their hopes of securing European football by beating relegation-threatened Norwich.

Morgan Schneiderlin raced on to a Gaston Ramirez through-ball to put the Saints ahead, before Rickie Lambert calmly side-footed a second goal.

Jay Rodriguez steered in a third as the Saints looked to be easing to victory.

Southampton 4-2 Norwich: 'Superior' Saints pleases Mauricio Pochettino

Goals by Norwich's Johan Elmander and Robert Snodgrass, after two defensive errors, led to an exciting finish, but Sam Gallagher's goal sealed the win.

With Chris Hughton's side chasing an unlikely point after being outplayed for the opening 85 minutes, they left themselves exposed to a counter-attack in injury-time and Gallagher was played in by Steven Davis to complete a remarkable end to the match.

Southampton were leading 3-0 and had looked in complete control against a Norwich side that had been woeful and struggled to create any chances.

But two goals in a minute, from Elmander and Snodgrass, following mistakes from Jose Fonte and Guly Do Prado, left the hosts hanging on before Gallagher's injury-time intervention.

With the team finishing in sixth place likely to qualify for next season's Europa League, Southampton could be playing in European competition for the first time since 2003-04.

Hodgson, Krueger, Liebherr

England boss Roy Hodgson with Saints chairman Ralph Krueger and club owner Katharina Liebherr

Mauricio Pochettino's side are now eighth in the Premier League, six points behind sixth-placed Everton, and face crucial meetings with fellow-top 10 teams Tottenham and Newcastle in their next two games.

The Canaries, 15th in the table, face a critical spell, too, as they meet other struggling sides - Sunderland, Swansea, West Brom and Fulham - in their next four matches, before ending the season with games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Norwich boss Chris Hughton had gambled by changing five of his side from the team that drew 1-1 with Stoke last week, with club captain Sebastien Bassong and £8.5m record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel on the bench.

But the moves did not pay off as Southampton immediately put them under pressure.

Ramirez, in his second Premier League start of the season, headed over James Ward-Prowse's corner in the second minute before the hosts went ahead three minutes later.

More away woe for Norwich

  • Norwich have now not won in eight away matches in all competitions. Their last win on their travels was their 2-0 victory at West Brom on 7 December

England striker Jay Rodriguez, in front of watching national boss Roy Hodgson, linked up with Ramirez, who slid a well-weighted ball through a static Canaries defence and Schneiderlin ran on to the pass and finished well.

Davis and Ramirez both wasted good opportunities to double the hosts' lead and Southampton remained on top in the second half with John Ruddy saving Ward-Prowse's 25-yard effort and Adam Lallana flicking a corner wide.

The Saints captain was then replaced by Lambert and the England forward needed only 66 seconds to net his 10th goal of the season.

A clearance was flicked backwards by Norwich's Ryan Bennett and it fell to Lambert, who cut inside a half-hearted challenge from Joseph Yobo before calmly dispatching for 2-0.

Southampton 4-2 Norwich: Chris Hughton wants Canaries to change 'quick' to avoid relegation

Norwich made a triple substitution but Southampton went further ahead as Do Prado's shot was blocked and the ball fell to Lambert, who set up Rodriguez to score.

Rodriguez then hit the bar, before the game turned. Fonte's sloppy backpass let in Elmander and he prodded in for Norwich in the 85th minute, before Snodgrass followed up to convert after Artur Boruc could only parry Van Wolfswinkel's effort 60 seconds later.

But it would have been a travesty if Southampton had thrown this game away and Gallagher broke in injury-time to score his first league goal and give Saints the three points.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino:

"We were leading the game 3-0 and had it in control but we suffered a bit at the end.

"In football, nothing is finished until the final whistle. We lacked focus at the back and you can't take anything for granted in the Premier League.

"We were far superior to Norwich throughout the game and we were playing against a very good team."

Norwich City manager Chris Hughton:

"We rallied in the end and made a game of it but we didn't deserve to be in that position as we had conceded poor goals.

"We had periods where we weathered the storm and got into good areas, but it was not consistent enough.

"At 3-0 down it was tough and it was nothing less than what we deserved, but we dug in and showed character."

Visit the BBC Sport Facebook page for a gallery of the best pictures from Saturday's Premier League matches. 

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Southampton

  • 31 Boruc
  • 02 Clyne
  • 23 Shaw
  • 04 Schneiderlin
  • 06 Fonte
  • 05 Lovren
  • 16 Ward-Prowse
  • 08 Davis Booked
  • 09 Rodriguez (Gallagher - 93' )
  • 10 Ramírez (Do Prado - 61' )
  • 20 Lallana (Lambert - 56' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Yoshida
  • 07 Lambert
  • 21 Do Prado
  • 22 Chambers
  • 25 Gazzaniga
  • 26 Hooiveld
  • 40 Gallagher

Norwich City

  • 01 Ruddy
  • 03 Whittaker
  • 23 Olsson
  • 27 Tettey
  • 26 Yobo
  • 24 R Bennett
  • 07 Snodgrass Booked
  • 08 Howson
  • 11 Hooper (Elmander - 65' )
  • 04 Johnson (van Wolfswinkel - 64' )
  • 12 Pilkington Booked (Redmond - 65' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Martin
  • 05 Bassong
  • 09 van Wolfswinkel
  • 13 Bunn
  • 14 Hoolahan
  • 16 Elmander
  • 22 Redmond
Ref: Kevin Friend
Att: 29,828

Match Stats

Shots

17 6

On target

6 3

Corners

6 1

Fouls

11 17

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Southampton 4, Norwich City 2.

90:00 +7:42 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Southampton 4, Norwich City 2.

90:00 +6:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Southampton 4, Norwich City 2. Sam Gallagher (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Davis with a through ball following a fast break.

90:00 +4:45

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

90:00 +3:15

Delay in match Dejan Lovren (Southampton) because of an injury.

90:00 +2:27 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Sam Gallagher replaces Jay Rodriguez.

89:02

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

88:00

Delay in match Guly (Southampton) because of an injury.

87:40

Foul by Guly (Southampton).

87:40

Joseph Yobo (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:07

Offside, Norwich City. John Ruddy tries a through ball, but Johan Elmander is caught offside.

86:40

Foul by Guly (Southampton).

86:40

Joseph Yobo (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:43 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Southampton 3, Norwich City 2. Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner.

85:40

Attempt saved. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Johan Elmander.

84:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Southampton 3, Norwich City 1. Johan Elmander (Norwich City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

83:08

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

81:50

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by John Ruddy.

81:48

Attempt saved. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Davis with a through ball.

80:50

Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Guly.

79:39

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

79:39

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City).

75:46

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

75:46

Foul by Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City).

74:22

Offside, Southampton. Rickie Lambert tries a through ball, but Steven Davis is caught offside.

73:48

Attempt missed. Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Steven Whittaker.

71:58 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Southampton 3, Norwich City 0. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rickie Lambert.

71:55

Attempt saved. Guly (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rickie Lambert.

71:32

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

71:32

Foul by Alexander Tettey (Norwich City).

70:35

Foul by Guly (Southampton).

70:35

Alexander Tettey (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:56

Attempt missed. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne.

65:26

Foul by Luke Shaw (Southampton).

65:26

Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:12 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Norwich City. Nathan Redmond replaces Anthony Pilkington.

64:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Norwich City. Johan Elmander replaces Gary Hooper.

63:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Norwich City. Ricky van Wolfswinkel replaces Bradley Johnson.

63:27

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Southampton).

63:27

Gary Hooper (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

61:27

Steven Davis (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:27

Foul by Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City).

60:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Guly replaces Gastón Ramírez.

59:51 Booking

Booking Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

59:38

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

59:38

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City).

59:07

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

56:24 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Southampton 2, Norwich City 0. Rickie Lambert (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

55:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Rickie Lambert replaces Adam Lallana.

54:48

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Southampton) header from very close range is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.

54:20

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Robert Snodgrass.

53:40

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

53:40

Foul by Gary Hooper (Norwich City).

51:27

Foul by Gastón Ramírez (Southampton).

51:27

Jonny Howson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:28

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Gary Hooper.

50:01

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by John Ruddy.

49:58

Attempt missed. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Steven Davis.

49:07

Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:07

Foul by Jonny Howson (Norwich City).

48:05

Foul by Jose Fonte (Southampton).

48:05

Gary Hooper (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:35

Foul by Jay Rodriguez (Southampton).

45:35

Martin Olsson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Southampton 1, Norwich City 0.

45:00 +2:06 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Southampton 1, Norwich City 0.

45:00 +1:59

Steven Davis (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:00 +1:59

Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

45:00 +0:27

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

45:00 +0:27

Foul by Ryan Bennett (Norwich City).

44:54

Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:54

Foul by Jonny Howson (Norwich City).

43:34 Booking

Booking Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

43:25

Hand ball by Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City).

42:08

Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

40:27

Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

40:27

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City).

39:30

Foul by Gastón Ramírez (Southampton).

39:30

Steven Whittaker (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:26

Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:26

Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

37:40

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

36:22

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton).

36:22

Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:44

Attempt blocked. Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

35:37

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

34:48 Booking

Booking Steven Davis (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

34:31

Delay in match Martin Olsson (Norwich City) because of an injury.

34:18

Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).

34:18

Martin Olsson (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

33:06

Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

33:06

Foul by Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City).

31:50

Attempt missed. Gary Hooper (Norwich City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass.

28:36

Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:36

Foul by Jonny Howson (Norwich City).

27:00

Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gastón Ramírez with a through ball.

21:48

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Martin Olsson.

21:29

Steven Davis (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

21:29

Foul by Bradley Johnson (Norwich City).

20:31

Attempt missed. Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne.

19:07

Attempt missed. Steven Davis (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

13:19

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

12:00

Delay in match Bradley Johnson (Norwich City) because of an injury.

6:42

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

6:42

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City).

4:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Southampton 1, Norwich City 0. Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gastón Ramírez with a through ball.

4:18

Attempt blocked. Adam Lallana (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne.

1:15

Attempt missed. Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.

0:36

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Ryan Bennett.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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