Everton's hopes of securing Champions League football were dealt a huge blow as two first-half own goals gifted Southampton victory at St Mary's.

The Toffees, already a point adrift of Arsenal in the race for fourth place, were behind after 54 seconds when Antolin Alcaraz headed home Rickie Lambert's awkward left-wing cross.

And with Saints on top, Seamus Coleman headed another own goal to make it 2-0.

Saints set sights on record

Southampton's tally of 52 points means they have equalled their best points haul in a 38-game Premier League season and still have two games to play.

Everton, meanwhile, have already set their Premier League best - with 69.

The visitors improved after half-time but could not find a breakthrough.

Romelu Lukaku wasted a good headed opportunity and the visitors had two decent shouts for a penalty turned down.

But the Merseyside club, who could be four points off the top four if Arsenal beat Newcastle on Monday, were a poor imitation of the side that so impressed in beating the Gunners and Manchester United in recent weeks.

They lacked their usual intensity and quality and looked vulnerable at the back throughout.

Only a win over a mid-table Saints team with little to play for seemed like keeping alive their Champions League hopes, but victory at St Mary's never seemed on the cards with a nervy defensive display that started badly and got worse.

Southampton 2-0 Everton: Mauricio Pochettino proud of 'superior' Saints

Alcaraz, who was deputising for the injured Sylvain Distin, was slightly unfortunate to gift the hosts the lead inside a minute as he tried to divert Lambert's cross around the post for a corner.

The visitors never recovered from that setback and struggled to get to grips with the movement and quality of England duo Lambert and Adam Lallana, as well as Sam Gallagher, who was making just his second Premier League start.

Steven Davis should have added a second but his well-struck first-time effort went narrowly wide after great work by Lambert.

Coleman did make it 2-0 when Nathaniel Clyne's right-wing cross went over both John Stones and Alcaraz and the full-back neatly cushioned a header down and into the bottom corner.

The Toffees' only noteworthy first-half chance saw Lukaku blaze a shot over but they posed more of a threat in the second half.

Analysis

"Two own goals gifted the home side their advantage. Everton had a couple of strong penalty shouts after the break but were poor in the first half and there is no denying Southampton were worthy winners. This is a huge dent for Everton's Champions League hopes."

They felt aggrieved by a tight offside call on their brightest player Gerard Deulofeu and a caution for substitute Leon Osman for diving in the box when he appeared to have been clipped by Lovren.

Lukaku also headed straight at goalkeeper Artur Boruc from close range as the game opened up but Saints created the best chances in the last 15 minutes and Lambert almost wrapped up victory with a fine low free-kick that hit the outside of the post.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino

"There were many positives aspects from the win today. In the overall analysis, we just followed our style. We played in the way we know how to play and it worked for us to play a team that is fighting to get into the Champions League as well.

"I want to thank the players, the medical staff and overall the entire club because we matched our record in the history of the Premier League."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez

"It's very rare to see two own goals. To concede one so early affected us a little bit and we got a bit frustrated. We were not our normal selves.

Southampton 2-0 Everton: Own goal a massive blow - Roberto Martinez

"In a back five you need consistency and having changes we needed 20-25 minutes to get into a tempo and unfortunately we conceded two goals.

"We got stronger in the second half but we never had that confidence we normally have to get the goal to get back into the game.

"Everything that could have gone wrong defensively did. But eight wins out of 10 is a phenomenal return. You can't underestimate the run the team has been on.

"We always look at the biggest points tally we can get. Today is a setback but we will learn from it and we will be ready for next Saturday."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Southampton

  • 31 Boruc
  • 02 Clyne
  • 23 Shaw
  • 12 Wanyama
  • 06 Fonte
  • 05 Lovren
  • 08 Davis (Do Prado - 90' )
  • 18 Cork
  • 40 Gallagher (Ward-Prowse - 76' )
  • 07 Lambert
  • 20 Lallana (Reed - 86' )

Substitutes

  • 16 Ward-Prowse
  • 21 Do Prado
  • 22 Chambers
  • 25 Gazzaniga
  • 26 Hooiveld
  • 33 Targett
  • 38 Reed

Everton

  • 24 Howard
  • 23 Coleman
  • 03 Baines (Garbutt - 90' )
  • 18 Barry Booked
  • 26 Stones
  • 32 Alcaraz
  • 14 Naismith
  • 16 McCarthy
  • 17 Lukaku
  • 20 Barkley (Osman - 45' Booked )
  • 10 Deulofeu (McGeady - 58' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Robles
  • 02 Hibbert
  • 07 McGeady
  • 21 Osman
  • 29 Garbutt
  • 36 Browning
  • 46 Ledson
Ref: Michael Oliver
Att: 31,313

Match Stats

Shots

14 9

On target

4 2

Corners

4 7

Fouls

13 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Southampton 2, Everton 0.

90:00 +3:04 Full time

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

90:00 +1:36

Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne.

89:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Luke Garbutt replaces Leighton Baines.

89:05 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Guly replaces Steven Davis.

87:14

Offside, Everton. Antolin Alcaraz tries a through ball, but Leighton Baines is caught offside.

85:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. Harrison Reed replaces Adam Lallana.

82:29

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

78:40

Offside, Everton. Seamus Coleman tries a through ball, but Leighton Baines is caught offside.

78:07

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Jack Cork.

76:40

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

75:53

Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).

75:53

Jack Cork (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse replaces Sam Gallagher.

72:32

Foul by Sam Gallagher (Southampton).

72:32

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:37

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by John Stones.

71:34

Attempt blocked. Adam Lallana (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Davis with a through ball.

70:41

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

70:41

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

69:41

Offside, Everton. Tim Howard tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.

68:56

Attempt blocked. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Gareth Barry.

68:22

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.

67:18

Foul by Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

67:18

Gareth Barry (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:17

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

66:17

Foul by Gareth Barry (Everton).

65:20

Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).

65:20

Leon Osman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:37

Attempt saved. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Aiden McGeady with a cross.

62:53

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

62:53

James McCarthy (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

62:19

Foul by Sam Gallagher (Southampton).

62:19

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:48 Booking

Booking Leon Osman (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

61:34

Leon Osman (Everton) has gone down, but that's a dive.

59:14

Rickie Lambert (Southampton) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

58:26

Jack Cork (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:26

Foul by Gareth Barry (Everton).

57:57 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Aiden McGeady replaces Gerard Deulofeu.

57:16

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steven Davis.

56:31

Attempt missed. Adam Lallana (Southampton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

53:28

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Jack Cork.

53:26

Attempt blocked. Steven Naismith (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

52:58

Foul by Jose Fonte (Southampton).

52:58

Steven Naismith (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

52:23

Attempt missed. Jack Cork (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Luke Shaw with a cross.

49:38

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Antolin Alcaraz.

47:48

Steven Naismith (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:48

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

46:54

Offside, Everton. Steven Naismith tries a through ball, but Gerard Deulofeu is caught offside.

46:25

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

46:25

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

45:00

Second Half begins Southampton 2, Everton 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Leon Osman replaces Ross Barkley.

45:00 +1:22 Half time

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

45:00 +0:44

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

45:00 +0:44

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

44:20 Booking

Booking Gareth Barry (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

44:11

Foul by Gareth Barry (Everton).

44:11

Sam Gallagher (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42:33

Attempt blocked. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Seamus Coleman with a cross.

41:17

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

41:17

Foul by Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

40:40

Offside, Everton. Leighton Baines tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.

37:13

Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Gerard Deulofeu with a cross.

36:47

Steven Naismith (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

36:47

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Southampton).

35:48

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Luke Shaw.

35:09

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Jose Fonte.

33:12

Attempt saved. Dejan Lovren (Southampton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adam Lallana with a cross.

32:43

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Steven Naismith.

30:49 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Seamus Coleman, Everton. Southampton 2, Everton 0.

29:58

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

29:58

Foul by Gareth Barry (Everton).

28:18

Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

28:18

Foul by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).

28:10

Attempt blocked. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

24:57

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by John Stones.

24:19

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

22:56

Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

22:56

Foul by Gareth Barry (Everton).

20:15

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

18:53

Attempt blocked. Steven Davis (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Shaw with a cross.

17:39

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

14:35

Attempt saved. Gerard Deulofeu (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.

13:00

Foul by Jose Fonte (Southampton).

13:00

Romelu Lukaku (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:29

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

11:29

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

10:56

Attempt blocked. James McCarthy (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Leighton Baines.

10:16

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Luke Shaw.

6:52

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

6:52

Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:37

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

5:42

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Steven Davis.

5:04

Foul by Rickie Lambert (Southampton).

5:04

Tim Howard (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:57

Attempt blocked. Sam Gallagher (Southampton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Cork.

3:04

Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Seamus Coleman with a cross.

1:50

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

1:50

Foul by Steven Naismith (Everton).

0:54 Goal scored

Goal! Own Goal by Antolin Alcaraz, Everton. Southampton 1, Everton 0.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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