Match ends, Stoke City 2, Southampton 3.
Southampton continued their impressive form with a win over 10-man Stoke City to reach the last eight of the League Cup for the first time in 10 years.
They led when Graziano Pelle curled in a stunning effort before Shane Long struck his first Southampton goal.
Steven N'Zonzi gave Stoke hope after the break with a shot from distance and Mame Biram Diouf headed them level.
But when Stoke's Peter Crouch was sent off, Pelle found space from the resulting free-kick to drill a winner.
Substitute Crouch had only been on the pitch for 15 minutes when he collected two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for a late challenge on Steven Davis.
His exit was a huge blow to Mark Hughes's side, who were chasing their second quarter-final appearance in as many years and Pelle scored the winner moments later to undo the hosts' fightback.
Pelle's impact on the south coast has been stunning and his eighth and ninth club goals of the season in just 12 appearances were ruthlessly collected.
His first arrived when he collected the ball centrally and forged into space before curling an effort in off the post, while his second will leave Saints' fans pinching themselves, with their side now second in the Premier League and within two games of Wembley.
They now have nine wins in 10 matches and the latest in that run looked set to be one of the more comfortable when Long finished from 10 yards to end a sweeping team move for their second goal.
|In their last 10 matches, Southampton have won nine and lost one, scoring 28 and conceding just six goals|
But Stoke, who now have just three wins in 25 matches against Southampton, saw a Jonathan Walters effort ruled out for offside before the break, and then gained a hold in the match through N'Zonzi's first of the season.
The French midfielder strode forward and buried a powerful strike to halve the deficit - though moments later home keeper Asmir Begovic kept his side in the contest when he denied Long a second and kept out Victor Wanyama with his legs.
The introduction of Crouch and Charlie Adam allowed the home side to play directly and a run of five corners ended with Diouf pouncing on a flick on to head the Potters level.
The noise levels rose in the Britannia Stadium with the visitors under pressure but Crouch's infringements against Jose Fonte and Davis were punished with bookings and Pelle pounced to move Southampton a step closer to a first League Cup success.
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes:
"We put in a good effort in the second half compared to the first half where we didn't have the intensity I was looking for.
"I was delighted with the second-half performance but just a lack of concentration when the ball came into the box and we are getting punished.
"Maybe the sending off has affected our concentration somewhat and at 3-2 it's difficult to take but we need to build a full 90-minute performance."
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman:
"I think it was deserved because we created more chances than Stoke. We like to win every game and we'd like to win a title. It's maybe not the most important but maybe for us yes it is the most important."
- 2BardsleyBooked at 64mins
- 12WilsonBooked at 65mins
- 20CameronSubstituted forAdamat 73'minutesBooked at 76mins
- 27BojanSubstituted forCrouchat 73'minutesBooked at 88mins
- 6José FonteBooked at 87mins
- 5GardosSubstituted forAlderweireldat 90+2'minutes
- 8DavisSubstituted forCorkat 90+2'minutes
- 19PellèBooked at 89mins
- Lee Mason
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Stoke City 2, Southampton 3.
Erik Pieters (Stoke City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).
Attempt missed. Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Charlie Adam with a cross.
Attempt saved. Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Morgan Schneiderlin.
Substitution, Southampton. Toby Alderweireld replaces Florin Gardos.
Substitution, Southampton. Jack Cork replaces Steven Davis.
Attempt missed. Phil Bardsley (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Charlie Adam with a cross.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Matt Targett (Southampton) because of an injury.
Graziano Pellè (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.
Goal! Stoke City 2, Southampton 3. Graziano Pellè (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner following a set piece situation.
Second yellow card to Peter Crouch (Stoke City) for a bad foul.
Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).
Steven Davis (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Jose Fonte (Southampton) is shown the yellow card.
Peter Crouch (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).