Match ends, Southampton 2, Leicester City 0.
- Southampton remain four points behind leaders Chelsea
- The Saints have kept four successive league clean sheets
- Leicester without a win in their last six matches
- Shane Long scores his first league goals for Southampton
Substitute Shane Long's brace gave second-placed Southampton victory over struggling Leicester City.
Saints forward Sadio Mane blazed his side's best opening over the bar in a quiet first half of few chances.
Long put the hosts in front with a measured finish from 16 yards after good hold up play from Graziano Pelle.
The former Hull striker sealed victory after Victor Wanyama's through ball sent him in on goal before Chris Wood missed a fine chance for the Foxes.
Long had failed to score in his first nine league outings for the Saints after his £12m summer move from the Tigers but his introduction completely changed the course of the match.
Ronald Koeman's Saints have only conceded one goal at home all season and are guaranteed to enter the international break in second place.
But the visitors, without a win since September, had the better of the opening exchanges with the Saints struggling to build up any rhythm on a slick pitch in torrential rain.
The lively Mane came closest to opening the scoring in a scrappy first half but he failed to keep his effort down after the ball had bounced into his path in the penalty area.
The hosts picked up where they had left off at the end of the first half and Italian international Pelle came close to his 10th of the season when he shot over from a Dusan Tadic cross before Mane had a goal rightly ruled out for offside.
Foxes boss Nigel Pearson had backed his side's Premier League credentials before the game but their winless run now stands at six matches, they have failed to score in their last four and remain in the relegation zone.
The Saints eventually got the reward their endeavour deserved in the 75th minute when Pelle showed good strength and awareness to lay the ball off to Long who made no mistake.
He doubled his side's advantage five minutes later after visiting keeper Kasper Schmeichel's poor clearance was picked up by Wanywama who played a well-weighted ball over the the top for the Republic of Ireland international to finish calmly.
The Foxes should have got themselves back in it with less than five minutes to go but Wood scooped wide from eight yards with home keeper Fraser Forster beaten.
Long could have completed his hat-trick but fired into the side-netting in the final minute.
Southampton boss Ronald Koeman:
"We missed quality in the final third in the first half.
"We will always create opportunities because we have good players.
"Shane made the difference today. He might have been disappointed not to be playing but his attitude was fantastic.
"We have had a good run in the last few weeks but we need a rest. That's difficult because we have 17 players on international duty. We hope they all come back fit."
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson:
"The top and bottom of it is we couldn't score.
"We're experiencing a tough run at the moment and we can't find a way to win.
"Clearly we have ability but the Premier League is about being ruthless in both boxes.
"It is a learning curve for us but we are not here to make up the numbers."
- 6José Fonte
- 17AlderweireldBooked at 54mins
- 8DavisSubstituted forCorkat 40'minutes
- 4SchneiderlinBooked at 37minsSubstituted forReedat 90+2'minutes
- 10ManéSubstituted forLongat 68'minutes
- 2de LaetSubstituted forMooreat 54'minutesBooked at 58mins
- 27WasilewskiBooked at 78mins
- 10KingSubstituted forPowellat 76'minutes
- 23UlloaSubstituted forWoodat 71'minutes
- Michael Oliver
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Southampton 2, Leicester City 0.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Kasper Schmeichel.
Attempt saved. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Dusan Tadic.
Substitution, Southampton. Harrison Reed replaces Morgan Schneiderlin.
Graziano Pellè (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City).
Offside, Southampton. Nathaniel Clyne tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Chris Wood (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Marcin Wasilewski with a headed pass.
Attempt missed. Nick Powell (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Drinkwater.
Foul by Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton).
Chris Wood (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jack Cork (Southampton).
Matthew James (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jack Cork (Southampton).
Esteban Cambiasso (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Goal! Southampton 2, Leicester City 0. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Victor Wanyama with a through ball.
Marcin Wasilewski (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Marcin Wasilewski (Leicester City).