Match ends, Crystal Palace 1, Southampton 3.
- Southampton back up to fourth in Premier League
- Crystal Palace drop into bottom three
- Eagles have only won one of last 12 league matches
- Saints score three goals for second successive game
Southampton moved up to fourth in the Premier League as they claimed an easy win at struggling Crystal Palace.
Sadio Mane raced on to James Ward-Prowse's pass and ran through the home defence, before he took the ball around goalkeeper Julian Speroni.
Ryan Bertrand fired in from Mane's pull-back to make it 2-0 before Toby Alderweireld powerfully headed a third.
Scott Dann headed in a late consolation from Mile Jedinak's free-kick for the Eagles, who drop into the bottom three.
But the late goal from the hosts made little difference as Southampton gained a fully deserved victory - their 10th in the league this season.
The three points take Ronald Koeman's side back above West Ham, who lost 2-0 at Chelsea, and into one of the Champions League places.
Southampton, who last played in European competition in 2003-04 when they lost in the first round of the Uefa Cup, have responded well after a run of five successive defeats with back-to-back Premier League victories.
After restricting Palace to speculative long-range efforts in a bright spell from the hosts at the end of the first half, the visitors' class told with two goals within seven minutes of the restart to kill the game.
|The run goes on|
|Crystal Palace have never beaten Southampton in the Premier League. They have drawn four and lost seven of 11 matches.|
The Eagles have scored just two goals in five matches - but boss Neil Warnock will be more unhappy with his side's defending.
They had only taken the lead in two of their previous eight home league matches and were lucky to not fall behind in the fourth minute when Alderweireld's speculative looping shot hit the crossbar.
However, the reprieve did not last long as Mane was allowed to sprint through the centre of the Eagles defence and finish calmly.
Palace enjoyed their best spell midway through the first half but Jedinak's free-kick was held comfortably by Fraser Forster and both Joe Ledley and Jason Puncheon fired off target.
That wastefulness cost the hosts - as within two minutes of the second half, the game was beyond them.
From a throw-in, Mane spun marker Joel Ward, got to the byeline and pulled the ball back for Bertrand to lash it into the top corner from 15 yards out after Graziano Pelle had missed his kick.
The Eagles then conceded a third as Alderweireld scored his first Saints goal, with a header from the edge of the six-yard area following Ward-Prowse's corner.
Dann got an 86th-minute consolation for Palace, but it was too little, too late.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman said: "I'm very pleased and we were very solid. We scored some good goals and defended well.
"We dealt with the long balls and the direct, physical play of Crystal Palace and that was the key. We knew we had more quality but it would be a battle and a fight and we were well prepared for that."
Southampton play Chelsea at home on 28 December and Koeman added: "For everybody Chelsea are the biggest test. In my opinion they are the best team in the Premier League until now, but we believe in ourselves and it will be a great game."
- 27DelaneyBooked at 77mins
- 28LedleySubstituted forZahaat 67'minutes
- 10CampbellSubstituted forGayleat 48'minutes
- 7BolasieSubstituted forKellyat 72'minutes
- 2ClyneSubstituted forMcCarthyat 87'minutes
- 8DavisSubstituted forWanyamaat 56'minutes
- 19PellèSubstituted forLongat 72'minutes
- Mike Dean
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 1, Southampton 3.
Attempt saved. James McArthur (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Jason McCarthy.
Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace).
Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Scott Dann (Crystal Palace).
Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).
Substitution, Southampton. Jason McCarthy replaces Nathaniel Clyne.
Goal! Crystal Palace 1, Southampton 3. Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mile Jedinak with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Southampton).
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace).
Fraser Forster (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace).
Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Nathaniel Clyne.
Attempt blocked. Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Victor Wanyama.