Danny Ings scored either side of halftime as Southampton picked up a much needed 3-1 Premier League win over Crystal Palace on Tuesday night at St Mary’s.
Southampton was free to play without the lingering threat of a mathematical relegation nightmare over their heads following Fulham’s defeat on Monday, but carelessly allowed Palace to grab a lead after just two minutes through Christian Benteke.
Ings would draw Saints level on 19 minutes when he turned and swivelled from inside the box before finding the bottom corner for his first goal since exiting against Tottenham back in April.
Crystal Palace was unable to regain the lead from the spot after Nathan Redmond fouled Wilfred Zaha, but Fraser Forster responded to stop Luka Milivojevic’s penalty attempt with a dive to his left.
Saints took advantage of the lifeline and grabbed a 2-1 lead two minutes after the restart from a coolly worked corner-kick sparked by James Ward-Prowse who helped tee up Che Adams to fire in from an acute angle.
Ings made it 3-1 to Saints in the 75th minute and brought his league tally to 12 goals in 26 appearances.
Southampton, who claimed their seventh home win this season, climbed into 14th place in the table on 40 points with three games remaining.
Southampton (4-4-2): Forster; Stephens, Vestagaard, Bednarek (Salisu), Walker-Peters; Redmond, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Minamino; Ings (Obafemi 76), Adams
Unused subs: McCarthy (GK), Walcott, Diallo, N’Lundulu, Ferry, Djenepo, Tella
Goals: Adams (45), Ings (19, 75)
Bookings: Bednarek (44), Vestergaard (54)
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Guaita; Mitchell, Dann, Kouyate, Ward; Riedewald, Milivojevic (Schlupp 65), Eze; Zaha, Ayew (Batshuayi 72), Benteke (Mateta 78)
Unused subs: Butland (GK), Cahill, Kelly, Townsend, van Aanholt
Goals: Benteke (2)
Bookings: Ayew (45+1), Kouyate (77), Zaha (90+2)