Southampton surged to an impressive 3-0 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday, as three England internationals stole the show.
Goals from Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez in 12 second half minutes did the damage as Saints sped away from Fulham with a marvelous display.
The opening 45 minutes was a largely even affair, if anything, Fulham shaded it, but this damaging defeat at home sees Rene Muelensteen’s side bottom of the table and three points from safety.
While Saints are now unbeaten in four games, with the South Coast club sitting pretty in ninth spot on 35 points after their win.
Early on Fulham youngster Dan Burn headed over the bar early on, as the Cottagers settled well at home.
Southampton looked decent on the break, but Fulham had done all the pressing as new signing Lewis Holtby and Steve Sidwell both hit shots off target in a good opening for the Cottagers.
Brede Hangeland then had a header saved terrifically by Artur Bourc, as Fulham piled on the pressure at Craven Cottage.
In the 29th minute Morgan Schneiderlin saw his header cleared off the line, as Saints recovered well from their shaky start. But then Fulham kept coming back as Darren Bent was thwarted by Boruc twice in quick succession.
Saints started to get their free-flowing style going as half time approached, as Adam Lallana got on the ball and delivered a great cross that Jay Rodriguez couldn’t quite get on the end of. The teams went in at the break locked at 0-0.
After the interval Saints went close after Schneiderlin’s acrobatic effort went just over the bar and the visitors began to build some pressure.
Soon that was too much for Fulham to handle as Rickie Lambert played in Lallana and the England international smashed an effort into the bottom with his left-foot to put Saints 1-0 up.
Southampton were then on the rampage as Lambert, Jose Fonte, Jay Rodriguez and Steven Davis all went close to adding a second. Then in the 69th minute they did, as Lambert finished off clinically after a sweeping move from Saints saw Nathaniel Clyne get free on the right and deliver it on a plate for England striker Lambert.
Rodriguez then curled in a cracker in the 75th minute, as all three of Southampton’s England international got on the score sheet in front of Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson.
Saints played out the game by knocking the ball around comfortably, and Fulham are now in a whole spot of bother at the bottom of the standings. Saints deserved winners.
Fulham: Stekelenburg; Riether, Hangeland, Burn, Richardson; Duff (Dempsey, 65), Sidwell, Kvist (Tankovic, 83), Parker (Kasami, 74), Holtby; Bent.
Southampton: Boruc, Chambers (Clyne, 58), Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Wanyama (Cork, 45), Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez (Gallagher, 87), Lambert.
Goal: Lallana (63), Lambert (69), Rodriguez (75)