Stuart Armstrong and Shane Long scored second-half goals to give Southampton a deserved 2-0 Premier League win over Everton at St Mary’s.
Southampton, unbeaten in their previous eight home league games, took the lead when Armstrong (52) finished off a bright attacking move seven minutes into the second half, before substitute Shane Long doubled the hosts’ advantage with his first touch of the game (84).
Despite some promising early build-up play by Everton, Southampton dominated in every area of the field as James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu’s mix of industry and ingenuity, as well as Kyle Walker-Peters’ enthusiasm down the left flank, saw the visitors finish the game without a shot on target.
Southampton extended their recent fine run to just one defeat in 11 matches in all competitions with another impressive showing. They remain 10th in the table.
As for Everton, Frank Lampard thought he had generated lift-off with the 3-0 home thumping of Leeds on February 12 in his third match at the Goodison Park helm.
But the ex-Chelsea boss will need no telling that this loss – and the curiously supine performance – leaves his side still flirting with a relegation battle. They stay 16th, four points above the relegation zone.
How Saints dominated disappointing Everton
Everton started brightly but Southampton soon took control of the game, stifling their opponents with a far more aggressive midfield approach.
Allan was booked for a desperate scything challenge in a bid to assert some authority for the visitors, then conceded a dangerous free-kick on the edge of his own area.
Ward-Prowse duly hit the target with a trademark whipped strike, but Jordan Pickford was able to tip the ball around the post.
Tino Livramento was as stunned as the home crowd to see his flick rebuffed at point-blank range by Pickford next, from Ward-Prowse’s smart corner.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl made one change from the side that drew 1-1 with Manchester United last week.
Romain Perraud, who recently tested positive for Covid-19, was replaced by Tino Livramento. Theo Walcott made the bench.
Everton boss Frank Lampard named an unchanged side after last weekend’s 3-0 win over Leeds.
Vitaliy Mykolenko returned to the bench.
Bednarek then met Romeu’s teasing cross with a thumping header, but allied to Pickford’s save the centre-back was offside.
The opening of the half fell to Walker-Peters, who picked his spot and drilled goalwards. His rasping strike beat Pickford all ends up but skimmed the outside of the post.
Saints turned around by far the more frustrated at the stalemate then, while Lampard took no prisoners in hooking Allan for Andre Gomes.
Calvert-Lewin nodded home straight after the break as Everton started quickly, but the England forward was comfortably offside.
Southampton kept their heads, however, and duly swept to a fully-merited lead.
Armstrong’s measured finish finally rewarded the hosts’ dominance, with the Scotland midfielder steadying from Adams’ pass before drilling home.
Southampton could easily have doubled their lead just moments later, but Adams’ flick from Ward-Prowse’s masterful ball nestled straight into Pickford’s gloves.
Mohamed Elyounoussi nodded another unplayable Ward-Prowse free-kick onto the crossbar with Pickford standing no chance, as Saints sought to sustain their control.
Saints’ dominance never wavered, and late replacement Long nodded home a match-sealing second with his first touch after replacing Armando Broja.
Southampton host Norwich at St Mary’s on Friday Night Football, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 8pm.
Up next for Everton is a Saturday Night Football clash with Manchester City at Goodison Park, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.