Football: Southampton beat Fulham to escape bottom three

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse celebrates scoring their second goal with Oriol Romeu and team mates.
Southampton's James Ward-Prowse celebrates scoring their second goal with Oriol Romeu and team mates.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Southampton moved out of the relegation zone with a crucial 2-0 home win against struggling Fulham on Wednesday (Feb 27), their first victory in five Premier League games.

Oriol Romeu gave Southampton the lead in the 23rd minute, beating Fulham keeper Sergio Rico with a shot through a crowd.

Fulham enjoyed lots of possession but their weaknesses at both ends of the pitch were all too apparent as Southampton doubled their advantage before the break.

Aleksandar Mitrovic had just scuffed a good chance wide for Fulham when Southampton attacked down the left and Nathan Redmond's low cross was parried by Rico to James Ward-Prowse who swept in the rebound.

Despite some neat build-up play Fulham lacked any cutting edge as Southampton comfortably held out for the victory that moved them two points above Cardiff City into 17th place.

Second-from-bottom Fulham are now 10 points behind Southampton and looking odds-on for an instant return to the Championship.