Southampton got revenge on Leicester City on Saturday by claiming a huge 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester took the lead early on through Dennis Praet, but the visitors fought back as Stuart Armstrong equalised after just 18 minutes.
Danny Ings twice hit the bar but was then the hero in red and white again when he claimed he match-winning goal 10 minutes from time
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side now sit just six points off of the top five after seemingly being set for a tough relegation battle after their record breaking loss to the Foxes in October.
Saints started the game well and saw a big chance for key man Danny Ings go begging early on as the striker raced through one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel before being denied twice.
Leicester’s quality has been made obvious this season though and they gained the lead 13 minutes in.
Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy – who both scored hat-tricks in their 9-0 win at St Mary’s in October – were both involved in the build-up, with the latter’s cross finding Dennis Praet at the back post to score.
However, Saints didn’t take long to respond with an equaliser.
Strike partners Danny Ings and Shane Long combined well as the visitors broke forward before a ball across the area found Stuart Armstrong – the Scotland international shifting the ball onto his left foot and firing into the net via a deflection off of James Maddison.
From that moment on, Saints really took control of the first-half and Danny Ings twice went within inches of putting his side ahead.
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First, his flicked effort clipped off the bar as he connected with Armstrong’s cross, whilst an opportunist volley from the in-form man then cannoned off the bar again. Perhaps it wasn’t going to be his day?
Into the second-half, the contest really became an entertaining and eventful affair.
Jack Stephens and Jonny Evans were denied early on after the resumption of play, but then Saints thought they had a penalty on 63 minutes.
Shane Long raced through on goal and was brought down as he went to shoot, but VAR reversed the decision after showing that the Irishman was just inches offside when he was played through.
This setback didn’t deter Saints from continuing to push forward though with a positive result clearly within reach.
Perhaps it was the 10 changes that were made in the FA Cup last weekend that helped them maintain their performance levels at the King Power, but whatever it was it worked as they took the lead 10 minutes from time.
Substitute Che Adams did well to hold the ball up and play Danny Ings through between two Leicester defenders, where he advanced to the edge of the box to poke his finish through Schmeichel’s legs and in. 2-1 and no less than Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men deserved.
Alex McCarthy was forced into two important saves to deny Demarai Gray and Kelechi Iheanacho, and Jonny Evans had an equaliser ruled out for a clear offside late on, but Saints held on to make it five league games unbeaten.
After an amazing turnaround since the 9-0 loss to Leicester in October, Saints now sit closer to the top five than the bottom three and deserve a huge amount of praise for their recent efforts.
Schmeichel, Pereira, Soyuncu, Evans, Chilwell, Praet (Tielemans 77), Choudhury, Maddison, Barnes (Iheanacho 58), Perez (Gray 67), Vardy
Subs not used: Gunn, Yoshida, Boufal, Obafemi
McCarthy, Cedric, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Armstrong (Djenepo 78), Redmond (Romeu 92), Long (Adams 78), Ings
Subs not used: Ward, Justin, Benkovic Albrighton