Danny Ings led Southampton to a dominant three goal win over Norwich to dent the Canaries’ survival hopes.
Ings opened the scoring early in the second half after smashing in from close range, before setting up Stuart Armstrong to curl in the Saints’ second goal just five minutes later.
Nathan Redmond then added a third in the closing stages after firing in from Michael Obafemi’s pass, after the Irishman had picked up a through ball from Ings to complete the Saints’ first-ever Premier League double over Norwich.
Southampton consequently climb above Newcastle United to 13th whilst Norwich remain six points adrift of safety at the foot of the Premier League table.
Norwich made the better start when Teemu Pukki was fouled in the opening minute to win the hosts a free-kick, which was whipped in by Emiliano Buendia but cleared for three consecutive corners which all came to nothing.
Kenny McLean and Josip Drmic then both went close but their efforts ended up wide of the goal, although Drmic ‘s shot won two corners of which Southampton broke from the second set piece with Ings’ header eventually saved by Tim Krul.
Both teams then traded chances throughout the remainder of the first-half with Armstrong going closest in 29th minute, lashing in from James Ward Prowse’s corner only for Krul to save it on the line.
Free-kicks however went the way of both teams at the end of the first half, of which Timm Klose headed Norwich’s set piece wide before Krul comfortably saved Ward Prowse’s effort.Embed from Getty Images
Southampton however begun the second half brightest and a long throw down the left fell to Obafemi, who flicked the ball into Armstrong’s pass and the Scotland international teed up Ings who ran into space and smashed in past a helpless Krul.
Obafemi then put a shot wide from Ings’ pass before the latter played a through ball to the Irish international, who teed up Armstrong to cut in from the right and curl into the bottom right corner to double their lead.
Pukki eventually produced Norwich’s best chance of the second half when he got forward in the 64th minute, only four Southampton players to get back and clear the ball just in time.
Southampton finally completed their first-ever Premier League double over the Canaries, with Ings playing through to Obafemi who passed across for Redmond to slot in their third against his former team.
Both teams then brought on two youngsters for senior debuts as Josh Martin came on for Drmic in the 89th minute, just one minute after Nathan Tella came on as a Saints sub for Ings.
Tella however would be tackled by Max Aarons just minutes later, of which Aarons received a yellow card for his mistake in the match’s last big moment.
Ings spoke to Sky Sports post–match, saying: “With the strange environment it was about adapting, we did that well and got it spot on. In the first half, when I hit the bar I thought I was rusty. But I am happy I stuck in there.
“It was good to be back. It was good fun. Hopefully we brought joy to the nation.”
Norwich host Everton on Wednesday 24 June in a 6pm (BST) kick off whilst Southampton face Arsenal at home a day later on Thursday 25 June, also in a 6pm (BST) start.
Norwich: Krul (GK), Aarons, Klose, Godfrey, Lewis, Buendia (Idah, 80), Trybull (Vrancic, 62), McLean, Cantwell (Hernandez, 62), Pukki (Duda, 80), Drmic (Martin, 89)
Southampton: McCarthy (GK), Valery (Walker-Peters, 90), Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Armstrong (Smallbone, 82), Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Redmond (Boufal, 89), Ings (Tella, 88), Obafemi (Adams, 82)