London – Crystal Palace remained mired in the relegation battle after Southampton beat them 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Jay Rodriguez' first-half goal was enough to give Southampton only their fifth win in their last 18 Premier League matches and extended their unbeaten record with Palace in Premier League meetings to 10.
The result also left the Eagles just two points above the relegation places following a run of one point from the last nine on offer.
Crystal Palace tried to stifle Southampton's more creative play from the outset, although Rodriguez had an early effort which flashed over the bar.
The visitors suffered a blow midway through the first-half when Jack Cork had to go off having fallen badly on his ankle and was replaced by Kenyan international Victor Wanyama.
However, they put the adjustment in their line-up behind them quickly and Rodriguez was on hand to open the scoring.
He beat Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni in a race to the ball and poked it home from 30 metres out, the Argentinian goalkeeper having come outside his area lamely tried to tackle him, after former Saints midfielder Jason Puncheon had put the home defence in trouble with an understrength header.
Southampton should have been 2-0 up by the break as Adam Lallana teed up Rickie Lambert but the England striker, with the goal begging, nonchalantly fired his shot against the post.
The hosts worked hard in the second-half to push for the equaliser and also pin back Southampton's marauding attack, succeeding more with the latter than creating anything of note to trouble Artur Boruc in the Saints goal. – Sapa-AFP