Southampton ended their poor run of Barclays Premier League form by overcoming a lacklustre Everton side 3-0 at St Mary's Stadium on Saturday.
A Romelu Lukaku own-goal combined with second-half goals from Graziano Pelle and Maya Yoshida ensured that Ronald Koeman's men secured their first victory in five Barclays Premier League outings.
Much had been made of Southampton's injury woes before kick-off, with a run of five consecutive defeats in all competitions culminating in the League Cup exit at League One side Sheffield United in mid-week, but the hosts were clinical against Everton.
Everton were beaten 2-0 in the corresponding fixture last season thanks to two own-goals and that trend continued when Lukaku put through his own net in the 38th minute.
Pelle missed a gilt-edged chance to double the advantage soon after, but the out-of-sorts forward made amends 20 minutes into the second half when he prodded in his second goal in his last nine Barclays Premier League appearances.
Roberto Martinez's men showed no real conviction as they attempted to pull one back and Yoshida's 82nd-minute header condemned Everton to their sixth Barclays Premier League loss of the campaign.
Southampton were without several key players, with Koeman employing a back three to compensate for the loss of Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama in midfield.
Everton, who made two changes from the team that beat QPR on Monday, retained possession well in the early stages, but Southampton looked dangerous on the counter and were controversially denied a free-kick after Sylvain Distin felled Shane Long just outside the area.
The hosts missed a decent opportunity just a few minutes later when Nathaniel Clyne burst down the right and dinked in an inviting cross, but Pelle headed tamely over the crossbar.
A corner was awarded to Southampton and a James-Ward Prowse cross resulted in Lukaku heading into his own net under pressure from Jose Fonte.
The Saints almost snatched a second two minutes later as Ryan Bertrand drove down the left before drilling in a low cross to Pelle, but the Italian could only fire into the side-netting from close-range.
Ross Barkley impressed in a deep-lying central role in Everton's win over Queens Park Rangers last time out, but the midfielder struggled to make an impact operating on the left flank as the visitors pushed for an equaliser.
Everton stepped up the intensity as the hour mark approached, but Southampton's back-line stayed strong, with the hosts content to play on the break.
And it was Koeman's side who increased their lead when Pelle latched onto Long's knock-down to poke through the legs of Tim Howard.
The American goalkeeper did manage to prevent Pelle grabbing a second immediately after, diving down low to his left to parry away the striker's header.
Fraser Forster was finally called into action at the other end after 73 minutes when he reacted well to parry away Lukaku's dipping long-range strike.
Matters were made worse for the visitors when Yoshida latched onto a cross to head past Howard and put the result beyond all doubt with just under 10 minutes remaining.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "The key today was to win the game. We were outstanding. As a team, the work was unbelievable and you need that to win games. It is not always about quality. The Players showed how you have to fight to win games.
"If you show more spirit you are invariably more lucky. After the goal we had more belief and more confidence after losing four or five games. Hopefully we got some confidence back.
"The energy Harrison Reed put in was one of the keys to win the game."
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: "Very disappointing. A game with nothing between the two sides apart from ourselves not being able to defend the six-yard box better.
"It is about how we defended the six-yard box, the other two goals were the same. They didn't have to do much to score three goals. It was not a case of them being superior to us, it is just we were very soft.
"I do feel we need to find a good run of performances. I don't think the performance was too far away from what you need to get good results."
|26 Dec 2014||v Crystal Palace (A)|
|28 Dec 2014||v Chelsea (H)|
|01 Jan 2015||v Arsenal (H)|
|11 Jan 2015||v Man Utd (A)|
|17 Jan 2015||v Newcastle (A)|
|01 Feb 2015||v Swansea (H)|