Shane Long scored twice as Southampton stretched their winning run to five matches by beating Leicester City 2-0 at St Mary's.
Ronald Koeman's side dominated a one-sided Barclays Premier League clash on the English south coast, but they had to wait until 15 minutes from time for Long to open the scoring after coming off the bench.
Leicester had produced a resolute display to frustrate the hosts, but their resistance was ended when Long scored his first top-flight goal for the club with a clinical finish just seven minutes after coming on.
Long then sealed the points five minutes later as second-placed Southampton claimed an eighth BPL win in their last nine matches to ensure they head into the international break four points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Leicester, by contrast, are in the relegation zone having picked up just one point from their last six matches since their dramatic 5-3 win over Manchester United. They have also failed to score in four matches.
Sadio Mane was restored to the Southampton starting line-up at the expense of Long in the only change from the team that beat Hull City last weekend.
Leading scorer Leonardo Ulloa returned to the Leicester side along with Jeffrey Schlupp, as David Nugent and Paul Konchesky dropped to the bench.
Koeman had urged his in-form side to dominate Leicester and they wasted no time in getting on the front foot.
Ryan Bertrand proved to be a dangerous outlet and Schlupp had to be alert to head the on-loan left-back's dangerous cross behind for a corner at the back post 20 minutes in.
Leicester were unable to keep hold of the ball as Southampton continued to pin them back, but Mane typified the hosts' lack of composure in the final third when he fired a shot over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.
Koeman was forced to make a change five minutes before the break, with Jack Cork replacing the injured Steven Davis.
Mane thought he had put Southampton in front seven minutes into the second half when he turned in a Bertrand cross, but the Senegal winger had strayed offside.
Leicester stood firm as the home side continued to dominate without being able to come up with an end product.
The visitors were living dangerously, though, and Morgan Schneiderlin's shot was deflected wide for a corner after Dusan Tadic's cross had fallen nicely for the midfielder in the penalty area.
And Southampton finally got the reward for another impressive display when Graziano Pelle laid the ball off for the onrushing Long - on in the 68th minute - and he kept his composure to finish with his left foot.
The Republic of Ireland international struck again 10 minutes from time to seal the points, beating the offside trap before calmly slotting beyond Kasper Schmeichel.
Chris Wood ought to have pulled a goal back three minutes from time, but he was somehow off target with only Fraser Forster to beat.
Long almost had a hat-trick with the last kick of the game when he fired just wide after a swift break, but his double ensured Southampton's sensational start to the season continues.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: “I think we had enough patience. It was necessary because it was difficult. In the final passes we missed some quality in the first half and we were the better team, the dominant team in the game, but we didn’t create a lot of opportunities.
“We spoke about that and said if we keep good organisation and clean sheets we will score because we have players that make the difference and it as what we spoke about in the second half. Patience, more pressing, and they had good organisation and good defending and Shane Long made the difference when he came on. He had great quality to score both goals and another win and clean sheet. Sometimes it’s difficult because people expect an easy win with our position in the table but we know exactly our qualities and we have to work very hard every game to win.”
“If you have the belief and the lads are doing fantastic, it’s amazing how they work every day and how they have the spirit and it’s really a team and they show that every week. In the last few weeks maybe the wins are more difficult but we are Southampton, we are not [Manchester] City, we are not Chelsea who win sometimes very easily.
“We have to fight and we know our qualities and another clean sheet makes a difference and it’s very positive what we are doing until now. We have played only 11 games but after 11 games the big teams maybe they more quality players than we have but I don’t see a lot of difference between the big clubs and how they play and with the programme they have. We can keep this surprise in the season.”
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson: "The top and bottom of it is we couldn't score. We're experiencing a tough run at the moment and we can't find a way to win. Clearly we have ability but the Premier League is about being ruthless in both boxes. It is a learning curve for us but we are not here to make up the numbers."
Graziano Pelle has scored six and assisted two in his last nine Barclays Premier League matches.
Shane Long has scored three goals in his last three matches in all competitions for Southampton, after not scoring in any of his first 10.
Shane Long is the only player to have scored for three different Barclays Premier League clubs since the start of last season.
Victor Wanyama did not score or assist a goal in 23 Barclays Premier League appearances last season; he has three goals and one assist in 10 this term.
Southampton have won eight out of nine matches for the first time in their top-fight history.
Twenty-five points from 11 matches is Saints’ best start to a top-flight campaign.
Ronald Koeman’s side are the 11th in Barclays Premier League history to have only conceded five goals or fewer from 11 matches, though Southampton had this exact defensive record at this stage last season too.
Leicester City have failed to score in five of their last six Premier League matches (D1 L5).
The Foxes did not have a single shot on target in this game.
|13 Dec 2014||v Burnley (A)|
|03 Dec 2014||v Arsenal (A)|
|30 Nov 2014||v Man City (H)|
|24 Nov 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|
|08 Dec 2014||v Man Utd (H)|
|20 Dec 2014||v Everton (H)|