Southampton striker Charlie Austin scored twice against former club Burnley in a convincing 3-1 Premier League win.
Even with Shane Long, James Ward-Prowse and Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg on the bench, Southampton retained a strong look and climbed to eighth in the standings.
Sunday’s home fixture represented Southampton’s first game in a run of seven in 22 days, with a trip to Inter Milan in the Europa League on Thursday followed by an away match at Manchester City.
A third loss in four left promoted Burnley only a point above the relegation zone. But Southampton took until seven minutes into the second half to break through Burnley’s resistance.
Dusan Tadic’s corner was headed across goal by Virgil van Dijk. Austin, from his second attempt amid Burnley’s desperate defending, finally stabbed his first goal into the back of the net from directly in front of goal.
Southampton’s second goal — provided by Nathan Redmond on the hour — was of a higher quality. In space in the penalty area after another corner, Redmond waited for the ball to arrive at his feet before sending a low finish into the bottom right beyond goalkeeper Tom Heaton’s reach.
Southampton went further in front six minutes later. After Johann Berg Gudmundsson brought down Sam McQueen, Austin made it seven goals in six games by converting a penalty.
A consolation arrived for Burnley when the north-west club was awarded a penalty in the 72nd minute. Referee Mike Dean felt Tadic had fouled Ben Mee, allowing Sam Vokes to become the first player to score against Southampton in 612 minutes.