Match ends, Stoke City 1, Southampton 2.
Stoke City 1-2 Southampton
Graziano Pelle scored twice as Southampton held on for victory in the Premier League against Stoke.
Italian Pelle, who had not scored in his previous 12 league games, netted twice in the first half through a flicked header and a low finish.
Stoke got back into the game early in the second half when Marko Arnautovic flicked in from close range.
James Ward-Prowse hit the crossbar for the visitors as substitute Sadio Mane was dismissed for an elbow late on.
The Saints climb above their opponents into seventh place in the table, just five points adrift of West Ham in fifth.
Saints relieved questionable refereeing did not cost them
Southampton went into the match on the back of three winless games which had threatened to hurt their ambitions of claiming a Europa League spot.
They grabbed the three points at the Britannia Stadium on the back of a counter-attacking display having managed just 38.6% possession.
Pelle was the match-winner with his two strikes in the opening period, but they will be thankful two refereeing decisions did not cost them.
Dusan Tadic, who failed to shoot from seven yards out at an open goal in the first half, was clearly tripped in the box by Stoke keeper Jack Butland, but the Serbian's appeal for a penalty was waved away by referee Lee Mason.
And in stoppage time, Mane mistimed a jump for a header having kept his eyes on the ball, catching full-back Erik Pieters, which Mason deemed to be a straight red. They have now had six players sent off this campaign, more than any other side.
Stoke searched for the equaliser but could not find a way past the solid Virgil van Dijk, who made 17 clearances in the match.
Wayward finishing costs Stoke
Stoke had won three and drawn one of their previous four games but came unstuck after failing to keep their composure in the attacking third of the pitch.
They didn't manage to work goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the first half and although Austrian Arnautovic gave them hope by netting with a neat finish and forcing the big Englishman into a smart save, those efforts were their only two on target.
The Potters failed to do the homework on their opponents, who scored their 12th headed goal this season - more than any other top-flight side.
Although record signing Giannelli Imbula influenced the game, having more touches (114) and more passes (91) than any player on the pitch, it was their profligacy up front which cost them the points.
Stoke have now lost six league games in front of their own crowd this season and their hopes of clinching a Europa League spot now look slim.
Man of the match - Graziano Pelle
What they said:
Stoke boss Mark Hughes: "We have been on a decent run recently. We go into these games full of ambition but you have to be spot on with the details.
"At this level, if you make mistakes, you get punished. It is a harsh lesson. That has almost certainly been the case at home this season."
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "We needed to be calm and the team had a fantastic reaction after 2-1 to get the control back.
"We had the better chances and we were unlucky with two decisions with the referee. One was a penalty and the red card was not a red card. Still, at 2-1, we got the three points in a huge game today and that is very important for our aspirations for the rest of season. "
Stoke will be looking to get back to winning ways when they travel to Watford next Saturday (kick-off 15:00 GMT), while Southampton host Liverpool on Sunday, 20 March (13:30).
The stats you need to know:
- Graziano Pelle scored his fifth Premier League brace and his first away from home
- Pelle scored as many goals against Stoke as he had in his previous 17 Premier League appearances
- Dusan Tadic provided an assist in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time
- Marko Arnautovic has scored seven goals and assisted one in his past 10 Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium
- 3PietersBooked at 55minsSubstituted forWaltersat 90+2'minutes
- 6WhelanSubstituted forCrouchat 78'minutes
- 22ShaqiriSubstituted forBojanat 31'minutes
- 17van Dijk
- 33TargettSubstituted forYoshidaat 80'minutes
- 8DavisBooked at 90mins
- 4ClasieBooked at 47minsSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 69'minutes
- 11TadicSubstituted forManéat 75'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 2Cédric Soares
- Lee Mason
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Stoke City 1, Southampton 2.
Foul by Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City).
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).
Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Steven Davis (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Steven Davis (Southampton).
Substitution, Stoke City. Jonathan Walters replaces Erik Pieters because of an injury.
Sadio Mané (Southampton) is shown the red card.
Erik Pieters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Sadio Mané (Southampton).
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Erik Pieters.
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.
Foul by Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City).
Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City).
Graziano Pellè (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Graziano Pellè (Southampton).
Substitution, Southampton. Maya Yoshida replaces Matt Targett.
Attempt missed. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Foul by Geoff Cameron (Stoke City).
Shane Long (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Stoke City. Peter Crouch replaces Glenn Whelan.
Substitution, Southampton. Sadio Mané replaces Dusan Tadic.
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Shane Long (Southampton).
Attempt blocked. Dusan Tadic (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Shane Long.
Attempt blocked. Dusan Tadic (Southampton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Graziano Pellè.
Substitution, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse replaces Jordy Clasie.
Attempt missed. Jordy Clasie (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Dusan Tadic.
Attempt blocked. Geoff Cameron (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.
Attempt blocked. Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Geoff Cameron.
Attempt blocked. Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.
Attempt missed. Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Erik Pieters.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.
Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.