Sofiane Boufal scores as Southampton edge out relegation-threatened Middlesbrough to move into the top half of the Premier League table.
Southampton are up to 10th in the Premier League after Sofiane Boufal's second-half strike gave them a narrow victory over struggling Middlesbrough.
Saints almost fell behind in the opening minutes at St Mary's when Viktor Fischer teed up Jordan Rhodes, only for the Scottish international to see his shot kept out by Fraser Forster.
Jordy Clasie and Jay Rodriguez both went close early in the first half as Claude Puel's side tried to atone for their defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last weekend.
Despite failing to break down Boro before the break, Southampton started the second half on the front foot and had further chances to take the lead through Nathan Redmond and Jose Fonte.
Their persistence in attack was rewarded on 53 minutes when Boufal latched on to James Ward-Prowse's pass before guiding a shot into the top corner of Victor Valdes' net.
Christian Stuani tried to muster a response for the visitors, but was also denied by Forster as Boro were unable to come away with any points from the south coast.
The result takes the Saints into 10th place while Boro remain just three points above the dropzone.
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