MX23RW : Wednesday, September 22 21:10:11| >> :120:32575:32575:
Oct 26, 2013 at 5.30pm UK at St Mary's Stadium
Lambert (20'), Rodriguez (43')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Result: Southampton shutout Fulham to go third

Southampton keep their eighth clean sheet of the season as they beat Fulham 2-0 to climb to third in the Premier League table.

Southampton kept their eighth clean sheet of the season as they brushed Fulham aside to climb to third in the Premier League table on Saturday evening.

Jay Rodriguez of Southampton celebrates scoring their second goal with Rickie Lambert of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match against Fulham October 26, 2013© Getty Images

The Saints have conceded fewer goals than any other team in England this season, just three in nine league matches. However, to simply label Mauricio Pochettino's side as a strong defensive unit would be hugely unfair.

Fulham were ripped apart during a first half in which Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez found the net.

Southampton then dropped a gear after the break, but they still had enough about them to control possession and see out the game with minimal fuss.

Morgan Schneiderlin came close to putting Southampton ahead after just five minutes, but Fernando Amorebieta made an impressive goal-line clearance.

The breakthrough eventually came on 20 minutes as Lambert escaped the slack marking of Dimitar Berbatov to nod home following James Ward-Prowse's corner kick.

Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent of Fulham look on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Fulham at St Mary's Stadium on October 26, 2013© Getty Images

It was almost 2-0 moments later as Rodriguez went on a jinking solo run into the area before being denied by the fingertips of Cottagers keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Full of confidence, Lambert then struck the post after cutting in from the left and unleashing a powerful low drive from 20 yards.

Lambert played a key role as Southampton doubled their lead just before half time. Adam Lallana stood up a cross to the England international, who nodded the ball across goal to the far post, where Rodriguez arrived just in time to place a brave header beyond Stekelenburg.

Southampton's dominance continued in the early stages after the break and they almost added a third goal in the opening seconds of the second half, but Lambert uncharacteristically fluffed his lines in the penalty area.

Rodriguez then went close with a spectacular bicycle kick, while at the other end Fulham failed to make any real impression on the hosts' recently-erected defensive brick wall.

At least the visiting supporters could see the funny side though, chanting "we've only had one shot" following a wayward effort from Steve Sidwell late on.

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Jay Rodriguez of Southampton celebrates scoring their second goal with Rickie Lambert of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match against Fulham October 26, 2013
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