Result: Southampton climb to second after seeing off Stoke City

Southampton climb to second in the Premier League table after defeating Stoke City 1-0 in this afternoon's clash at St Mary's.

Southampton have climbed to second place in the Premier League table after defeating Stoke City 1-0 in this afternoon's clash at St Mary's, thanks to Sadio Mane's first-half goal.

Sadio Mane of Southampton celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on October 25, 2014© Getty Images

The hosts started the game brightly, Mane curling an effort just wide early on, before Steven Davis blasted a speculative long-range effort wide two minutes later.

In the 11th minute, the Potters threatened through Peter Crouch when he got onto the end of Steven N'Zonzi's cross, but the England forward failed to find the target.

The goalmouth action continued just after the quarter-hour mark when Victor Moses marauded through the Saints backline, but the Nigerian striker's subsequent shot was weak and easy for Fraser Forster to collect.

Just moments later, it was Southampton's turn to come forward with Mane driving to the byline before picking out Graziano Pelle at the front post, but the Italian striker's shot flew over the bar.

On the half-hour mark, more efforts were tallied when Dusan Tadic forced a low save from Asmir Begovic, while Morgan Schneiderlin rattled the Stoke crossbar minutes later.

The imminent breakthrough eventually came the way of the hosts in the 33rd minute when Pelle latched on to the ball inside the box and struck the post with a decent effort, with Mane firing the rebound home from close range.

Southampton picked up from where they left off in the second half, Tadic swinging a ball from the right flank towards Pelle, who subsequently smashed a headed effort against the crossbar.

Jonathan Walters threatened for Stoke just before the hour when he fired wide from the edge of the box, but this proved a rare effort for the visitors as the Saints resumed their assault on the Potters goal, Pelle and Tadic firing shots on goal in the 66th minute.

In the 78th minute, Phil Bardsley did well to bring the ball forward, lofting in a near-perfect cross for Mame Biram Diouf, but the ball proved an inch or two ahead of the Senegalese who was sliding in.

Nevertheless, the hosts were able to see out the game and secure three valuable points to climb to second in the table, with Stoke in 11th place.

Sadio Mane of Southampton celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on October 25, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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