Southampton moved out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season after Jason Puncheon’s second-half strike proved the difference against fellow strugglers Reading.
The Royals pipped Saints to the Championship crown last term, and the hosts exacted some revenge this afternoon.
The south-coast club started brightly at St Mary’s, but Reading looked dangerous on the break and had strong penalty appeals waved away when Jay Tabb appeared to be clipped in the box.
Southampton felt aggrieved themselves moments later when a Puncheon header was chalked off, before they lost influential captain Adam Lallana to a knee injury.
Hal Robson-Kanu rattled the post in first-half stoppage time but Saints continued to threaten after the break, getting their just rewards in the 61st minute when Puncheon lashed home what proved to be the winner.