Southampton have been eased out to 4/1 in bwin’s Premier League relegation odds after beating Arsenal 3-2 in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s first home match.
Saints climbed up to 12 points and out of the relegation zone on goal difference when ending the Gunners’ 22-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan twice levelled for Arsenal to cancel out headers from Danny Ings, but substitute Charlie Austin snatched a late decider for the hosts.
Austrian Hasenhuttl sent beer tokens to Saints’ season-ticket holders before the game and his gesture had the desired effect at a raucous St Mary’s.
He said: “It’s what I wanted to feel when I came to the Premier League, this atmosphere after the game and to celebrate such a moment is something very special for me.
“To come back again and again and again, it was amazing because it showed us we have the character to face problems and to make the next step.”
The three teams now below Saints in the table all tasted defeat over the weekend.
Fulham are bottom on nine points following a 2-0 home loss to West Ham and quoted at 1/2 for a quick return to the Championship.
The Cottagers created chances and Aboubakar Kamara could have had a first-half hat-trick but was denied three times by Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
In between time, however, West Ham scored through Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio.
Callum Chambers, back in midfield after injury, told FulhamfcTV, “I think we can take heart from that performance.
“We need to stay together, be positive and move on to the next game. This is an important part of the season, we need to dig in deep and get the points and results we need.
“We’ve got games coming up that we’d like to get some points from, so we need to all be on it and be focused.”
Magpies and Palace pull clear of trouble
Huddersfield stayed stuck on 10 points after going down 1-0 to Newcastle at John Smith’s Stadium and are 9/25 for the drop.
The Terriers bossed possession and had more efforts on goal, but still slipped to a fourth straight defeat.
Defender Chris Lowe told the club website: “Obviously, we are disappointed. We played alright but, in the end, we haven’t got a result and that is the most important thing.”
Burnley fell to a stoppage-time Christian Eriksen strike when taking on Tottenham at Wembley and are 11/25 in bwin’s Premier League relegation odds after slipping below Southampton on goal difference.
Sean Dyche said: “We came down here with a tactical platform and that’s pleasing from a manager’s point of view, but you still come away with nothing in the end.”
Cardiff are on 14 points and rated a 67/100 chance to go down following a 3-2 defeat at Watford.
The Bluebirds rallied from 3-0 behind after 68 minutes, with Junior Hoilett and Bobby Reid scoring, but have now picked up only one point from eight away matches.
“We’ve got to get some points away from home,” commented Neil Warnock. “We’ve just got to be more positive and not as apprehensive.”
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