Huddersfield Town fell to their fifth consecutive Premier League defeat as Southampton won 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at the John Smith's Stadium.
Terriers left themselves too much to do
The Terriers were given a warning sign within the opening 10 minutes of the match as Oriol Romeu's strike from 20 yards out called Jonas Lössl into action. However, Lössl could not prevent Nathan Redmond from putting the Saints ahead just five minutes later, as he slotted home after being played through one-on-one by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
The hosts struggled to get themselves back into the game following this early goal in what was a scrappy first-half. Philip Billing's speculative effort from around 35 yards out was about as good as it got for the home side.
Their frustration was compounded just minutes before half-time as the Saints were awarded a penalty following Mathias Zanka's challenge on Danny Ings in the area. The 26-year-old striker made no mistake from the spot and subsequently gave the Terriers an absolute mountain to climb if they wanted to get back into the match.
However, the home side were much-improved after the interval, with Billing leading their charge to get back into the match. It was the 22-year-old midfielder who eventually got his side right back into the match around the hour-mark as his powerful effort from long-range found the back of the net to reduce the deficit.
Despite creating a few good opportunities following this goal, the Terriers' hopes of getting back into the match were short-lived. The Saints restored their two-goal advantage with around 20 minutes left to play. Michael Obafemi slotted home past Lössl following a pull back from Redmond to make it 3-1 and seal the three points.
Takeaways from the match
Terriers in deep trouble
It was always going to be a difficult season for David Wagner's side after their miraculous campaign last time out, and this defeat was the Terriers' seventh home defeat of the season and ensured that they will remain in the relegation zone over Christmas. Wagner may have to look at making a number of quality additions in the January transfer window to turn things around.
Wagner cut a disappointed figure after the match and believes his side's first-half performance ultimately cost them. He told the club's official site: "The first-half was not good. For the first time in a long time, we looked nervous in ball possession and did not perform.
He added: "The second-half was better. Everyone was lively after the goal. We still clearly have to criticise ourselves today."
Wagner is hopeful that midfielder Jonathan Hogg will soon make a return to action which would ease the current injury crisis he finds himself with in central midfield. Hogg's experience would certainly be valuable over the crucial festive fixtures.
Saints on the up under Hasenhuttl
Southampton secured their first victory under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl last weekend in the dramatic 3-2 win over Arsenal, and this was the perfect way to build on that result. He was pictured celebrating a crucial three points with the away supporters at full-time, something which was a rare occurrence under previous manager Mark Hughes.
It was another very impressive performance from the Saints, and Hasenhuttl deserves a lot of credit considering they looked strong contenders for relegation from the Premier League when he arrived. However, two wins in the space of the week will have undoubtedly lifted spirits around the club and they now find themselves three points clear of the relegation zone.