Nuno Espirito Santo’s side avenge their Emirates FA Cup defeat to the Saints as they move above them in the Premier League table with victory on the south coast.
Having made six changes for the cup loss, Nuno made one change from their last league game against Leicester City with Romain Saiss keeping his spot in defence – Max Kilman the man to make way.
End to end start
Both teams looked to get forward early on, but it was Wolves who had the first real chance when Pedro Neto’s free kick picked out Willian Jose, but his header went over the top having beaten the offside trap.
The Saints then broke forward as Nathan Redmond drove at the Wolves defence before finding Minamino, but his drive was turned away by Rui Patricio at his near post before the offside flag went up against the on-loan Liverpool playmaker.
Minamino then flicked on McCarthy’s goal kick and set Redmond clear. The Saints forward then found strike partner Danny Ings on the edge of the box, but after he was quickly closed down he played it back to Redmond but his first time effort was turned around the post by the diving Patricio.
And it was the Saints who broke the deadlock in the 25th minute – and in some style. Stuart Armstrong broke down the left, beating two defenders before looking up and picking out Ings, who from twelve yards out took it on the volley and it flew past the diving Patricio and into the top corner.
Wolves looked to respond, however, as Willian Jose couldn’t get enough on Neto’s corner to head it goalwards five minutes before the break.
And it was the visitors who started the second half on the front foot, with Neto seeing a low drive blocked by Vestergaard before they were awarded a soft penalty eight minutes after the interval.
Handball? or no handball...
Nelson Semedo was played into space on the right by Adama Traore and his strike was judged to have hit the arm of Ryan Bertrand. Despite his arm being down by his side, Graham Scott pointed to the penalty spot. Neves stepped up, and he sent McCarthy the wrong way from twelve yards.
Back came the Saints, however, as Redmond broke into the box before teeing up Armstrong, but only a great block from Conor Coady stopped the ball finding the bottom corner.
However, Wolves continued to press forwards and only a great lunge from Jan Bednarek denied the visitors a tap in from Joao Moutinho’s free kick in. Neves then tested McCarthy with a trademark effort from long range, but it went straight at the Southampton keeper.
And it was the visitors who went in front twenty minutes into the second half. Saints conceded possession and Neves found Neto on the right, who cut in past Vestergaard too easily and from a tight angle picked out the far corner.
Southampton looked to go in search of the equaliser as time ticked down, with James Ward-Prowse forcing Patricio into a good low stop before substitute Che Adams saw his effort blocked by the keeper on the follow up.
Oriol Romeu then released Redmond down the right, and his cross picked out an unmarked Adams but he could only direct his diving header wide of the front post.
But despite putting their visitors under pressure, they never really troubled Patricio in the closing stages as the Saints fell to a sixth league defeat in a row.