Palace will rue their missed chances in what could have been such a different affair for the Eagles but a professional performance from the Saints moves them up to 14th place, a point behind their opponents.
Here are the key points of the game:
Palace's missed opportunities:
From the get-go, Crystal Palace looked bright and Eberechi Eze pressured the Southampton backline high up the pitch, eventually finding Benteke, who fired wide from 25 yards but this really showed intent from the start.
Defender Tyrick Mitchell was fouled and a freekick was fired into the box and headed into Benteke, who did well to control the ball and create some space to volley past Fraser Forster in the Southampton net to make it 1-0.
Southampton began to put some pressure on the Palace defenders but they struggled to fashion a chance until the 19th minute when Ings was picked out by winger Nathan Redmond in the box and the former Liverpool striker turned and found the bottom corner past a despairing Vicente Guaita dive to equalise for the hosts.
Eberechi Eze orchestrated play in midfield for his side, showing real confidence in his attempted passes, one looping and finding Jairo Riedewald in space in front of goal but the Dutch midfielder failed to control the ball in the box and Forster came to gather the ball.
In the 39th minute, Redmond tripped Wilfried Zaha in the penalty area, leaving the referee no chance but to point to the spot but Luka Milivojevic failed to convert with Forster diving down to his right to push the effort away. A Sky Sports graphic showed that the Serbian midfielder put his previous five penalties in the same spot which shows Forster really must have done his research ahead of this game.
Southampton took the lead early in the second half with a well-worked corner routine finished by Adams left the away side rueing that penalty miss and Palace nearly equalised almost instantly with a bullet header from Benteke, which was punched away.
In the 60th minute, Benteke pounced on Jack Stephens' mistake at the back and the defender had to recover well to block the striker who was through on goal and five minutes later, substitute Jeffrey Schlupp fired straight at Forster from a tight angle before Benteke scuffed a shot towards goal in the 71st minute.
With the away side looking more dangerous, it was Southampton who came forward, finding Che Adams who played Ings through to make it 3-1 and deliver a sucker punch to the Eagles, who looked set on to find an equaliser.
Southampton's individual performances:
There were many players that looked dangerous for the hosts. The Southampton team went into this game after a disappointing injury-hit season with Danny Ings coming back into the squad for this game after a period on the sidelines and making an instant impact.
Ings took his first-half chance when he fired through a sea of Palace defenders to find the bottom corner to equalise. The striker showed real energy on and off the ball, making clever runs and playing good passes with his attack-minded teammates.
With the game at 2-1, with Palace looking to get back into the game, the forward effortlessly poked the ball past Guaita into the bottom corner to kill off the game. His inclusion in the squad will really help to push his side up the table for the rest of the season.
Midfielder James Ward-Prowse also put in a strong performance, which was instrumental to his side's win. He played some great forward passes, finding wingers in space with 40 yard long balls and creating chances for his team.
The English midfielder's crosses from freekicks and corners caused serious problems for the centre-back partnership of Scott Dann and Cheikhou Kouyate and a well-worked corner was drilled into Stuart Armstrong by Ward-Prowse, who found Che Adams in space for their second goal.
The midfielder also put in some strong tackles in order to try and win the ball back in the middle of the pitch and won freekicks with his forward-thinking dribbles, making him a thorn in Roy Hodgson's side all night.
Southampton defender Kyle Walker-Peters was also very strong in defence as well as attack, crossing some great balls into the box that Joel Ward and Tyrick Mitchell really struggled to deal with. He was strong on the ball and ran down the line, winning freekicks with his fast movement and distributing the ball to his midfield counterparts.
With all these individual performances, it is easy to see why Palace struggled to break their opponents down and why they were too much for their defenders to deal with in attack.
What is next for Crystal Palace?
Although the side was eventually outplayed by Southampton, there were some real positives to take from the game. Eberechi Eze played some great passes into his attackers and these could have been taken on another day. Alongside the strong performance he put in against Sheffield United last week, he could cause some real problems for Villa's defence.
Although the striker missed countless chances, Benteke has shown real improvement in his last two games. The striker has found the net eight times for Crystal Palace this season, making it one of his better seasons at the club. The work he made to fashion the chance he scored to put his side in the lead was truly impressive and the aerial threat and want to get forward might cause some problems for Aston Villa.
It wasn't the strong defensive performances that is expected from Palace but there were positive aspects from the back five. Vicente Guaita made a couple of great saves and got down well to push shots away for his team and Ward and Dann made some great blocks and clearances at vital points in the game.