Southampton clinched an important win on Saturday evening as they defeated fellow strugglers Watford 2-1.

It was a closely contested affair, and the Hornets raced into a lead in the first half. Ismaila Sarr capitalised on some sloppy defending from Jack Stephens to fire the ball beyond Alex McCarthy.

The second half brought more encouragement for Southampton, who began to probe the Watford defence with more poise and purpose.

After a period of pressure, in which Ben Foster came to Watford’s rescue following a close-range effort from Shane Long, Saints were able to breach the visitors’ resistance.

Moussa Djenepo carried the ball to the by-line, and despite replays showing that he gained an unfair advantage via an unintentional handball, his low cross was slammed home by Danny Ings, who netted for the third consecutive match.

Soon after, Southampton found themselves in front. Etienne Capoue hauled down Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg just outside the box, and James Ward-Prowse’s excellent free-kick proved too forceful for Foster to keep out.

The win saw Saints close the gap on their relegation rivals, and also condemn Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores to a second dismissal from the club.

Here are our Southampton player ratings from the victory.