Liam Rosenior described Hull’s performance in their 2-1 victory over Southampton as the culmination of his work as Tigers boss.

Anass Zaroury bagged his first goal for the club since arriving on loan from Burnley before Liverpool loanee Fabio Carvalho put the visitors in control for their fourth straight away win – and first at Southampton since 1951.

Rosenior, whose side made it three wins in a row for the first time since he took over in November 2022 and moved into the play-off places, said: “We’ve come away to an outstanding team, with outstanding players and an outstanding manager, and we had to be brave.

“That first-half performance is exactly what I’ve been working so hard to bring to the club. I have bored all the supporters talking about the process but seeing that first-half performance was top.

“I am so proud of the lads but I don’t want to get carried away. I just see it as the next step for this team.

“From the outside it is a big step but inside I don’t take any notice of runs or what we can and can’t achieve.

“This is a young team that will make mistakes, and we’ll make more mistakes along the way, but when it comes off it is a delight to watch.”

The Tigers struck in the 11th minute when a long ball from goalkeeper Ryan Allsop caught Saints off-guard. Ryan Giles carried before the ball found its way to Jaden Philogene, and Gavin Bazunu parried the winger’s powerful shot into the path of Zaroury to tap in his first goal in five days short of a year.

Philogene then nabbed the ball off Joe Rothwell on the edge of the Saints box before releasing Carvalho for his second goal since arriving from Anfield.

Joe Aribo grabbed an 88th-minute consolation for Saints but their manager Russell Martin was left furious at the first-half horror show.

Saints ended an 11-game winning run at St Mary’s to drop to fourth and Martin said: “First half was rubbish, the second half was very good but that doesn’t matter very much when you’re 2-0 down.

“No one cares if you play well in the second half when you aren’t good in the first half and are behind.

“Hull were good, we knew that from the first game (a last-minute 2-1 win for Saints in October). We had a good chance with Rothwell before they can get into the game, we don’t take it, and somehow that doesn’t spur us on to go more aggressive.

“Their goal is something we worked on in training yesterday as we’ve seen them do it a lot, so to allow that to happen is a nonsense.

“Last week’s defeat (their first after 25 games unbeaten, against Bristol City) was down to a lack of aggression, this week it was a lack of courage. The two things you need is courage and aggression.”

Anass Zaroury bagged his first goal for Hull as the Tigers stunned Southampton 2-1 for a fourth straight away win in the Sky Bet Championship.

Burnley loanee Zaroury tapped in before Fabio Carvalho, borrowed from Liverpool, thrashed in Hull’s second to lift them into the play-off places.

Joe Aribo pulled one back for Saints but it was their first home defeat in 12 matches, with their automatic promotion push derailed by back-to-back Tuesday defeats as they slipped down to fourth in the table.

Southampton’s first half peaked in the eighth minute when Joe Rothwell was denied by Ryan Allsop when through one-on-one.

From then on Hull tore the hosts apart with attacking flair, although Saints also brought about their own downfall with some loose passing in midfield and defence.

The Tigers broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when a long ball from Allsop caught Saints off guard. Ryan Giles carried before the ball found its way to Jaden Philogene. The winger’s powerful shot was parried by Gavin Bazunu into the path of Zaroury, who tapped in his first goal in five days short of a year.

Philogene had an effort battered away at the near post and Abdulkadir Omur stabbed wide after Carvalho had scampered down the left as the visitors looked to double their advantage.

Southampton did not learn from Bazunu’s poor pass to Rothwell which allowed Jean Michael Seri to shoot, as 35 seconds later they were two down after Rothwell had stumbled on the ball on the edge of his own area. Philogene plucked the ball off him before allowing Carvalho to sweetly score past Bazunu.

Having not shipped two goals in a match since October, Saints had conceded a double in three of their last four games.

The Tigers tore the disorientated hosts apart in the last 10 minutes of the half. Zaroury lobbed Bazunu but the ball bounced wide, and then the Moroccan swung a shot just wide.

A clearly irate Russell Martin swung the axe on Rothwell, Sekou Mara and Adam Armstrong at half-time – which had been greeted by boos from the home support.

The fresh legs of David Brooks, Che Adams and Joe Aribo saw a slight uptick in performance as Will Smallbone sliced wide following a good move before Ryan Manning aimed for the bottom corner but missed.

Brooks lifted an effort onto the roof of the net but they had to wait until the 88th minute to have a goalscoring chance in the second half. Aribo took it, the Nigeria international squirting in after being teed up by Adams, but it did not prevent a first home loss since September 19.

Leeds moved to second in the Championship with a comfortable 2-0 win at Plymouth thanks to goals from forwards Wilfried Gnonto and Georginio Rutter.

Daniel Farke’s side made a flying start and their early pressure was rewarded with a 10th minute goal for in-form Gnonto, taking his goal tally to five in as many games.

Rutter’s audacious high ball into the area split the home defence and Gnonto brilliantly brought the ball down and stroked it home past goalkeeper Conor Hazard.

Argyle’s best attempt in the opening 25 minutes was a long-range shot which flew over by midweek scorer Mickel Miller, recalled to the starting eleven following his impressive display against Coventry.

Miller was also on hand to stop a lightning break in the 32nd minute as Crysencio Summerville looked to pounce on the counter-attack in a one-on-one break.

Seconds earlier United keeper Ilian Meslier did well to punch Morgan Whittaker’s in-swinging corner clear, in a rare Argyle attack.

Rutter came close to putting Leeds 2-0 up in the 38th minute with a first time shot that flew back off the post, with Hazard beaten, after being set up by Joel Piroe.

Piroe did superbly to beat three Argyle players before putting Rutter in on goal.

Miller continued to be a thorn in Leeds’ side in the second half and his pacey 52nd minute cross from the left should have been converted by Kiwi striker Ben Waine, as he slid in on the increasingly wet playing surface.

Three minutes later Miller forced a near-post save from Meslier as he let fly with a rising shot from the left.

Waine headed over from Matthew Sorinola’s cross from the right after 57 minutes.

Meslier punched Adam Randell’s in-swinging corner clear and then was equal to the Plymouth playmaker’s cross as he swept the ball back into a crowded six yard box from the wide on the right.

Summerville fired high and wide after making room for himself in the Plymouth penalty area from Rutter’s cutback.

Within minutes Rutter was at the centre of the action again.

The striker ran on to Joel Piroe’s defence-splitting through ball and beat diving Hazard with a thumping shot on the run into the box, which gave the home keeper little chance on 72 minutes.

Scottish striker Ryan Hardie announced his arrival – as a replacement for Waine – by forcing an acrobatic save from Meslier.

The French keeper made a low save at his near post to keep out 18-goal top scorer Morgan Whittaker’s 88th minute free kick from the right.

Leeds came close to making it three in stoppage time as substitute Daniel James’ thumping strike smashed off the cross bar.

Boss Russell Martin hailed Southampton’s 2-0 victory at West Brom as their best win of the season.

Ryan Fraser and David Brooks fired the Saints back into second in the Championship on Friday.

They are a point ahead of Leeds, 11 adrift of leaders Leicester, after hitting back following the end of a club record 25-game unbeaten run on Tuesday.

The Saints escaped when Jack Stephens’ handball in the box in first-half injury time went unpunished with the Baggies’ frustrations boiling over after boss Carlos Corberan was dismissed for misconduct just seven minutes in for kicking the ball while it was still in play.

But Martin believes his side proved their worth after Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat at Bristol City.

He said: “It’s our best win of the season. After Tuesday the questions were asked, those watching – the teams in hotels – people at home were looking to see how the team responded and they were amazing. It’s a big moment for us.

“The aggression was through the roof compared to Tuesday. When I watched back Tuesday I felt worse about it than after the game. I didn’t make a big enough deal about being aggressive and that was a hangover from Saturday.

“Away from home we’ve been really good on the whole. The fans have been amazing, we lost 3-1 we didn’t play very well and they were clapping us right to the end. Hopefully tonight shows the guys are really up for the fight.”

Southampton dominated from the start and, after Corberan was dismissed, took a 14th-minute lead when on-loan Newcastle winger Fraser volleyed in Stuart Armstrong’s centre following a short corner.

Yet, despite their superiority, the Saints failed to add to their lead before the break which allowed Albion to threaten a comeback.

John Swift drilled wide and the hosts were furious after their penalty claims were snubbed when Conor Townsend’s shot hit Stephens’ arm in first-half injury time.

The hosts, though, were unable to recover and Brooks wrapped up the points with 17 minutes left when he drilled in after an incisive move involving Joe Aribo, Armstrong and Sam Edozie cut the Baggies open.

Gavin Bazunu turned Okay Yokuslu’s free header over soon after and, with it, went their hopes.

Defeat for the Baggies – who remain fifth – spoilt Thursday’s news Florida-based businessman Shilen Patel’s takeover is due to be finalised next week.

“There’s a lot of positivity around the takeover. Hopefully we can use that in the last 14, 15 games to push ourselves into the play-offs,” said Townsend, with Corberan unable to speak to the press after his red card.

“We’re disappointed to lose, we’ve come into it on the back on some good home form.

“In the end it looks comprehensive but when we’re on top we need to take our chances. We felt one big decision didn’t go our way.

“From the ref’s angle it (the penalty) seems to be a difficult one to give, he’s looking through bodies, but that’s what the linesman is for, to help. We’re disappointed but we had chances, we can’t say it was the ref’s fault we didn’t score.”

Southampton motored back into the Championship’s automatic-promotion spots with an impressive 2-0 win at West Brom.

Ryan Fraser and David Brooks netted as Russell Martin’s side returned to second, a point ahead of Leeds, in the race for an instant return to the Premier League.

Saints dominated for long spells and Baggies boss Carlos Corberan was sent off early for misconduct having kicked the ball while it was still in play.

The hosts were denied a penalty after Jack Stephens’ handball as defeat halted a buoyant atmosphere at The Hawthorns.

Florida-based Shilen Patel is poised to buy a 87.8 percent stake in Albion’s parent company, West Bromwich Albion Group Limited, with the takeover due to be rubber stamped next week.

It will end the unhappy reign of Guochuan Lai and Patel was in the directors’ box to watch the Baggies, who remain fifth, slip to just a third home league defeat of the season.

Saints lost their club record 25-game unbeaten run with Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat at Bristol City and came out with a point to prove.

Kyle Walker-Peters whistled over before the visitors were given a further boost after seven minutes when Corberan was dismissed.

The head coach went to stop a Sekou Mara clearance he thought had gone out but, with the ball still in play, referee Sam Allison showed the red card.

By then, Southampton were already in the ascendancy and soon after Alex Palmer smothered Adam Armstrong’s shot after his poor initial clearance allowed the striker a chance.

It only delayed the inevitable, though, as Saints opened the scoring after 14 minutes.

Fraser’s shot deflected wide and from the resulting corner the on-loan Newcastle winger struck. Shea Charles played it short to Stuart Armstrong and his deep cross picked out Fraser, with his fine cushioned volley finding the corner.

It gave Southampton the platform to dominate but they failed to extend their lead in the first half, Adam Armstrong shooting wide, which allowed Albion to regain their composure and threaten before the break.

Concerted pressure ended with John Swift driving wide from 25 yards and Albion were furious in stoppage time when Conor Townsend’s effort struck Stephens’ arm in the box, only for Allison to wave away their protests.

Albion tried to use that sense of injustice in the second half but, while they battled on, they struggled to make a serious impact.

Swift’s free-kick dropped over and it was Southampton who wrapped up the points with 17 minutes left.

Impressive substitute Joe Aribo started a sharp move when he found Stuart Armstrong to pop the ball into Sam Edozie. He slipped in Brooks 10 yards out and the Bournemouth loanee spun away to drill past Palmer.

Gavin Bazunu maintained the two-goal lead when he turned over Okay Yokuslu’s free header as the Baggies looked for an instant reply but there was no way back.

Liam Manning praised an exhilarating display by his Bristol City team after they demolished promotion-chasing Southampton 3-1.

The head coach was understandably elated after second-half goals from Sam Bell, Rob Dickie and substitute Harry Cornick had rewarded a scintillating display.

Bell converted a low Anis Mehmeti cross to break the deadlock after 52 minutes. Dickie headed the second from a Joe Williams corner 20 minutes later and Cornick fired home from a pass by fellow substitute Ross McCrorie eight minutes from time.

Southampton replied in added time when Adam Armstrong netted from the spot after a foul on Kyle Walker-Peters, but Russell Martin’s men could have no complaints.

Manning said: “It was the most complete performance since I took the job. Our levels have been good and consistent, but not always showing the ruthlessness we need.

“That was still the case in the first half tonight and Southampton got on top of us for 20 minutes or so.

“Apart from that, I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m really pleased for Sam Bell that he scored.

“I had a chat with him the day after he missed his shoot-out penalty at Nottingham Forest last week and his response to that disappointment in the FA Cup has been fantastic.

“It says a lot for the spirit in our camp that we have bounced back to win two tough Championship games.

“The players are buying into what I want and there is a real togetherness with them and the staff.

“Each individual knows his job and we are making progress.”

Southampton head coach Martin said: “I’m disappointed tonight, but immensely proud of the players for the run we have been on. To go 25 games unbeaten is phenomenal.

“Bristol City were really good and we lacked that energy and quality that has been winning us games during our good run.

“I’m annoyed at the goals we conceded and we need to work on that. They ran their socks off, worked so hard and caused us problems.

“But we had chances at 0-0 and 1-0 down, which could have changed things. We weren’t clean enough with the ball tonight, but still had periods of control.

“Our fans were brilliant and I’m disappointed for them. But the overall feeling is still one of immense pride at what we have achieved recently.

“The amazing run was always going to come to an end and now it is all about how we respond.”

Southampton now sit third in the table with a game in hand over second-placed Leeds two points above them.

Second-half goals from Sam Bell, Rob Dickie and Harry Cornick put a dent in Southampton’s bid for automatic promotion as Bristol City won an entertaining Championship clash 3-1 at Ashton Gate.

The home side grabbed a 52nd-minute lead when Anis Mehmeti and Jason Knight exchanged passes on the right of the box and Mehmeti crossed low for Bell to net from six yards.

Centre-back Dickie rose above the Saints defence to head home a Joe Williams corner from the left after 72 minutes and Cornick set the seal on an impressive City display by lashing home an 82nd-minute cross from fellow substitute Ross McCrorie.

Southampton had to wait until stoppage time to reply when Adam Armstrong netted from the spot following a foul on Kyle Walker-Peters.

The visitors could have no complaints after failing to find a finish to match some slick passing moves. It was Liam Manning’s best win since replacing Nigel Pearson as City boss.

His side edged an open first half in which both teams produced some attractive football without conjuring up a telling final touch.

Manning’s team were quicker off the blocks and the first seven minutes saw Bell, Tommy Conway and George Tanner have attempts on goal without troubling goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.

It was Southampton who came closest to breaking the deadlock after 18 minutes when a looping volley from Samuel Edozie clipped the crossbar.

Knight sent a low volley wide for the hosts before City goalkeeper Max O’Leary had to save bravely at the feet of Will Smallbone.

Walker-Peters and David Brooks were combining well on Southampton’s right flank, but the Saints defence looked vulnerable as Mehmeti had a shot saved and Bell fired inches wide at the far post from a right wing cross.

City defender Zak Vyner had to block two shots from Armstrong, who also forced a save from O’Leary.

At the other end Bazunu did well to race outside his box to rob Mehmeti as he broke on to a clever Knight pass, before the half ended with a Mehmeti shot deflected into the side-netting.

Saints looked sure to go ahead a minute into the second half when Edozie sent a low left-footed drive across goal and Brooks just failed to get a touch as he slid in, colliding with a post and requiring treatment. It proved a key moment.

Russell Martin had sent on Stuart Armstrong in place of Shea Charles. But it was City who struck with Bell’s close-range finish to take a deserved lead.

From then on, Manning’s men dominated with some fast attacking football. The goals from Dickie and Cornick rammed home their superiority.

Other chances went begging, but Ashton Gate was rocking at the final whistle as home fans contemplated a late play-off challenge.

Southampton boss Russell Martin joked about hating the basketball nature of his side’s breathless 5-3 Sky Bet Championship victory over Huddersfield at St Mary’s.

Saints trailed 2-0 and 3-2 and were looking at their 24-game unbeaten run ending before a manic second half ended up with the high-flying hosts claiming victory thanks to Joe Rothwell’s double, a Tom Lees own goal and late strikes from Sekou Mara and Samuel Edozie.

They might have kept their club-record run, and maintained second spot in the table, but master of perfection Martin was less enthralled by the “carnage” on view.

“I enjoyed the feeling at the end. That isn’t my kind of game. It was like basketball at one point, it was carnage,” he said.

“I love basketball but not on a big pitch.

“My immediate feeling is immense pride and gratitude towards the players and the supporters for the energy they showed.

“The conversation we had at half-time was about how it is never easy to play the way we want to play.

“To do what they are doing is incredible. Nobody should ever take that for granted. It takes immense work, courage and intensity. We lacked all of that in the first half.

“Then, to bring it back to 2-2, what a response. Then we got caught up in that emotion. To go 3-2 down and deal with that setback was incredible.

“I’m frustrated at the first half. I’m frustrated that we have conceded as many goals today as we have in our last 10 home games.

“But big credit to Huddersfield, I thought they were great. They came here with complete freedom. They deserved to be leading at half time, but we deserved to win it by the end of the game.

“We will take a lot from that second half, but we will also learn a lot from the first half. The gaps were too big and we lacked courage because what Huddersfield were doing to us.

“We got spooked for the first time in a long time. To overcome that in the way that we did was immense. I am so proud of them.”

Sorba Thomas’ 36th-minute opener saw Southampton trailing at home for the first time in almost 22 hours before David Kasumu gave the struggling visitors a 2-0 half-time lead.

However, Saints were level inside five minutes of the second half with Rothwell firing home a superb first-time volley before netting his second after being set up by fellow Bournemouth loanee David Brooks.

But the Terriers found a second wind to lead again through a heavily-deflected Alex Matos shot in the 65th minute, before Saints rallied once more to net three times in the last 10 minutes and claim a dramatic win.

Rothwell’s low centre saw Lees put through his own goal before Mara and Edozie completed the turnaround.

Interim Huddersfield boss Jon Worthington, who saw his side beat relegation rivals Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 in his first game in charge, said “I enjoyed the game. The lads gave everything I asked of them and followed the plan to a tee.

“There are loads of positives especially as a coach and from the way we played.

“I’m really proud. I believe in this group of players and they have trust in me and the staff to follow the game plan.

“We are disappointed with the result. I want to win games, and hate losing and so do the players.

“Loved the performance and the front four and that is how I think it should be played.

“At 2-0 up we didn’t want to sit back because that would be what Southampton wanted.”

Joe Rothwell’s spectacular double saw Southampton recover from 2-0 down to beat Huddersfield 5-3 in a Sky Bet Championship thriller at St Mary’s.

Saints were seeing their record 24-game unbeaten run dissolve in front of their eyes when goals from Sorba Thomas and David Kasumu left relegation-battling Huddersfield in charge at the break.

Rothewell’s brilliant brace levelled things up soon after half-time but Town reclaimed the lead in the 65th minute through Alex Matos.

However, a Tom Lees own goal in the 80th minute saw parity restored and Saints would go on to claim the points thanks to late strikes Sekou Mara and Samuel Edozie, ensuring they remain second in the table.

Jon Worthington’s spell as caretaker manager of Huddersfield had started with a 4-0 victory over fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday and the confidence from that victory was clear.

A variety of early half-chances came and went but Flynn Downes’ exit in the 32nd minute while clutching his groin allowed the Terriers to pounce, as Saints were forced to rejig their midfield.

Jack Rudoni pulled back the ball from the left to an unmarked Thomas who cleverly bounced his low finish over Ryan Manning’s leg to put the visitors 1-0 up in the 36th minute.

It was the first time Southampton had been behind at home in almost 22 hours and only the second goal they had conceded at St Mary’s in three months.

Nine minutes later they had conceded a second. This time Thomas turned provider with a run and cross from the right which wing-back Kasumu crashed into the roof of the net.

Kasumu had played under Southampton boss Russell Martin at MK Dons and this was his first Huddersfield goal on his 50th appearance.

The home side’s performance, tied in with an unhappiness towards referee David Webb, saw loud boos accompany the half-time whistle.

But four minutes after the re-start, Saints got themselves back into the game in style when Rothwell smashed an unstoppable volley into the top corner after Lee Nicholls had punched Stuart Armstrong’s corner to the edge of the box.

It was Rothwell’s first goal since arriving on loan from Bournemouth last month. He only had to wait another 65 seconds for his second.

This time his former Cherries team-mate, and fellow substitute, David Brooks found his run into the box with a clever reverse pass before Rothwell finished with aplomb over Nicholls.

The Saints fans were deafening in their celebrations and were ready to take the roof off when Adam Armstrong was sent clean through but elected to attempt a chip that was claimed by a grateful Nicholls.

Huddersfield then found a second wind and they capitalised when Matos stepped onto his right foot and fired the visitors back in front, his shot deflecting up off Will Smallbone and over the despairing Gavin Bazunu.

But Saints continued their club record unbeaten run in style with two goals in the space of four minutes to go 4-3 ahead.

They levelled things when Rothwell’s low ball from the left was turned into his own net by Lees before Mara put the hosts in front for the first time after Brooks had cut back to him.

Another substitute, Edozie, capped things off in stoppage time after Mara had held off three defenders to tee him up as Saints kept their noses just ahead of Leeds.

Russell Martin’s half-time hairdryer set up Southampton’s second-half surge to send them to a 3-0 FA Cup replay win over Watford and a fifth-round clash with Liverpool.

Saints were dismal in the first half before Sekou Mara bagged a brace of well-hit strikes and Che Adams secured a 24th game unbeaten for the Championship promotion hunters.

“I wasn’t happy with the first half and told the players that,” said Martin.

“It is the first time in some time I have done that. My throat was a little bit sore.

“The team is built on being really brave with the ball but really aggressive without and we lacked aggression.

“We were just a bit too nice, we’ve been horrible to play against for a while but we weren’t in the first half.

“At half-time it was about mentality and energy. Second half we were relentless and could have scored one or two more.”

Adams diverted a ball through to Mara and the Frenchman sent Daniel Bachmann the wrong way to finish at the near post and get Saints moving in the 52nd minute.

Six minutes later, Mara bagged his fifth goal of the season when he emphatically finished a counter-attack by thumping into the near post again, this time from outside the box.

Adams finally got the goal his persistence deserved when he calmly diverted Joe Rothwell’s sumptuous free-kick from the left flank past substitute Ben Hamer.

Saints could have made it a wider margin when Samuel Edozie and Sam Amo-Ameyaw struck the post.

The reward is a trip to Anfield, something to which Martin is looking forward.

“It will be exciting, it will be brilliant but we have five games before then,” he said.

“It is a great place to play football and to play against one of the best managers in the world in his last season there will be amazing.

“It holds a special place for me because I scored there on the day my son was born, probably the only point we ever took at Anfield in a fair few visits.”

Watford boss Valerien Ismael said: “It was disappointing, for sure.

“After the first half we were actually in the game. We knew coming here against a team with a lot of confidence and haven’t lost a game in a long time, we knew we had to be strong and solid.

“We grew up in the game and created some situations and told the guys we needed to step up and push for more.

“But in the second half after the first goal we mentally dropped quickly and had tiredness. We started to make mistakes and it became difficult for us to come back into the game.”

Sekou Mara’s first brace in English football fired Southampton to a 3-0 FA Cup replay victory over Watford and a fifth-round meeting with Liverpool.

Mara smashed two strikes into the near post to score his fourth and fifth goals of the season.

Che Adams added gloss to the victory to take Saints to a 24th game undefeated and set up potentially Jurgen Klopp’s last FA Cup tie before he leaves the Reds in the summer.

Both sides made seven changes a piece from their weekend exploits in the Championship and that showed in an opening 20 minutes devoid of quality.

Hornets defender Wesley Hoedt, against his former club, and winger Matheus Martins had off-target efforts at one end, and Saints teenager Tyler Dibling dragged wide at the other as the rain swirled around St Mary’s.

The deluged pitch meant Saints’ usually slick passing was impacted, although midfielder Flynn Downes forced a tricky moment for Daniel Bachmann after slipping in behind.

The game livened up when Southampton goalkeeper Joe Lumley was left rooted as Ismael Kone’s long-range drive deflected up and skidded onto the cross bar.

Lumley was equal to Kone a little later when the Ivorian midfielder diverted Martins’ cross towards goal.

And at the other end, Bachmann’s feet improbably denied Adams from five yards in the 28th minute before Mara fired an effort wide from a corner.

The hosts continued to dominate the ball without much cutting edge, although Joe Rothwell swung a shot wide and Bachmann smothered at Will Smallbone’s feet.

Adams and Mara switched positions in the second half and it proved the perfect alteration seven minutes after the restart.

Adams, now on the left, diverted the ball through to the central Mara and the Frenchman sent Bachmann the wrong way to finish into the near post.

Adams reverted to the middle after the goal and controlled over his shoulder and then volleyed over the bar as Saints pushed for a second.

And it came six minutes after the first as Mara emphatically finished a counter-attack by thumping into the near post again, this time from outside the box.

Bachmann walked straight off following the goal, having felt his head in the first half and pointed to his eye as he was replaced by Ben Hamer.

Samuel Edozie came off the bench and should have firmly put the game to bed when brilliantly threaded through by Rothwell but he stumbled and eventually scuffed a shot straight at Hamer.

Adams finally got the goal his persistence deserved when he calmly diverted Rothwell’s sumptuous free-kick from the left flank past Hamer.

Mara curled a late effort wide but could not add the match ball as a reward for his sparkling performance, while Edozie and Sam Amo-Ameyaw both struck the post.

Southampton forward Sekou Mara’s quickfire second-half double in the 3-0 FA Cup replay victory over Watford booked a fifth-round trip to Liverpool.

The Championship high-fliers extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 24 matches when Che Adams teed up the 21-year-old Frenchman in the 52nd minute.

Mara, who had been linked with Sheffield United in the January transfer window after making just one league start this season, doubled his tally six minutes later with his fifth goal in nine appearances, before Adams wrapped things up 14 minutes from time.

Coventry coasted to a home tie against non-league Maidstone after three goals inside nine second-half minutes dispatched Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday 4-1.

Kasey Palmer’s early opener for the hosts had been cancelled out by Bailey Cadamarteri’s 10th-minute equaliser but the game turned immediately after half-time as Callum O’Hare scored twice, with Haji Wright adding the fourth.

Southampton manager Russell Martin hailed his in-form side’s humility and hunger following their win at struggling Rotherham and urged them not to ease up during a “relentless month”.

First-half goals from Jan Bednarek and Adam Armstrong earned Saints a 2-0 victory at rock-bottom Rotherham to move up to second in the Championship standings.

The result at the AESSEAL New York Stadium also extended Southampton’s unbeaten run to 23 matches and Martin is looking for more of the same as they face six more games in a hectic February.

Martin said: “I really enjoyed the performance and the control we had.

“Their goalie made some really good saves and we should have scored a couple more goals. We limited them to very little.

“They really looked after each other. They fought so hard and ran so hard out of possession – especially from direct balls and long throws. It was really tough to play against.

“I am really proud of the players. It was a tough pitch compared to what the guys play on. The players said it was the toughest they have played on all season.

“We had a joke at breakfast about going 20-odd unbeaten and still being fourth. That’s the level of the competition, it’s outstanding and it’s great to be involved in. The lads are just head on and enjoying the opportunity.

“The players keep showing the humility and hunger. Hopefully we can keep enjoying this feeling for as long as possible. We will focus on ourselves and keep learning and growing as much as we can.

“It’s going to be a relentless month. We need to keep pushing the players.”

Centre-half Bednarek put Southampton in front with just four minutes on the clock when he reacted fastest to a ricochet in the box to head beyond Viktor Johansson.

Adam Armstrong netted the second in the 38th minute after Ryan Fraser had laid cleverly into his path for a simple finish.

The Millers then had Johansson to thank for keeping it to just two when he kept out Will Smallbone’s drive.

Southampton could afford to cruise through the second half but came close to adding a third when new lean signing David Brooks fired just off target.

Rotherham huffed and puffed after the break but could not get back into the game, with Gavin Bazunu denying them a late consolation when he kept out Ollie Rathbone’s volley.

Millers head coach Leam Richardson said: “Southampton were exactly what we expected. They’re a team full of quality and going very well. We knew the challenges we were going to face.

“The only disappointing thing is the way we started the game. Second half was more like us without creating massive chances.

“They could control the game a little bit more. It was a tough afternoon for the boys.”

Richardson knows he has to keep rallying his players after just one win going back to October.

He added: “We either feel sorry for ourselves and don’t do anything about it or we meet the challenges.

“We should never be OK with losing 2-0 to Southampton because we want a competitive environment.

“You either meet the challenge head on or you back off. I would rather go and be pro-active. If you’re going to lose, lose being the best version of yourself.

“The challenge was to go and win the second half and we possibly could have done.”

Southampton climbed into the top two in the Championship after continuing their impressive form by sweeping aside struggling Rotherham 2-0.

The high-flying Saints made it 23 games unbeaten with a dominant display at the AESSEAL New York Stadium where first-half goals from Jan Bednarek and Adam Armstrong did the damage.

Victory sees Southampton up to second behind Leicester while rock-bottom Rotherham are now a massive 12 points from safety at the foot of the table, and with just one win in 17 league games.

It took the visitors just four minutes to go in front with Bednarek reacting quickest in the box to head beyond Viktor Johansson.

Rotherham responded quite well to the early setback and carved out a decent opportunity when Peter Kioso crossed for Jordan Hugill to fire just over.

The visitors were just inches off doubling their advantage when Ryan Fraser took aim from 25 yards, only for his effort to cannon off the post.

Intricate play around the box then led to a great chance for Stuart Armstrong but he was denied by the sharpness of Johansson.

There was nothing the Sweden international goalkeeper could do about Southampton’s second goal though, which arrived in the 38th minute.

It came from a lightning move with Fraser putting through by a chipped ball from Taylor Harwood-Bellis. Fraser then had the awareness to cleverly backheel the ball to Adam Armstrong who tucked his shot into the bottom corner.

It was almost 3-0 moments later with Will Smallbone denied by a strong hand from Johansson.

Gavin Bazunu was called into action at the other end with Seb Revan unleashing an effort after showing skill down the left.

The hosts threatened again early in the second half as they sought a way back into the game, Sam Clucas trying another spectacular volley to match his goal of the month contender in January, but this time it drifted off target.

Adam Armstrong had a sniff of a chance when he was picked out by a clever ball from Smallbone but his heavy first touch allowed Johansson to deny him.

Rotherham were doing the bulk of the pushing in the second half with the visitors content to sit on their lead.

The Millers had a good chance to get one back but Kioso could not pick out substitute Sam Nombe, who had made a good run to the front post.

Southampton brought on January capture David Brooks in the 74th minute and he almost made an instant impact only to see his effort, after cutting in from the right flank, whistle over the bar.

Rotherham came close to an injury-time consolation as Ollie Rathbone caught a volley perfectly, but Bazunu was equal to it to ensure a clean sheet.

Juventus have signed Southampton midfielder Carlos Alcaraz on loan for the rest of the season with an option to buy.

The 21-year-old Argentinian has scored four goals in 26 appearances for Saints this season, with Russell Martin’s side third in the Championship as they seek an immediate return to the Premier League.

Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox told the club website: “Allowing Charly to leave on loan was a decision that we have been deliberating on for some time.

“Considering the midfield options we have available to us right now, and Charly’s lack of game time, we wanted to allow him this chance to gain some valuable experience in one of the top leagues in Europe.

“Juventus are a huge club and we are convinced that this move will allow Charly the opportunity to flourish and then come back and be a success at Southampton.”

Massimiliano Allegri’s side sit second in Serie A, one point behind leaders Inter having played a game more.

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