Southampton’s 11-year stay in the Premier League moved closer to ending after a 1-0 loss to south-coast rival Bournemouth, whose own relegation concerns were further eased on Thursday.
Marcus Tavernier squeezed home a shot in the 50th minute to condemn last-place Southampton to a 21st loss in 33 league games this season.
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With five matches remaining, Southampton is six points adrift from safety and still has games to play against Newcastle and Liverpool, who are seeking Champions League spots.
The Saints have been in the top flight since 2012 but have been battling relegation for the last few seasons.
Bournemouth has won five of its last eight games to pull clear of trouble when many had them down as certainties for an immediate return to the second-tier Championship.
The team jumped to 14th place, seven points clear of the bottom three.
For the only goal of the game, Tavernier cut into the area from the right and sent in a low shot that rolled slowly into the far corner.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)