Strike duo Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez sent Southampton up to third in the Premier League as Fulham were beaten 2-0 at St Mary’s.
England striker Rickie Lambert was a substitute in the draw at Manchester United last weekend, but marked his return to the starting line-up by scoring his third Saints goal this season following an assist from Rodriguez.
Saints dominated the first half and were rewarded with a second goal just before the break, when Lambert this time presented Rodriguez with a simple opportunity to head home from close range.
Mauricio Pochettino's side have made their best start in the top-flight for 30 years and can boast the best defensive record in the league, having conceded just three times in their first nine games.
They were worthy winners as Martin Jol’s Fulham paid the price for a poor display and dropped down to 14th in the table.
Lambert replaced big-money signing Dani Osvaldo, who was not even on the bench amid reports he is unsettled at St Mary's.
Midfielder James Ward-Prowse was also recalled to the starting line-up in place of Steven Davis (knock).
Fernando Amorebieta replaced captain Brede Hangeland in the Fulham side after the Norway defender was ruled out due a nerve problem in his leg, while forward Bryan Ruiz (back) was passed fit.
Saints were almost gifted the lead after just four minutes as Philippe Senderos dithered on the ball and was robbed by Adam Lallana. He picked out Morgan Schneiderlin, whose shot was destined for the back of the net until Amorebieta intervened.
The home side moved in front after 20 minutes when Ward-Prowse's corner was flicked on by Rodriguez and an unmarked Lambert nodded home at the far post.
Rodriguez almost doubled his side’s advantage a minute later as he breached the Fulham defence far too easily and only a fine fingertip save from Maarten Stekelenburg prevented a fine individual goal.
The Cottagers were struggling to contain the home side and Lambert rattled the post with a venomous drive from just outside the penalty area before Stekelenburg kept out another Lambert header.
It was only a matter of time before Saints increased their lead and two minutes before the break Lambert returned the favour to Rodriguez, guiding a header across goal for his strike partner to nod in.
Saints were not quite as fluent in the second half, but Rodriguez came close to a spectacular third goal when he volleyed wide after 68 minutes.
Steve Sidwell was off target with a shot eight minutes from time, yet Fulham never really threatened to make life difficult for their hosts.
Lallana ended a run with a shot that took a big deflection and landed on the roof of the net as Saints secured a comfortable win.
|Coach: M. Pochettino|
for J. Rodriguez 78'
for J. Ward-Prowse 90+2'
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Valencia scrape through, Bilbao thrash Celta|
|Primeira Liga: Maritimo 2 Braga 2|
|Galliani to stay at Milan|
|Klopp plays down Club World Cup|
|Schalke coach Keller not fearing the sack|
|Wilshere loses appeal against two-match ban|
|Zaha on Pardew´s radar|
|Milan will be my final club, says Abbiati|
|Anigo to remain at Marseille helm for time being|
|Premier League Preview: West Brom v Hull City|
|No Bankia involvement in Bale deal, says Perez|
|Galliani wants stronger Milan youth system|
|Rafinha extends Bayern contract|
|Premier League Preview: Stoke City v Aston Villa|
|Poyet: No excuse not to perform|
|Vanishing spray to be used at World Cup|
|Gabbidon praises Palace strike pair|
|Premier League Preview: Manchester United v West Ham|
|Hughton calls for Norwich City to show character|
|Premier League Preview: Fulham v Manchester City|
|Samaras attracting Lazio interest|
|Premier League Preview: Liverpool v Cardiff City|
|Rodgers backs Mackay at Cardiff|
|Foster back fit and raring for West Brom recall|
|De Boer agent denies Tottenham contact|
|Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v Newcastle United|
|Hungary appoint Pinter as new coach|
|Iniesta signs new Barca contract|
|Rodgers coy over Suarez talks|
|Jagielka hopes for fresh faces at Everton to help top-four push|
|A-League: Central Coast 1 Wellington 0|
|Spain end top of FIFA rankings for sixth year running|
|Allardyce disappointed to draw Manchester City|
|Pascoe hails ´unbelievable´ Suarez|
|Vorm knee surgery brought forward|
|Blanc hails Cavani brace|
|Michu wants Aspas to join Swansea City|
|Hoeness plays down Bayern treble suggestions|
|Dzeko confident he can fill Aguero void|
|Moyes: No loan offers for Zaha|
|Kiessling calls for Leverkusen response|
|Matuidi: Cavani on par with Ibrahimovic|
|Yeboah set to join Borussia Monchengladbach|
|Rooney a ´chance´ to face West Ham|
|FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Bayern Munich v Raja Casablanca|
|Benzarti praises ´extremely talented´ Raja Casablanca|
|Ranieri unsure over Falcao return|
|Coupe de La Ligue Wrap: Cavani leads PSG to dramatic win|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Real Madrid through as Sevilla crash out|
|Tottenham job appeals to Sherwood|
|Sherwood gutted after defeat|
|Hughes: United worthy winners|
|Moyes pleased to see United weather storm|
|Allardyce hails West Ham fight|
|Coppa Italia: Juventus 3 Avellino 0|
|Manchester clubs kept apart in League Cup semi draw|
|League Cup: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2|
|League Cup: Stoke City 0 Manchester United 2|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Raja Casablanca 3 Atletico Mineiro 1|
|Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan abandoned due to heavy rain|
|United face anxious Rooney wait over injury|
|Messi making good progress|
|Ramos ban overturned|
|Osvaldo charged by FA|
|In-demand Ince offered new Blackpool deal|
|Molde confirm Solskjaer approaches|
|Kramer keen to continue home record|
|Rodgers: Henderson has potential to get even better|
|Ruiz on Anderlecht´s radar|
|Swansea, Hull fined by FA over player behaviour|
|Leeds keen on re-signing Gradel|
|Leverkusen announce Ryu deal|
|Ribery named Bundesliga Player of the Year|
|Moyes: No Zaha interest|
|Barcelona, Real Madrid in European Commission investigation|
|Basel: No Tottenham approach for Yakin|
|Chelsea set for Guarin bid, agent claims|
|Lewandowski has Dortmund goal concerns|
|Pogba, Pirlo will not sign before Christmas, says Marotta|
|Guardiola convinced to join Bayern after ´meat´ and greet|
|Martinez: Everton seen as a ´perfect´ loan destination|
|Anderlecht ´perfect´ for Defour, says Van Holsbeeck|
|Watford appoint Sannino|
|Sakho feels ´lucky´ to play with Suarez|
|Lippi: Too many teams competing in Club World Cup|
|Moyes ´told Welbeck to learn from Rooney´|
|I would kill myself over match-fixing, says Gattuso|
|Hughes dismisses calls for Januzaj protection|
|Aguero ´could miss up to two months´|
|Guardiola lauds Ballon d´Or nominee Ribery|
|Liverpool open Suarez contract talks|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Barcelona, Levante cruise through|
|A-League Preview: Derby date beckons for winless Heart|
|Pearson upbeat despite Leicester defeat|
|Poyet urges Sunderland to build on Chelsea win|
|Mourinho rues missed chances|