A Juan Cala strike against the run of play was enough to snatch a precious 1-0 Premier League victory for Cardiff City at Southampton.
The home side dominated possession throughout Saturday's contest at St Mary's, and could easily have gone in at half-time with the lead after Gaston Ramirez hit the crossbar.
Paulo Gazzaniga in the Southampton goal was rarely called into action, but was beaten 20 minutes into the second half as Cala found the net from 20 yards.
Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall made a pair of important saves late on to safeguard the visitors' lead.
With Fulham picking up a 1-0 victory against Norwich City, and bottom-placed Sunderland losing by the same scoreline to Everton, the result - Cardiff's second away league win of the season - lifts Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to within three points of safety and opens up the battle for survival.
Cardiff will have been especially careful to keep their starting XI under wraps after the spying scandal that followed their 3-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend, while Southampton brought Ramirez in for the injured Jay Rodriguez.
Information leaks have dominated headlines off the field in south Wales, but it is Solskjaer's porous defence that has caused most problems on it in recent weeks - conceding 12 goals in their previous three fixtures - and it was not long before they were put to the test on the south coast.
Steven Davis dragged an effort across the face of goal after 14 minutes, before Adam Lallana's low drive was comfortably collected by Marshall.
Ramirez then had the visitors' crossbar rattling with a deflected effort from inside the penalty area.
Cardiff were struggling to get any kind of foothold in the game against a Southampton side with little to play for.
Rickie Lambert forced Marshall into a diving save from a 20-yard free-kick after 27 minutes, and the hosts had calls for a penalty turned down before the break - referee Jon Moss waving away claims of handball against Steven Caulker.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first, with Southampton dominating possession, but Gazzaniga was forced into action just before the hour mark as he punched clear a Jordon Mutch effort from distance.
And, having looked incapable of finding a way through the home defence for the opening hour of the match, Cardiff took the lead in the 65th minute - Cala firing home a left-footed strike from 20 yards after Southampton failed to clear their lines from a free-kick.
Marshall denied substitute Sam Gallagher and Nathaniel Clyne superbly in the closing stages as Cardiff clung on for a vital three points and gave Mauricio Pochettino a day to forget in his 50th Premier League match in charge of Southampton.
|Coach: M. Pochettino|
for G. Ramírez 66'
for C. Chambers 67'
for J. Cork 78'
|Gala: No extra payment for Grosskreutz|
|Increase Bundesliga´s TV rights or be left behind - Rummenigge|
|Kane: I´m no flash in the pan|
|Perez: United showed inexperience in De Gea saga|
|Milligan: Socceroos wary of Tajikistan|
|Conte wants more players like Pelle|
|OFC World Cup Qualifying Review: Samoa to meet Tahiti in next round|
|Krychowiak stayed at Sevilla because of Emery|
|I never considered Bayern exit - Gotze|
|Balotelli ´not in good condition´, Milan must improve - Mihajlovic|
|Robben slams ´stupid´ Martins Indi|
|Robben laments injury blow|
|Euro 2016 Qualifiers Review: Bale edges Wales closer, Iceland dent Netherlands´ qualification hopes|
|De Bruyne relieved to ´boss´ Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Blind furious after nightmare debut|
|Coleman sees shades of Charles in Bale winner|
|Conte only concerned about Italy winning|
|Mauritania v South Africa: SAFA to investigate Masilela no-show|
|AFC World Cup Qualifying Review: Qatar hit 15 in Bhutan rout|
|Belgium 3 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1: De Bruyne shines in straightforward victory|
|Cyprus 0 Wales 1: Bale winner takes Wales one step closer|
|Netherlands 0 Iceland 1: Sigurdsson winner caps difficult first game for Blind|
|Italy 1 Malta 0: Pelle spares wasteful Azzurri|
|Balotelli stars in Milan friendly win|
|Bhutan thrashed 15-0 by Qatar in qualifier|
|Rwanda v Ghana: Gyan doubt gives hosts hope|
|Tanzania v Nigeria: Enyeama out of AFCON qualifier|
|Valdes and Berahino included in Premier League squads|
|Costa Rica v Brazil: Dunga´s men return after Copa disappointment|
|Spain v Slovakia: Azpilicueta eyeing important revenge|
|Adebayor left out of Tottenham squad list for league and Europe|
|San Marino v England: Place in history books beckons for Rooney|
|Germany can cope with Reus absence - Low|
|Bayern offer aid to refugees in ´training camp´|
|BREAKING NEWS: Welbeck ruled out for months after knee surgery|
|South Korea 8 Laos 0: Son leads the way in rout|
|Australia 5 Bangladesh 0: Socceroos surge to emphatic win|
|Japan 3 Cambodia 0: Hosts pick up first qualifying win|
|Rudiger aiming to nail down Euros spot after Roma move|
|Melo happy to join Inter at last|
|Hernandez thanks Ferguson after United departure|
|Chung: AFC has compromised FIFA election|
|Wales the new best of British|
|Reus out of Germany qualifiers|
|Chile v Paraguay: Vidal missing for Copa champions|
|Ghedin: Anything is possible for Malta|
|Pogba will be worth €100m - Marotta|
|England can win Euro 2016 - Hodgson tells players|
|Conte unsure over Balotelli future|
|Portugal - France Preview: Deschamps aiming to correct mistakes|
|Martial never the same again - Mangala|
|Copa del Rey Review: Racing fall at the first|
|Shelvey dismisses talk of England snub|
|Galatasaray unable to play Grosskreutz|
|Faroe Islands v Northern Ireland: O´Neill preaches patience ahead of Euro double-header|
|Levy slams ´wholly inappropriate´ West Brom after Berahino chase|
|Panama v Uruguay: Visitors without Suarez and Cavani|
|Captaincy won´t change me - Robben|
|Liverpool sign Brazilian youngster Allan|
|PFA expects swift Berahino resolution|
|Argentina v Bolivia: Mascherano backs ´very special´ Messi|
|´I do not know if I´m worth €80million´ - Martial shocked at price-tag|
|Afellay suspension reduced|
|Noble red card rescinded|
|Portugal v France: Deschamps aiming to correct mistakes|
|Bahebeck given the all clear|
|Germany v Poland: Muller out to settle the score|
|Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland: Keane counting on McCarthy and Walters|
|Georgia v Scotland: Tbilisi trip has must-win feel for Robertson|
|Juve still the team to beat - Hernanes|
|De Gea will remain professional, says team-mate Mata|
|Berahino given extra time off following strike tweet|
|´No excuses´ as Costa seeks to kick-start season|
|I´m not like Messi or Ronaldo – Hazard|
|United States v Peru: Klinsmann out to ´prove a point´|
|Martinez unsure when Cleverley will return|
|France set for Russia friendly ahead of Euros|
|Former Manchester United forward Berbatov joins PAOK|
|De Gea must play to earn Euro 2016 spot – Del Bosque|
|Cahill thrilled to lead Socceroos|
|Wijnaldum urges patience with new-look Newcastle|
|Reid praises Stones´ professionalism|
|Mexico v Trinidad and Tobago: Islanders hoping to build on Gold Cup display|
|Choosing Brazil over Spain was easiest decision, says Rafinha|
|Galliani hails ´changed´ Balotelli|
|OFC World Cup Qualifying Review: American Samoa notch second competitive win|
|Canada v Belize: Hosts look to stay calm|
|Carragher surprised by ´big´ Martial price|
|No pressure on Rodgers - Rush|
|No Benzema, no Cavani - Arsenal ´can´t compete´ says Sol Campbell|
|FFA muzzle Postecoglou after pay dispute criticism|
|Celtic complete Simunovic signing|
|Joaquin: I´m as happy as a little boy|
|Navas given time off by Costa Rica|
|Martial unfazed by prospect of United pressure|
|Ramos urges De Gea to overcome transfer woe|