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Fulham 0-3 Southampton Prem 24 1314 Daily Star

last updated Monday 03rd February 2014, 11:29 PM
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Tony Stenson at Daily Star

Fulham (0) 0 Southampton (0) 3

Super Rickie Lambert and his England sidekicks ripped Fulham apart and had the Saints fans singing: "He's off to Brazil, he's off to Brazil."

SouthamptonLambert celebrates his goal at Craven Cottage with his Saints team-mates [PA] Three Saints goals in 12 minutes from Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez saw Rene Meulensteen's side drop to the bottom of the Premier League with seemingly no way up.

Southampton were not at their best but they were still good enough to beat a side in freefall as the three England stars showed their World Cup class.

They took time to click but when they realised there was nothing to beat they switch into gears that ruthlessly destroyed Fulham.

The home side were booed off yet again by fans frustrated by how their season has fallen apart.

They face Sheffield United in an FA Cup Fourth Round replay on Tuesday and failure to win will further increase the pressure on Meulensteen, a shock replacement for sacked Martin Jol.

Their only hope now is if £12.4million signing Konstantinos Mitroglou from Olympiakos can score with the same regularity he did in his home country.

They must hope their Greek arrives bearing gifts because Fulham are now writing their own tragedy.

Home fans were piling out of the exits long before the final whistle, knowing the remaining months of the season will only get tougher.

Fulham don't dominate teams and these must be worrying times for a club that panicked by sacking Jol.

The Cottagers were the deadline-day busy-bees, bringing in four players and getting rid of seven.

But only German Lewis Holtby, on loan from Spurs and William Kvist, from Stuttgart, signed before Friday's 5pm deadline to ensure they could be considered.

With fellow relegation zone strugglers West Ham and Sunderland winning, Fulham desperately needed three points.

New stars were paraded around the pitch before the game but it was likes of Scott Parker and Damien Duff who cranked them into action early on, although it was not to last. Southampton take on the best and make them look ordinary.

This is a side on the up and they will frighten plenty of teams before the season is over.

They took their time but once into gear were unstoppable. Lallana scored their first in the 63rd minute, striking home a low cross from Lambert.

Lambert then added the second in the 74th minute before he turned goal maker, striking a long, raking pass for Rodriguez to hit a sizzling third.

Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino said: "The fans were shouting for all three of our goal scorers to go with England to Brazil. I go along with that.

"England manager Roy Hodgson did not watch us last week but he did today and I think he would agree with me."

Meulensteen said: "This is the biggest challenge I have faced in football and the biggest challenge Fulham have faced in recent years."

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