Southampton striker Che Adams scored against his former club, and midfielders Stuart Armstrong and Nathan Redmond struck after the interval as they beat Premier League strugglers Sheffield United 3-0 at St Mary's Stadium on Sunday to go third in the table.
Southampton dominated possession and went ahead on 34 minutes as the Blades failed to properly deal with a James Ward-Prowse free kick and Adams reacted quickest to tap home his fourth league goal of the season.
Armstrong doubled the home side's lead in the second half with a low shot that gave Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale no chance as it took a big deflection off defender Phil Jagielka and rolled into the net.
Substitute Redmond scored his first goal of the season seven minutes from time with a side-footed finish following an exchange with midfielder Oriol Romeu to heap the pressure on Chris Wilder's bottom-placed side.
The Blades' 11th defeat of the campaign makes them the first team since Queens Park Rangers in 2012 to be without a win after 12 Premier League matches, and pressure is mounting on manager Wilder to arrest their slide.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's improving Southampton, in front of 2,000 supporters, climbed to third in the table behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool with 23 points from 12 games ahead of a potentially tricky clash at Arsenal on Wednesday.
The Southampton manager said the return of fans to St Mary's had left him emotional and their win was the perfect reward for supporters in the stands amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's wonderful in front of our fans. It's great to have them back. I was definitely emotional with a few tears in my eyes," Hasenhuttl told Sky Sports.
"It's only 2,000 but you could feel how much they enjoyed watching us. We gave them what we feel they should see from us. It really was the perfect Sunday. It was fantastic."
He added: "It was another very good game against an opponent who never gives up. We struggle in the past against teams that deep defend, but now we have more solutions, patience and quality on the ball.
"It's about believing in the time we get to score. The times we scored were perfect. It isn't easy to play a team that have nothing to lose at 2-0. In front of our fans it is a different experience to take away.
"Every part of our game has improved -- with and without the ball. We have built something here. They all know exactly what they need to do. It is a new identity for this club and one we want to push."