Southampton’s European aspirations were dealt a blow as Stoke came from behind to win 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium.
Despite Morgan Schneiderlin’s opener, Mame Biram Diouf levelled shortly after half time and Charlie Adam completed the turn-around with less than 10 minutes to go.
It damages the Saints’ faint hopes of snatching the fourth Champions League spot from a flailing Manchester City, who now are ahead by five points with a game in hand.
Europa League football is still tangible, though. with the number of spots still to be decided by this weekend’s FA Cup action.
Stoke, despite having little to play for, took a step towards securing a top-half finish and, with 46 points now on the board, moved closer to their record Premier League tally of 50.