Ralph Hasenhuttl suggested Southampton had been rewarded for their hard work and persistence with a 3-2 win over Arsenal at St Mary's.
The home side twice led through headers from Danny Ings, but they were twice pegged back by Henrikh Mkhitaryan goals – the second just after half-time taking a wicked deflection to beat Alex McCarthy.
Ings had headed Matt Targett's cross home after 20 minutes only for Mkhitaryan to match it eight minutes later.
Southampton went back in front just before the break, Ings looping a fine header home from Nathan Redmond's cross.
It looked to be more frustration for them when Arsenal found a fortunate second equaliser but subs Shane Long and Charlie Austin combined with five minutes remaining to set up a massive Saints success.
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno flopped at Long's cross, allowing Austin head into an unguarded net at the back post.
It gave Hasenhuttl his first victory in the Premier League at the second attempt and hoisted Southampton out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
He paid tribute to hard work done on the training ground.
"It's amazing what the team can do in a week. It was very intensive, we had time to work on the basics and built the fundamentals for our game," said the Saints boss.
"I'm very proud of how focused and uncompromising they were, and when they had the chances, how merciless they were.
"It was a fantastic atmosphere and a special feeling here to win the match."
Southampton are 7/5 to win a crucial battle with fellow strugglers Huddersfield next Saturday. The home side are 11/5 while the draw is 2/1.
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