Southampton pulled off a huge win against Wigan Athletic to pull further clear of the drop zone and leave their relegation rivals in real danger.
The Saints had got off to a fine start under new boss Mauricio Pocchettino, although with little tangible reward, with only an unlucky draw against Everton and a hugely unfortunate defeat against Manchester United to show for their efforts. As a result, the visitors came out clearly determined to pick up their first win since sacking Adkins, but their opponents were equally set on ending their poor form.
The result was a lively, end-to-end opening. Franco Di Santo went close early on, only being denied by an excellent reaction save from Artur Boruc, before Gaston Ramirez wasted a chance up the other end, getting on the end of a fine Southampton move but blazing a simple chance over the bar in a typically mixed day for the Saints' record signing.
Both teams were playing fine football, but it was a corner which finally saw a breakthrough, Gary Caldwell heading one into the bottom corner to give the hosts the lead as Southampton's luck continued to look at a low point. As the half wore on, the game became scrappier and chances fizzled out, and both sides will have been glad of the opportunity to regroup.
Steven Davis was introduced for the injured Gaston Ramirez at half-time for Southampton, and it appeared to do the visitors good as the Northern Irishman made good use of his ability to control the tempo of a game. After some more measured play, the Saints had their equaliser twenty minutes into the half, Jack Cork showing some good skill and awareness to work space on the right flank before Rickie Lambert used his physical presence to bundle home a header from close range.
Southampton were now on top, and Wigan were rocking. The visitors almost took the lead immediately afterwards when Adam Lallana crafted some room before letting fly with a shot which smacked off the post, but it only appeared to be a matter of time before Southampton found a way through, and so it proved - a counter-attack from a Wigan corner resulting in Morgan Schneiderlin bursting into the area to score a rare goal to apparently steal a victory for the away side.
Wigan were not done, however. The Latics pressed for another corner, and the opposition defence didn't have to come under too much pressure before Shaun Maloney was gifted a simple tap-in, giving Wigan a deserved point from the encounter.
Southampton will once again be frustrated that some fine play could not result in a victory, but the same problems that dogged Nigel Adkins are a problem for the new man - quite simply, their defence is not up to the standard of the rest of the team. Wigan were fortunate but deserving of the point - they will need to show that characteristic late-season determination plenty of times more if they are going to avoid relegation.