Daily Echo:

Saints took a huge step towards guaranteeing their Premier League safety with an impressive 3-1 win over Wolves at St Mary’s.

Victory for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men and defeats for Cardiff and Brighton leaves Saints eight points clear of the drop zone with five games remaining.

Nathan Redmond took his tally for the season to eight goals with a brace either side of Willy Boly’s equaliser before Shane Long came off the bench to score in back-to-back games for the first time since May 2016 to make the points safe.

Saints got off to the perfect start as they took the lead after just 94 seconds.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was alert to the possibility of winning a second ball and stabbed it down the right touchline to set Josh Sims on his way.

The winger used his pace to get to the by-line and put in a perfect low cross that was met at the near post by the darting run of Nathan Redmond to turn home from close range.

Wolves weren’t deterred though and tried to hit back with a fierce strike from 25 yards by Ruben Neves deflected only narrowly wide by the head of Jannik Vestergaard.

Leander Dendoncker threated moments later with a header from a free kick that went just past the post.

The movement and pace of Redmond and Sims were causing Wolves a lot of problems and the former tried his luck again with a first time side footed effort from just outside the box but this time Rui Patricio was able to make the save.

It was Angus Gunn who was the next keeper called into action as Raul Jimenez tricked his way through and drilled in a low shot that the Saints stopper kept out diving to his left.

But there was nothing he could do to keep Wolves out on 28 minutes.

It had been coming with Wolves taking control of the midfield areas but disappointingly for Saints the equaliser was from a set-piece.

Joao Moutinho played in an outswinging corner from the right that was attacked by Willy Boly, who brushed past Hojbjerg before beating Jan Bednarek in the air to power home a header from ten yards out for 1-1.

The parity didn’t last long as Saints retook the lead just 118 seconds later.

Sims played the ball inside from the right to Danny Ings who produced a perfect pass to play Redmond in behind.

He was clearly being played onside and showed great composure to lift a dinked finish past Patricio to re-establish Saints’ advantage.

It should have been 3-1 just two minutes later as Ings played another defence splitting pass, this time from much deeper, to set Sims away but his right footed finish with only Patricio to beat went wide of the far post.

Wolves got off to a fast start in the second half and threatened early on through Diogo Jota but he fired wide when slightly off balance.

They were certainly on top which led Hasenhuttl to make a double change on 61 minutes with Shane Long and Oriol Romeu replacing Ings and Sims. Romeu slotted into his regular position in front of the back four with James Ward-Prowse pushing further forward.

Wolves weren’t happy when Ryan Bertrand was only booked by referee Jonathan Moss after catching Neves in the face with a raised arm when challenging for the ball.

Jimenez should have punished Maya Yoshida for a poor defensive header when the ball dropped to him in space ten yards out but his wild volley was so far from the target it went out for a throw-in.

Despite Wolves having had the upper hand for the majority of the half it was Saints who scored next on 71 minutes.

Wolves failed to clear a Ward-Prowse corner and after Yoshida’s overhead effort was deflected back to him the Japanese defender managed to play the ball back into the danger area while prone on the ground to find Long.

He was played onside by Adama Traore and produced a fantastic flicked finish with the outside of his boot to put the ball into the far corner for 3-1.

Yoshida almost scored himself moments later but was denied by a save from point blank range.

It didn’t matter though as Saints had done enough to earn the win and all but secure their Premier League status for another season.