Norwich - Southampton's mid-season slump continued at Carrow Road on Saturday after they suffered a late red card minutes before Alexander Tettey clinched the winner in a 1-0 victory for hosts Norwich.
The Canaries have now picked up nine points from a possible 12 over the holidays and in doing so Alex Neil's charges have climbed to within a point of Southampton.
A depleted Southampton side, with top scorer Graziano Pelle and full-back Cedric both out injured while Oriel Romeu is banned, have now won only once in their last eight Premier League games, a stunning 4-0 thumping of Arsenal on Boxing Day.
And they dominated in Norfolk until their tough tackling Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama was sent off for a second bookable foul on 72 minutes.
He would hardly have had time to get to the dressing room before the stands erupted with joy as Tettey lashed a left-footed drive which Saints stopper Maarten Stekelenburg could only watch fly into the top-left corner.
Southampton coach Ronald Koeman threw on a couple of substitutes, including Senegalese winger Sadio Mane, who he'd dropped after being late for a team meeting, but Norwich held firm over the last 15 minutes to continue their climb away from the relegation zone.
Confident enough to beat Manchester United recently they are now unbeaten in their last five home Premier League games and with the league's top assist man Wes Hoolahan and roving target man Dieumerci Mbokani they appear to have the talent to steer clear on a relegation fight.