ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC ended his goal drought with a double to give Claudio Ranieri lift-off.
Leicester legend Ranieri took over from axed Slavisa Jokanovic last week tasked with saving rock-bottom Fulham’s season.
Reuters8 Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice as Fulham beat Southampton 3-2
Reuters8 Claudio Ranieri started his Fulham reign with a 3-2 win over Southampton
And he was given the perfect start thanks to Mitrovic’s brace and an Andre Schurrle strike.
Stuart Armstrong grabbed his first goals for Southampton in reply.
But the defeat and the visitors’ woeful defending only cranked up the pressure further on boss Mark Hughes.
Saints have now dropped into the relegation zone having won just ONE league game in all season.
Reuters8 Andre Schurrle got on the scoresheet for the Cottagers
Getty Images8 Stuart Armstrong's two goals weren't enough for the Saints
Ranieri made just one change, bringing in Jean Michael Seri and pushed Tom Cairney right behind Mitrovic.
Conceding goals has been Fulham’s Achilles heel this season with 31 shipped in 12 league games.
They should have been behind six minutes in but Manolo Gabbiadini somehow hit a weak rebound straight at Sergio Rico after the Spaniard had repelled an Armstrong blast.
Saints were not so generous on 18 minutes as they capitalised on some sleepy defending to take the lead.
Reuters8 Mitrovic had a great game as he bagged a brace
Reuters8 Schurrle got back to his old ways with a fine strike