ADAM Armstrong scored a first half double as Saints made it 11 matches unbeaten with a comfortable 2-0 win over Cardiff City in the Championship.

The forward put the south coast side in front after 11 minutes when he curled in a fine strike from the edge of the box.

His header soon after made it 2-0 and Southampton never looked in too much trouble from that point on.

The goals were Armstrong's 11th and 12th strikes of the season and the result means Saints remain in fourth place in the division.

Russell Martin revealed at Friday's pre-match press conference that Kamaldeen Sulemana will be out injured until at least January.

Che Adams replaced the Ghanaian in the line-up and it was the only change for Saints from the 1-0 win against Bristol City on Wednesday.

Influential midfielder Will Smallbone was left out of the squad altogether in perhaps the biggest surprise ahead of kick-off.

Saints took the lead just after the 10-minute mark when Charly Alcaraz found A Armstrong on the edge of the area and he curled a superb effort into the top left corner.

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A Armstrong then added his second of the day just five minutes later as Stuart Armstrong drove to the by-line before his deflected cross was headed in by the forward.

It was looking like a long afternoon for the Bluebirds with Saints completely on top in the opening 20 minutes.

Just after the half hour mark, defender Jan Bednarek went down injured with the medical staff quickly on to check on him.

The injury occurred when he blocked an effort from a Cardiff player but he was able to continue soon after.

The away side were growing into the game, though, and Gavin Bazunu had to be quick off his line to prevent Yakou Meite from having a clear run at goal.

It was sharp work by the Irish goalkeeper who has impressed this season with his speed off the line being a major strength to his game.

A Armstrong almost completed a first half hat trick when Adams' chip to the back post was headed goalwards by the Englishman but it was straight into the arms of Alex Runarsson.

The visitors almost pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time but Karlan Grant could only strike the ball over from close range.

Saints thought they added a third early in the second half as A Armstrong crossed brilliantly for Adams but his powerful finish was ruled out due to him being in an offside position.

Grant gave a reminder that Cardiff were still very much in the game as he drove through the Saints midfield before fizzing an effort past the post.

Substitutes Joe Aribo and Ryan Fraser both almost made an impact within minutes of being introduced by Martin.

First, Aribo's low effort clipped the outside of the post, and then Fraser failed to divert A Armstrong's low delivery into the net.

With 15 minutes remaining, the two substitutes then combined again to set up Adams but he failed to sort his feet out and the chance was gone.

As the Welsh side tried to chase the game, gaps were opening up for Saints regularly with Fraser and A Armstrong looking particularly dangerous.

Daily Echo: Saints win 2-0 over Cardiff City at St Mary'sSaints win 2-0 over Cardiff City at St Mary's (Image: Stuart Martin)

The hosts saw the game out with relative ease and they are next in action when they travel to Watford next Saturday.

Saints: Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Harwood-Bellis, Bednarek, Manning; Downes, Charles, S Armstrong (Aribo, 62); Alcaraz (Fraser, 62), A Armstrong, Adams (Mara, 81)

Unused Subs: Lumley, Bree, Holgate, Dibling, Edozie, Amo-Ameyaw

Booked: Downes

Cardiff City: Runarsson; Ng, Goutas, McGuinness, Collins; Bowler (Tanner, 63), Wintle; Robinson (Colwill, 54), Siopsis (Ralls, 75), Meite; Grant (Etete, 75)

Unused Subs: Alnwick, Ugbo, Adams, Panzo, Romeo

Booked: Colwill

Referee: James Bell

Attendance: 28,659

Goals: A Armstrong 11'

A Armstrong 15'