More than 3,000 travelling fans sang, cheered, roared and danced after their beloved Bluebirds snatched a thrilling Premier League victory at St Mary’s.
Sol Bamba and substitute Kenneth Zohore scored the goals to ensure Cardiff City earned back-to-back wins in the top flight for the first time in well over half a century. They last achieved that in 1962.
Captain Bamba and his team followed their home win against Bournemouth with victory on the South coast, inflicting a first defeat of 2019 on their hosts.
Saints had been unbeaten in five Premier League games (W2, D3), but City powered to victory and jumped above their rivals.
The win lifted Cardiff out of the bottom three into 15th place – sixth from bottom.
“We wanted to do it for Emiliano and I’m really proud the lads have done him justice,” said Warnock.
“We should have beaten Arsenal and won three on the trot. We’ve been superb in the three games since the tragedy.
“It’s appropriate that we came down here with the black armbands on and with a performance like that.
“Yes we might be limited but you can’t question the character of our lads.”
“We’re still going to be odds on favourites to go down, but we shouldn’t have gone up.
“And we should only have 11 points according to some pundits, who are meant to know the game inside out. So we continue to surprise people.
“The only people we don’t surprise are me and the fans.
“If we didn’t win another point the fans would clap us off at the end of the season. It’s great for the players to know that if they make a mistake, the fans aren’t going to get on their backs.”
Bluebirds captain Sol Bamba said: “It’s been a tough couple of weeks.
“I know Emiliano Sala was looking from up there so it’s good to get the three points.”
Cardiff showed great team spirit and character. They battled for each other during the first half when Southampton threatened to take control and went ahead when Bamba netted after 69 minutes.
Joe Ralls took a corner, Callum Paterson flicked on and Bamba supplied the finish.
The Bluebirds were devastated when Jack Stephens equalised a minute into injury time, arriving at the far post to tap in Charlie Austin’s flick-on.
But they refused to be denied and Zohore fired his first goal of the season when he prodded home from close range in the fourth minute of injury time.
It was another emotional time for the Bluebirds.
The cry went up ‘Sing a song for Sala’ and that reverberated around the away end at St Mary’s.
Argentinian flags were held in memory of Emiliano Sala, while City fans sang about the signing who was not able to play for the club, words which ended with ‘You will always be at the City here with me.’
A minute’s silence was observed for Sala and pilot David Ibbotson.
For the third successive match Cardiff players and staff wore yellow daffodils in honour of the Argentine striker, while they also warmed up in T-shirts which had a picture of Sala on the front.
Southampton had 67 per cent possession, but Sala’s Bluebirds went home with all three points.
Southampton: McCarthy, Bednarek, Stephens, Vestergaard (Elyounoussi 72), Valery (Gallagher 83), Højbjerg, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Bertrand, Long (Austin 72), Redmond. Subs not used: Yoshida, Austin, Gunn, Targett, Slattery.