Southampton's superior finishing swept them into the fourth round of the Carling Cup at the expense of Second Division Bristol City.
Strike duo James Beattie and Brett Ormerod were both on target at a wet Ashton Gate.
England forward Beattie combined expertly with Rory Delap in the first half to
claim his eighth goal of the season.
Then Ormerod doubled the lead with a clinical 67th-minute strike.
And full-back Graeme Le Saux, who enjoyed an industrious evening down the left
flank, sealed the victory with a free-kick three minutes before time - his first
goal for Gordon Strachan's side.
But Saints did not have it all their own way - they were under pressure for
lengthy periods of the second half when City poured forward at every
Danny Wilson's men - desperate to atone for their disappointing early exit
from the LDV Vans Trophy two weeks ago - created several chances but were held
out by a lack of composure in front of goal.
Lee Peacock was guilty of squandering a magnificent opportunity to level the
score in the second half and shortly after Ormerod popped up to rub salt into
the Robins' wounds.
Bristol City: Phillips, Coles, Butler, Hill, Amankwaah, Wilkshire, Burnell, Tinnion, Woodman, Peacock, Roberts. Subs: Miller, Stowell, Hulbert, Lita, Fortune.
Southampton: Niemi, Dodd, Lundekvam, Michael Svensson, Le Saux, Fernandes, Delap, Anders Svensson, Marsden, Beattie, Ormerod. Subs: Jones, McCann, Higginbotham, Griffit, Telfer.
Referee: P Walton (Northamptonshire).