The final month of the campaign began with a trip to Anfield, for the fourth meeting between Saints and Liverpool of the season.
And Southampton made it four unbeaten, with four clean sheets against the Reds with a resolute defensive display that included a brilliant penalty save by Fraser Forster to deny James Milner.
Second-half goals from Alexis Sánchez and Olivier Giroud condemned Puel’s men to a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal a few days later.
But a trip to Middlesbrough offered a chance to bounce back quickly, and Claude Puel’s men seized it to climb up to ninth place in the Premier League with a 2-1 win.
Jay Rodriguez swept home from Shane Long’s cross to put Saints ahead, before Nathan Redmond’s exquisite curling effort in the second-half doubled the advantage.
Patrick Bamford’s header set up a nervy finish, but a defence that included a debut for Martin Cáceres held firm in a performance that more than merited maximum points.
Next up, a chance to avenge the heartache of the EFL Cup final at Wembley as Manchester United arrived on the south coast for the penultimate fixture, where despite a dominant display, Saints found goalkeeper Sergio Romero in inspired form.
Eric Bailly gave Manolo Gabbiadini a glorious chance to take the lead when he handled an angled ball forward into the box, but the Italian international saw his penalty saved.
The final day saw a return for top goalscorer Charlie Austin against Stoke City after his long-term injury and despite a 1-0 defeat at St Mary’s, the club finished inside the top eight of the top tier for the fourth consecutive season.
Sunday 7th Liverpool (a) D 0-0
Wednesday 10th Arsenal (h) L 0-2
Saturday 13th Middlesbrough (a) W 2-1
Wednesday 17th Manchester United (h) D 0-0
Sunday 21st Stoke City (h) L 0-1