Everton left it late but ended their 2017/18 home campaign by extending their unbeaten run to five matches.
Trailing to Nathan Redmond’s 56th-minute header, the Blues levelled with pretty much the last kick of the game as Tom Davies’ effort from the edge of the box deflected off defender Wesley Hoedt to wrong-foot goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
By that point, Southampton had been reduced to 10 men, Maya Yoshida having collected his second yellow card of the contest with five minutes remaining for a foul on substitute Oumar Niasse.
With Wayne Rooney (knee), Theo Walcott (calf) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (back) all ruled out through injury, and Gylfi Sigurdsson still not fit to return following a knee problem, manager Sam Allardyce had limited attacking options at his disposal.
The boss was forced to change a winning team, making two alterations to the side that started against Huddersfield Town, with Davies and Yannick Bolasie coming in for Rooney and Walcott, as the Blues looked to continue form that had seen them amass 27 points from the past 39 available on home soil.
Everton’s players emerged from the Goodison Park tunnel draped in the new Umbro home kit that will be theirs in the 2018/19 campaign.
Ahead of kick-off, there was also a pitchside presentation that saw the Lord Mayor Malcolm Kennedy and Mayor Joe Anderson present representatives of Everton in the Community, Everton’s official Club charity, with Liverpool’s highest civic honour, the Freedom of the City.
When the action got under way, it was Everton who took up the early possession, resulting in a chance for Davies that the midfielder fired only marginally wide from 20 yards out.
Yet, knowing victory would see them climb out of the relegation zone, Southampton, perhaps predictably, weren’t in the mood to let the Blues have it all their own way early on.
By way of example, Dusan Tadic sent a searching pass over the top aimed at Charlie Austin but overcooked it and saw the ball run through harmlessly to Jordan Pickford, Everton’s newly-crowned Player, Players’ Player and Young Player of the Season.
On 13 minutes, a looping Cenk Tosun header landed on the roof of McCarthy’s net after Seamus Coleman had expertly picked out the Turkey international, while, at the other end, Pickford had to spring to his right soon after to push away an opportunistic first-time Austin effort from distance.
With the Saints proving stubborn opponents to break down, Allardyce took decisive action at the beginning of the second half, replacing Bolasie with Ramiro Funes Mori and switching to a back three, which gave Coleman and Leighton Baines the platform to push forwards in attacking wing-back roles.
However, it was another half-time substitute, Redmond, who ended up striking the first blow for the visitors.
Cedric Soares made an overlapping run on the right and delivered a pinpoint cross towards the far post for Redmond, who powered a downward header past Pickford from six yards out.
That prompted a further change, with Niasse introduced in place of Nikola Vlasic - and the Senegal international almost had an immediate impact when his cross-shot just evaded the stretching Tosun at the back post.
Another attacking switch saw Davy Klaassen come on for his first appearance since mid-March in place of skipper Phil Jagielka, before Redmond blazed over the crossbar following a swift counter and James Ward-Prowse saw a free-kick sharply claiming by Pickford.
Everton were given a numerical boost on 85 minutes as Yoshida received his marching orders - and the Blues almost made their man advantage count when Baines forced McCarthy into a flying save from a powerful free-kick 25-yards out after Hoedt had sent Coleman tumbling.
The scare prompted Southampton to run the ball for the corners but Everton reclaimed possession and, when Davies found himself with a sight of goal on the edge of the box, he drilled a shot low through the crowd, seeing it clip off Hoedt and into the Howard Kendall Park End net.