Utter humiliation for the Black Cats as they conceded eight goals in a completely embarrassing display in front of 2’500 away fans.
Sunderland started the first half surprisingly brightly, passing the ball around comfortably and had the first chance of the game through a set piece. The ball was whipped in from the left and Wickham headed over when he should have done better.
The deadlock was broken on 12 mins through an outrageous own goal from Santiago Vergini. The ball was played over the top, and under no real pressure Vergini inexplicably struck the ball into the bottom corner leaving Mannone no chance.
The goal came as a sucker punch to Sunderland as they had started the game confidently but they were dealt another blow as they conceded a second goal on 17 mins. A loose pass out of defence by Will Buckley hit Larsson on the back allowing Southampton to attack down the left through Steve Davis and his square pass was tapped in by an unmarked Pelle.
Sunderland still continued to pass and create openings but were being limited to long range shots. On 23 mins Van Aanholt shot wide after a series of corners as Sunderland were creating some pressure.
Larsson had a free kick well saved by Forster and shortly after the referee waved away penalty claims from the Black Cats after Steven Fletcher was taken out by an on rushing Forster in what would surely have been a red card. An excellent through ball from Cattermole set Fletcher through on goal, he knocked the ball past Forster and was bundled over by the Keeper as the ball trickled past the post.
And things got even worse for Sunderland on 36 mins after excellent hold up from Pelle set Tadic free down the wing and his cross was stood up for an unmarked Jack Cork to coast in at the back post to make it three.
The Black Cats nearly pulled a goal back before half time after Van Aanholt’s cross wasn’t cleared but Gomez shot just wide.
The first chance of the second half fell to Sunderland. A well worked free kick from Larsson was headed back across goal by Fletcher only for an unmarked Vergini to head over when he should have hit the target.
Southampton should have made it four on 61 mins after embarrassing defending allowed Shane Long to shoot but his effort was cleared off the line by Van Aanholt.
The Saints didn’t have to wait long for their fourth as it came on 62 mins. Bridcutt was beaten for pace down the right by Tadic, his pull back found Pelle whose shot was saved by Mannone only for Bridcutt to bundle the ball over the line.
The fifth goal came soon after as Southampton were running riot over a defensive performance which wouldn’t be acceptable in the Conference never mind Premier League. Pelle’s run wasn’t tracked well by Vergini and his shot across Mannone found the bottom corner.
Pelle nearly made it six when Wanyama’s scuffed shot found Pelle who for once today shot over the bar.
Just as we think we’ve seen it all in football, Mannone received a back pass from O’Shea on the edge of the box and he passed the ball to Tadic leaving him an open net to score the sixth.
The defending by this point was completely diabolical, actually it was basically nonexistent. Southampton added a seventh through Victor Wanyama (Yes, your reading it right……Victor Wanyama scored, that’s how bad Sunderland were) as every Southampton player now was queuing up to have a pop at the Sunderland goal.
I have honestly never seen Sunderland this bad, it was horrendous. The eighth goal came through Mane after the ball was squared across goal and he was left to tap in past Mannone.
Southampton (4-3-3): Forster, Clyne, Bertrand, Fonte, Alderweireld, Schneiderlin, Cork, S. Davis (Mane 64’), Tadic, Long (Wanyama 64’), Pelle (Mayuka 80’).
Subs: K. Davis, Yoshida, Gardos, Reed, Wanyama, Mayuka, Mane.
Goals: Vergini (og 12’), Pelle (17’), Cork (36’), Bridcutt (og 62’), Pelle (68’), Tadic (78’), Wanyama (79’), Mane (85’)
Sunderland (4-3-3): Mannone, Vergini, van Aanholt, Brown (Bridcutt 46’), O'Shea (c), Cattermole, Larsson (Rodwell 60’), Gomez (Johnson 60’), Buckley, Wickham, Fletcher.
Subs: Pantilimon, Bridcutt, Cabral, Rodwell, Mavrias, Johnson, Graham.