It was a quiet start to the game as both sides enjoyed early spells of possession, but it was Southampton who created the first chance after 15 minutes. A long ball was flicked on by Pelle allowing Tadic through on goal but Pantilimon was out quickly to deny him.
Southampton began to dominate possession as the half went on and they had another chance on 18 minutes through Van Dijk, but the defender’s effort flew well over.
The Saints started to create openings now and Pantilimon had to be alert again on 21 minutes to parry away Mane’s volley after the striker latched onto Tadic’s low cross.
Half time arrived with Southampton dominating proceedings without being able to get in behind Sunderland as the Black Cats sat very deep and as a result they themselves created very little in the first half.
Sunderland made a better start to the second half as Borini had a shot saved and Johnson saw an effort flash wide. Southampton though had an opportunity themselves straight after as the Sunderland defence backed off Mane allowing him to sting the palms of Pantilimon.
Sunderland had a great chance to take the lead on 58 minutes through Duncan Watmore. A quick break from Johnson set up Watmore for a free shot from 12 yards but his effort was straight at Stekelenburg.
Straight down the other end Sunderland had to defend a counter attack as Coates had to get back on the line to make a last ditch clearance.
Southampton broke the deadlock on 69 minutes with a Tadic penalty. A needless challenge from M’Vila on Bertrand gave the referee no other option but to award a penalty which Tadic slotted home.
Sunderland responded well after conceding as Borini had an effort well saved at the front post and Johnson’s free kick went inches over.
Sunderland competed for much of the game but as we’ve seen all too often from this team individual mistakes keep costing points.
Sunderland (4-5-1): Pantilimon, Yedlin, Jones, Kaboul (c), Coates, M’Vila, Gomez (Defoe 74’), Toivonen (Borini 46’), Watmore, Johnson, Fletcher (Rodwell 70’).
Subs: Mannone, Van Aanholt, Brown, Rodwell, Lens, Borini, Defoe.
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Stekelenburg, Yoshida, Fonte (c), Van Dijk, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Clasie (Romeu 77’), S. Davis, Mane (Jaunmi 83’), Tadic (Caulker 90’), Pelle.
Subs: K. Davis, Caulker, Romeu, Cedric, Seager, Martina, Jaunmi.
Goals: Tadic (69’)