Two penalties in either half by Jordi Gomez gave Sunderland a huge win at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland made a confident start and had the first chance of the game via a Seb Larsson set piece. The ball was whipped in to the back post where Jones’s downward header was saved by Davis at the near post.
Sunderland’s excellent start was rewarded with the opening goal on 21 minutes through a Jordi Gomez penalty. Great determination from Danny Graham saw the striker win the penalty which Gomez tucked away nicely.
The lead was short lived however as another defensive calamity proved costly for the Black Cats. Just one minute after taking the lead Pantilimon dropped the ball after being taken out by Coates in the air allowing Mane to tap into the empty net.
Sunderland regrouped and had a great chance to retake the lead on 39 minutes. A nice move down the left between Gomez and Van Aanholt created the opening for Wickham but the striker could only shoot over from 15 yards.
Sunderland ended the first half on the front foot and had another fantastic chance to score on 45 minutes. A good run from Wickham allowed Defoe to play him in but his shot was blocked, the ball then fell to Defoe whose header was tipped away by Davis with Danny Graham unable to get a shot away from the rebound. Soon after Seb Larsson had a goal bound free kick pushed away by Davis.
Southampton were given the opening opportunity in the second half after Coates decided to pass to a Saints player on the edge of the box but luckily Djuricic shot wide.
But after that Saints miss the Black Cats punished them by retaking the lead. Cattermole won the ball and slipped in the energetic Graham, he laid it off to Defoe who was brought down by Ward-Prowse in the box. Ward-Prowse was given a red card and Gomez sent Davis the wrong way from the spot.
Chances were at a premium in the second half as Sunderland couldn’t put the game to bed. Rodwell hit the post late on but the Black Cats had to rely on Pantilimon making a great save from Davis late in injury time to preserve the win.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Van Aanholt, Jones, Coates, O'Shea (c) (Vergini 31’), Cattermole, Larsson (Rodwell 82’), Gomez, Wickham, Graham, Defoe (Johnson 82’).
Subs: Mannone, Vergini, Reveillere, Bridcutt, Rodwell, Johnson, Buckley.
Goals: Gomez (21’, 55’)
Southampton (4-2-3-1): K Davis, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte (c), Bertrand, Alderweireld, Wanyama (Davis 66’), Ward-Prowse, Pelle, Long (Djuricic 46’), Mane (Elia 70’).
Subs: Gazzaniga, Gardos, S Davis, Djuricic, Elia, Reed, Targett.
Goals: Mane (22’)