Manolo Gabbiadini's first half strikes won the game for Southampton today on Wearside, with a Jason Denayer own goal and Shane Long's late finish keeping the Black Cats bottom of the Premier League.
The 4-0 victory moves Southampton back up to mid table, whilst David Moyes must re-motivate his players who sit rock bottom in England's top division.
Sunderland started brightly buoyed by their spectacular result at Selhurst Park, playing with added confidence and purpose.
Adnan Januzaj won a corner seeing his effort deflected behind as he attempted to curl beyond Fraser Forster in the opening ten minutes.
Despite dominating territory the Black Cats created few clear cut chances. The best opening fell to Jermain Defoe, but Sunderland's savoir was let down by a poor first touch, wasting an invaluable chance to strike from close distance.
Southampton settled after riding a storm in the opening 20 minutes. The illusive Dusan Tadic slipped Gabbiadini through on goal, Vito Mannone did well to shut down his shooting angle, the Italian instead teed up Cedric Soares. The Portuguese full back strangely opted to delicately curl into the top corner miscuing high and wide.
Five minutes later the Saints lead. Oriol Romeu switched to Ryan Bertrand with acres of space he crossed a flat ball towards the near post. Gabbiadini diverted in with the ball inadvertently coming off the 25 year old's arm at close range, after Lamine Kone could only glance towards his own goal.
Shell-shocked the Mackems provided little quality and creativity attempting to get level on Wearside. Defoe saw a futile penalty claim waved away going down under pressure from Bertrand. The former Chelsea man did have his arms on Defoe but the contact was minimal.
The League cup finalists doubled their lead in first half injury time. Tadic once again found space in between Bryan Oviedo and Denayer, the latter was constantly slow to put pressure on the Serbian. Tadic simply rolled into Gabbiadini's feet, with the January signing easily turning a flat footed Kone before placing beyond Mannone.
Denayer nearly handed Southampton a third five minutes after the re-start, the Belgian just got toes to the ball as he lunged in against Tadic inside the home side's area.
Early in the second half Moyes's men fell into the common trap of in trying to be positive and direct, but instead resorting to just launching early aimless balls towards Defoe. The Mackems lack of patience often being their undoing as Southampton cruised to a rare away victory.
Despite offering little in attack, the Premier League's bottom side were open throughout the second half. The introduction of Steven Pienaar and Didier Ndong's attempts to push forward leaving Daron Gibson exposed.
Southampton's key creator Tadic took advantage throughout, he cut inside to fire across Mannone who parried away as the away team looked the more likely to score.
A rare opportunity to score was wasted by the naive Ndong. His speculative 25 yard drive wasted a great counter attack where Defoe was in space and better placed to score.
James Ward-Prowse nearly added a sensational third seeing his long range effort curl just wide. Minutes later, the Englishman missed an even better chance Nathan Redmond picked him out unmarked. Near the penalty spot the 22 year old headed wide missing the best chance of the half.
Substitute Shane Long missed another free header, failing to beat Mannone at his near post, the Italian parried behind.
Substitute Wahbi Khazri provided a slight attacking spark for the home side. Producing a dangerous cross and decent long range drive in his late cameo. Fellow replacement Fabio Borini over hit a Oviedo cross but that was all Sunderland managed in an attacking sense all game.
Southampton humiliated Sunderland further in the dying minutes, adding two more goals. Denayer got the last touch on another excellent Bertrand cross. The 27 year old exchanged passes with Nathan Redmond before driving across the six yard box, under pressure from long, the inexperienced defender intercepted beyond Mannone.
As Sunderland gave up, Long scored an easy fourth passing into the corner first time, after a Ward-Prowse lay off.
A late free kick did end up in the Southampton goal, but was disallowed as khazri handled pushing beyond Forster.
The result and performance highlighted the challenge Moyes faces an inexperienced team lacking creativity and attacking quality. Sunderland continue to capitulate whenever they face adversity.