Southampton took full advantage of poor Sunderland defending to seal a 8-0 win in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.
Ronald Koeman's side struck three times in the opening half and, although their attacking play was impressive, they were helped to a club-record top-flight win by mistakes from the visitors. Santiago Vergini's spectacular own goal after 12 minutes gave Southampton the lead, with Graziano Pelle, boosted by a goal on his Italy debut on Monday, capping a memorable week with his fifth league goal of the season six minutes later. Jack Cork added the third before half-time, substitute Liam Bridcutt bundled home a second own goal just past the hour and Pelle made it five with his second after 68 minutes. Dusan Tadic, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane completed the rout in the closing minutes as Southampton, who are unbeaten at home this season, stay third in the table.
Sunderland remain in the bottom half after suffering their heaviest defeat of the campaign and the second-largest margin of defeat in the history of the competition.
The hosts began in positive fashion and were gifted the opener as Vergini fired into his own net. Shane Long, recalled for Mane as one of two changes, played a neat one-two with Pelle, but as Vergini tried to get the ball under control he volleyed beyond Vito Mannone from the edge of the box.
Sunderland, who recalled Wes Brown for Billy Jones, continued to be their own worst enemy as a mistake from Will Buckley led to Southampton's second goal six minutes later. The midfielder's attempted clearance struck the back of Sebastian Larsson and the loose ball was rolled to Steven Davis, whose low cross was tapped home by Pelle.
Fraser Forster had maintained a watching brief up to that point but was called into action after 20 minutes, getting down well to parry Larsson's free-kick.
Steven Fletcher saw a penalty shout waved away, and to rub salt into Sunderland's wounds Koeman's side added a third eight minutes before the interval. Tadic superbly found Cork at the back post and his effort beat Mannone.
Pelle was causing the Sunderland defence all kinds of problems and, after setting up Davis for a chance on goal, he saw his effort cleared off the line by Patrick van Aanholt.
The fourth goal eventually came three minutes after the hour, though. Ryan Bertrand raced clear on the left, his pull-back found Pelle whose effort saved, but Bridcutt clumsily turned the ball into his own goal from two yards. Pelle added a fifth, the striker latching onto a Tadic pass before firing across Mannone. To add to Sunderland's nightmare they conceded another two goals inside as many minutes as first Tadic and then substitute Wanyama got themselves on the scoresheet.
Tadic capitalised on a poor clearance from Mannone to fire into an empty net from 25 yards, and a minute later Wanyama lashed home the seventh from inside the penalty area.
Mane came on to make it eight with four minutes to play with a simple finish from another Tadic delivery.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "I'm still in a little bit in shock. Not about the second half, I think we played very good and scored some great goals, but after the first 20 minutes I wasn't very happy about our performance.
"Sometimes football is strange. I am disappointed for Gus Poyet because they played well at the beginning and had some good chances. It was an unlucky own goal and maybe at 2-0 they should have had a penalty but after that we deserved to win.
"I am proud of the ambition of the team. They are always fighting for more and we need that. I am proud of everyone, even those on the bench because we have such a long season.
"The clean sheet is important. We have a strong defence and a superb goalkeeper and you have to look at the attackers when we don't have the ball because it is superb organisation."
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "I think its the most embarrassing time I've had on a football pitch. You think you will never get these situations but unfortunately it is sometimes your turn. I feel very sorry for the fans, they came a long way to see a very difficult game today.
"At the start we played very well. We conceded an own goal which is unique. We paid the price for everything that went wrong today because it was a difficult day.
"The only thing we knew is that we needed to not throw the game away as 3-0 was enough. I learned a lot about the players today - the bad side as some gave up and I know who they are for the future.
"I cannot watch it again because it's not a lot to analyse. We were a difficult team to play before today but it was totally the opposite. As a group we didn't show character on the pitch. We were really poor and unacceptable in the second half."
|01 Nov 2014||v Hull (A)|
|08 Nov 2014||v Leicester (H)|
|25 Oct 2014||v Stoke (H)|
|24 Nov 2014||v Aston Villa (A)|
|30 Nov 2014||v Man City (H)|
|03 Dec 2014||v Arsenal (A)|