It appears Southampton’s position on the league table is not just a fluke as they put eight goals past Sunderland on Saturday when the Premier league resumed after a one week international break.
Scoring goals has been Sunderland’s problem this season but Santiago Vergini opened scoring for them, unfortunately into his own net! A BBC commentator described it as ‘one of the best own-goals he’s seen in years.
Italian Graziano Pelle soon added a second after scoring on his Italy debut in midweek.
Sebastian Larsson sought swift respite as he bent a free-kick around the wall only to find Fraser Forster well-placed to beat it away.
Having started slowly, Southampton began to dominate with Serbian Dusan Tadic again impressive as orchestrator. He teased his way down the left side and teed up Jack Cork who finished unconvincingly from close range via Vito Mannone.
An incensed Poyet replaced the tentative Wes Brown at half-time but the calamitous Vergini remained. He had a clear opportunity to register at the right end but headed wastefully over from Fletcher’s flick-on.
Tadic remained a danger and should have scored after Schneiderlin and then Long played him in. The Serbian was too casual, allowing Van Aanholt the time to block on the line.
It didn’t matter. The fourth soon came, again via a Sunderland boot. This time Tadic combined with Bertrand to present Pelle with a chance to shoot, which he duly took. His drive was well saved by Mannone who pushed it onto the foot of the hapless Liam Bridcutt to take it over the line.
Still the Saints weren’t finished. Tadic and Pelle combined for the latter to finish smartly across goal. It’s been quite a week for the Italian.
Tadic did get the goal his scintillating display deserved as he smartly converted Mannone’s awful attempted clearance before adding his fourth assist, this time for the onrushing Wanyama to smash home.
Goal No 8 was a club first for Senegalese forward Sadio Mane. His rapidity took him beyond Sunderland’s bemused defenders to sweep home, the support again coming from Tadic.
“Where’s all our players gone?” sung the home faithful, in ironic reference to the summer sales.