Southampton boss Ronald Koeman admitted he was in ‘shock’ after his side’s stunning 8-0 win over Sunderland.
Southampton ran riot against a lacklustre Black Cats side as they recorded one of the results of the season to cement their place in third spot in the table.
Sunderland started the better of the two sides, but Saints never looked back after being gifted the lead thanks to a crazy own goal from defender Santiago Vergini.
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Graziano Pelle made it 2-0 before Sunderland had strong claims for a penalty waved away when Steven Fletcher was upended by goalkeeper Fraser Forster and Southampton made the most of their let-off as further goals from Jack Cork, substitute Liam Bridcutt’s own goal, Pelle’s second of the game and late strikes from Dusan Tadic, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane completed the rout.
Koeman admitted he had some sympathy for his opposite number Gus Poyet, feeling the Sunderland penalty incident could have been a turning point in the game, but he was full of praise for his side’s ruthlessness in front of goal.
"I’m still in a little bit in shock," admitted Koeman. "Not about the second half, I think we played very good and scored some great goals, but about the first 20 minutes because I wasn’t very happy about our performance at the beginning.
"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 and I am very proud of the team to fight until the last second to score the goals.
"That is the spirit of the team. 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 need everybody as it is a long season.
"The clean sheet is important. We have a strong defense and a superb goalkeeper and you have to look at the attackers when we don’t have the ball because it is superb organization."