Ahead of Saturday’s game, saintsfc.co.uk takes a look back at five memorable post-war matches against the Mackems on Wearside.
James Beattie grabbed the winner in Saints’ last success over Sunderland in the north east - a match played over 12 years ago – with his second half strike decisive. Saints have not won on their previous five trips to the Stadium of Light, so the aforementioned 2003 victory features in our pick of five matches below:
2nd March 1968 – First Division – Sunderland 0-3 Southampton (Davies 2, Paine)
The 1967/68 Southampton FC squad
Three second half goals saw the visitors claim back-to-back league wins for only the second time that season, as Saints followed up a 3-2 win over Everton with this success at Roker Park.
Ron Davies, who scored the winner in the aforementioned game against the Toffees, got the ball rolling in this contest too when he headed home John Sydenham’s run and cross on 51 minutes.
Terry Paine doubled the advantage on 69 after Frank Saul nodded on Sydenham’s corner into his path for a close range finish, and Paine then turned provider for Davies in the 78th minute as the forwarded headed in at the far post from Paine’s chip.
Saints’ finishing was the decisive factor in a game that Sunderland had held more of the territorial play.
Southampton team: Eric Martin, Joe Kirkup, Denis Hollywood, Hugh Fisher, John McGrath, Jimmy Gabriel, Mick Channon, Frank Saul, Ron Davies, Terry Paine, John Sydenham
23rd August 1980 – First Division – Sunderland 1-2 Southampton (Nicholl, George)
The 1980/81 Southampton FC squad
Saints got off to a fine start in their second away match of the season, when Chris Nicholl planted home a header from Nick Holmes’ corner after five minutes of play on Wearside.
Sam Allardyce levelled the scores on the quarter hour mark, but the visitors regained their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Charlie George produced a downward header from another Holmes cross.
Lawrie McMenemy’s men would hold that lead until full-time too in what was described as a ‘red-hot battle from start to finish.’
Southampton team: Ivan Katalinic, Ivan Golac, Mike McCartney, Steve Williams, Dave Watson, Chris Nicholl, Kevin Keegan, Mick Channon, Charlie George, Nick Holmes, Graham Baker
10th September 1983 – First Division – Sunderland 0-2 Southampton (Moran 2)
Moran heads home the opener for Saints
A goal in either half from Steve Moran helped prolong Saints’ unbeaten start to what would be a memorable season for the club.
Moran stole in behind Sunderland’s Barry Venison to powerfully head home from Danny Wallace’s cross after 22 minutes, and the striker was at it again on 67 minutes when he skidded a low shot into the back of the net to seal the win.
Manager McMenemy reflected that “usually, things start to fritter away after four or five games, but this is nothing short of a great start.” Those three wins and two draws were followed by a 3-0 success over Manchester United at The Dell to prolong that feeling.
Southampton team: Peter Shilton, Reuben Agboola, Mick Mills, Steve Williams, Ken Armstrong, Mark Wright, Nick Holmes, Steve Moran, Frank Worthington, David Armstrong, Danny Wallace
22nd April 1997 – Premier League – Sunderland 0-1 Southampton (Østenstad)
The 1996/97 Southampton FC squad
Egil Østenstad grabbed the only goal of this game after 22 minutes when he neatly controlled Alan Neilson’s cross, before taking two touches to steer the ball pass Lionel Perez in the Sunderland goal.
In what would be Saints’ last trip to Roker Park – soon to be making way for the Stadium of Light – the hosts put up a strong fight in this relegation six-pointer, but ultimately, the visitors secured a crucial victory.
Sunderland dropped out of the top-flight, with Saints finishing the campaign one point above the Mackems thanks largely to a victory over Blackburn Rovers at The Dell in the penultimate game.
Southampton team: Maik Taylor, Richard Dryden (Neil Maddison), Claus Lundekvam (Francis Benali), Jason Dodd, Alan Neilson, Robbie Slater, Eyal Berkovic (Matt Oakley), Jim Magilton, Egil Østenstad, Mickey Evans, Ulrich Van Gobbel
28th January 2003 – Premier League – Sunderland 0-1 Southampton (Beattie)
Beattie takes aim at the Stadium of Light
James Beattie’s second half strike settled this contest. The frontman struck his 16th goal of the season after running onto Michael Svensson’s long ball forward, taking two touches of the ball and rounding goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen to slot home from a tight angle.
An injury crisis ahead of the game had seen Saints turn to an old favourite as Francis Benali came in for his first Premier League start since the trip to Sunderland in April 2000, and the defender – who made only one further appearance that season – helped Saints to one of their easier victories of what was a memorable campaign for the team.
Southampton team: Antti Niemi, Paul Telfer, Wayne Bridge, Michael Svensson, Claus Lundekvam, Anders Svensson (Matt Oakley), Fabrice Fernandes, Brett Ormerod (Jo Tessem), James Beattie, Rory Delap, Chris Marsden