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October 18, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Southampton humiliated Sunderland 8-0 on Saturday for its biggest Premier League victory ever and its most impressive display so far in its surprisingly strong start to the season.

Sunderland's Santiago Vergini set the tone for the visitors with a spectacular own goal in the 12th minute, and it only got worse from there. Graziano Pelle and Jack Cork made it 3-0 by halftime, and Sunderland then conceded four more in a 16-minute span in the second half, including another own goal by Liam Bridcutt and a second by Pelle.

"I think it's probably the most embarrassing time I've had on a football pitch," Sunderland manager Gus Poyet said. "I'm really sorry for the fans. ... They had to look at a very difficult game today."

Southampton consolidated third place in the standings, while Sunderland remained near the bottom on eight points from eight games.

Pelle now has six Premier League goals in his first season in England, to add to his match-winning Italy debut during the international break.

The former Feyenoord striker would have been proud of Vergini's own goal, as his botched clearance turned into a clinical finish from the edge of the area.

Pelle then scored with a tap-in and Cork killed the game off before the break.

Dusan Tadic, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane were the other scorers for Southampton after the break.

Saints may boast the player of the month in Pelle but they also have the best defense in English football having conceded just five league goals this season under new manager Ronald Koeman.

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