LEAGUE CUP - SUNDERLAND 2 SOUTHAMPTON 1
25. Vito Mannone 12. Ondrej Celustka 70' 5. Wes Brown 16. John O'Shea 2. Phil Bardsley 11. Adam Johnson 8. Craig Gardner 4. Ki Sung-Yueng 14. Jack Colback 23. Emanuele Giaccherini 90+2' 17. Jozy Altidore
Subs: 6. Cabral 7. Sebastian Larsson 70' 9. Steven Fletcher 90+2' 24. Carlos Cuellar 31. Fabio Borini 35. Charis Mavrias 48. Joel Dixon
A rare Phil Bardsley goal helped to book Sunderland a Capital One Cup quarter-final clash with Chelsea as the defender continued his rehabilitation under Gus Poyet.
The 28-year-old set the Black Cats on the road to a 2-1 victory, just their fourth of the season and third in the same competition, after finding the net for the first time since a 1-1 draw with the Saints in May.
The former Manchester United full-back struck from close range 14 minutes into the second half after former Sunderland goalkeeper Kelvin Davis had parried Jozy Altidore's header.
Substitute Sebastian Larsson looked to have wrapped up the win with a second four minutes from time, but defender Maya Yoshida's late header set up a tense conclusion.
Bardsley might have left Sunderland during the summer after being discarded by former boss Paolo Di Canio when a photograph of him lying on the floor of a casino covered in £50 notes emerged, followed by an ill-judged message on Twitter.
In a game which started slowly, the Black Cats who arguably enjoyed the better of the early chances, although neither Davis nor opposite number Vito Mannone were unduly busy in front of a muted crowd of just 15,966 at the Stadium of Light.
The Saints' keeper had to block Craig Gardner's 48th-minute snapshot with his legs, but was otherwise largely untroubled apart from the goals.
However, Mannone enjoyed a let-off 16 minutes from time when he blasted a clearance against substitute Adam Lallana and saw the ball drop just wide of his unprotected net.
The Black Cats became the first team to defeat the Saints in nine attempts in all competitions since August with Bardsley's effort just the third goal they had conceded in the process.
Just quite what the selections of the respective managers said about their priorities for the season was a topic for debate with Mauricio Pochettino replacing 10 of the men who started at Stoke at the weekend and Poyet retaining only seven of his strongest side, although that was in part dictated by injury and suspension.
The Saints, however, started with a fluency which left their hosts largely chasing shadows in the early stages with Gaston Ramirez and Jay Rodriguez linking well with lone striker Tadanari Lee and the impressive Jack Cork conducting proceedings from a deep-sitting midfield berth.
Lee was unable to make the most of full-back Calum Chambers' fourth-minute cross under pressure from John O'Shea and then fired over from distance two minutes later after a corner had been recycled.
But Sunderland, with Ki Sung-yueng seeing plenty of the ball in midfield and Adam Johnson running at defender Danny Fox, belatedly started to work their way into the game and despite initially enjoying a lesser share of the possession, it was they who carved out the more promising openings.
Altidore, whose only goal to date for the club came in the second round of this competition, fired tamely at former Black Cats goalkeeper Davis with 10 minutes played, while Emanuele Giaccherini miskicked in front of goal from Ondrej Celustka's cross five minutes later.
However, much of what followed was uninspiring - and it was not until the final minute of the half that the deadlock was almost broken.
Cork took his time to pick out Ramirez in space beyond the far post, and he steered a left-foot shot towards Vito Mannone's top corner, but crucially just high and wide.
The Black Cats got off to a much livelier start after the break and might have gone ahead within three minutes when Altidore's clever flick inside fell perfectly for Gardner, and Davis had to block the midfielder's first-time shot with his legs.
But the opening goal eventually arrived with 59 minutes gone when Johnson floated a free-kick to the far post where Wes Brown, making his first competitive start in 21 months, rose unopposed to turn the ball back across goal for Altidore to power in a header.
Davis could only parry and Bardsley stabbed the rebound home from close range despite the best efforts of Jos Hooiveld on the line.
All Sunderland's good work might have been undone with 74 minutes gone when Mannone drilled a clearance straight into Lallana and with no prospect of recovering his ground, saw the ball spin just wide of the goal.
But Larsson's 86th-minute strike from Altidore's intelligent pass ensured there was no way back for the visitors despite Yoshida's close-range header two minutes later.
BLACK CATS v SAINTS
2013/2014 Wed 06 Nov Sunderland 2 - 1 Southampton League Cup
Sat 24 Aug Southampton 1 - 1 Sunderland Premier League
2012/2013 Sun 12 May Sunderland 1 - 1 Southampton Premier League
Sat 22 Dec Southampton 0 - 1 Sunderland Premier League
2006/2007 Mon 09 Apr Southampton 1 - 2 Sunderland Championship
Sat 11 Nov Sunderland 1 - 1 Southampton Championship
2002/2003 Tue 28 Jan Sunderland 0 - 1 Southampton Premiership
Sat 28 Dec Southampton 2 - 1 Sunderland Premiership
2001/2002 Sat 23 Mar Sunderland 1 - 1 Southampton Premiership
Sat 15 Dec Southampton 2 - 0 Sunderland Premiership
2000/2001 Sat 28 Apr Southampton 0 - 1 Sunderland Premiership
Sat 11 Nov Sunderland 2 - 2 Southampton Premiership
1999/2000 Sat 01 Apr Southampton 1 - 2 Sunderland Premiership
Sat 18 Dec Sunderland 2 - 0 Southampton Premiership
1996/1997 Tue 22 Apr Sunderland 0 - 1 Southampton Premiership
Sat 19 Oct Southampton 3 - 0 Sunderland Premiership
1990/1991 Sat 13 Apr Southampton 3 - 1 Sunderland First Division
Tue 01 Jan Sunderland 1 - 0 Southampton First Division
1984/1985 Tue 29 Jan Southampton 1 - 0 Sunderland First Division
Sat 25 Aug Sunderland 3 - 1 Southampton First Division
1983/1984 Sat 11 Feb Southampton 1 - 1 Sunderland First Division
Sat 10 Sep Sunderland 0 - 2 Southampton First Division
1982/1983 Sat 19 Feb Southampton 2 - 0 Sunderland First Division
Sat 09 Oct Sunderland 1 - 1 Southampton First Division
1981/1982 Sat 08 May Southampton 1 - 0 Sunderland First Division
Wed 10 Mar Sunderland 2 - 0 Southampton First Division
1980/1981 Sat 31 Jan Southampton 2 - 1 Sunderland First Division
Sat 23 Aug Sunderland 1 - 2 Southampton First Division
1977/1978 Sat 04 Mar Sunderland 0 - 0 Southampton Second Division
Sat 08 Oct Southampton 4 - 2 Sunderland Second Division
1975/1976 Sat 27 Mar Sunderland 3 - 0 Southampton Second Division
Sat 06 Dec Southampton 4 - 0 Sunderland Second Division
1974/1975 Tue 14 Jan Southampton 1 - 1 Sunderland Second Division
Sat 24 Aug Sunderland 3 - 1 Southampton Second Division
1969/1970 Sat 07 Mar Southampton 1 - 1 Sunderland First Division
Sat 22 Nov Sunderland 2 - 2 Southampton First Division
1968/1969 Sat 08 Mar Southampton 1 - 0 Sunderland First Division
Sat 17 Aug Sunderland 1 - 0 Southampton First Division
1967/1968 Sat 02 Mar Sunderland 0 - 3 Southampton First Division
Sat 25 Nov Southampton 3 - 2 Sunderland First Division
1966/1967 Wed 31 Aug Southampton 3 - 1 Sunderland First Division
Wed 24 Aug Sunderland 2 - 0 Southampton First Division
1963/1964 Sat 11 Apr Southampton 0 - 0 Sunderland Second Division
Sat 30 Nov Sunderland 1 - 2 Southampton Second Division
1962/1963 Sat 04 May Sunderland 4 - 0 Southampton Second Division
Sat 22 Sep Southampton 2 - 4 Sunderland Second Division
1961/1962 Sat 07 Apr Sunderland 3 - 0 Southampton Second Division
Sat 18 Nov Southampton 2 - 0 Sunderland Second Division
1960/1961 Mon 17 Apr Sunderland 3 - 1 Southampton Second Division
Sat 15 Oct Southampton 3 - 2 Sunderland Second Division