The goals continue to flow for hitman Steven Fletcher after the Scot emerged as Sunderland's matchwinner at Southampton.
Fletcher bagged his eighth goal of the season just before half time at St Mary's, converting Stephane Sessegnon's feed from close range.
The strike drew him level with last season's joint top scorers Sessegnon, Seb Larsson and Nicklas Bendtner with less than five months of the season gone.
Sunderland have now taken six points from their last three games and profited when Adam Johnson's cross was seized on by Sessegnon, who diverted the ball across the box for Fletcher to finish well.
"It was a brilliant result for us and a good performance too," the striker said after seeing his side seal their second away league win of the season.
"Johnno made a great run in behind and I think Sess will take an assist rather than a shot.
"I think he took a shot but it fell straight to me and I just side-footed it in. I was pleased with the goal."
Sunderland were forced to defend late on as Southampton pushed for an equaliser, but the Black Cats rode the storm to secure three away points.
Now Fletcher is looking forward to returning to Wearside to face Manchester City on Boxing Day.
"We defended well and if you do that you're going to pick up results, which is what happened," he added.
"We'll gain a bit of confidence going into the game on Boxing Day now.
"On a personal note it was nice to get 90 minutes under my belt. It's been a while, so that was good."