Southampton became the first team in history on Saturday afternoon to score five goals in both halves of a contest during the same Premier League campaign.
Many observers predicted a struggle for the Saints after a number of key players departed St. Mary’s Stadium last summer for fellow top-flight rivals.
Among those to leave were England internationals Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, while Luke Shaw’s transfer to Manchester United involved the largest fee ever commanded for a teenage full-back.
Ronald Koeman, however, has worked miracles on the South Coast and his signings have made such an impact that supporters have been treated to a dream campaign.
Aside from their impressive top six position and likely Europa League qualification, the Saints have also created history with two stunning victories in front of their own supporters.
5 - Soton scored 5 1st half goals today & scored 5 2nd half goals (vs Sunderland), the 1st time a PL team has done this in 1 season. Unique.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) Mayo 16, 2015
Earlier in the campaign, a whopping 8-0 win over Sunderland made the country sit up and take notice, such was their quality that day. They notched three in the first half, and five without reply in the second.
And on the penultimate weekend of the campaign, a Sadio Mane-inspired performance saw Koeman’s side rout an improved Aston Villa team 6-1 – with the hosts netting five goals in the first 38 minutes.
Aside from the team creating history, Senegalese international Mane broke Robbie Fowler’s Premier League record for the quickest hat-trick – netting three times in a shade under three minutes.
Moreover, strike partner Shane Long became the first player since Barcelona superstar Luis Suarez two years ago to post two goals and two assists in the same Premier League encounter.