Arouna Kone scored a hat-trick as Everton ended a three-game Premier League winless streak with their biggest top flight win for eight years as they thrashed relegation threatened Sunderland at Goodison Park. Kone's treble, coupled with Sebastian Coates' own goal and efforts from the influential Gerard Delofeu and Romelu Lukaku ensured the Black Cats were unable to follow-up their victory over north east rivals Newcastle United and leap out of the relegation zone.
Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson both hit the post during a lively start from Sam Allardyce's side but it was the hosts who showed the cutting edge with two goals before half time. Delofeu broke in behind a new look Sunderland back three and slotted beyond Costel Pantilimon before Kone lashed in his first after some neat interplay with strike-partner Lukaku.
Jermain Defoe gave the visitor hopes in stoppage time at the end of the half with a smart volley and Sunderland equalised just after the break when Fletcher nodded home Patrick van Aanholt's cross. Sunderland were level for just five minutes however as Roberto Martinez's side scored four times in 21 breathless minutes to put the game beyond doubt.
Delofeu's cross was turned in by Coates with Lukaku lurking, prior to the Belgium international re-establishing the two-goal lead after rounding Pantilimon. Kone then knocked in his second as the Toffees hit their opponents on the break before completing his hat-trick with a fine header from Lukaku's cross. The result propels Everton back into the top half after failing to win in October, while Sunderland remain in the bottom three.
Southampton meanwhile are seventh after inflicting upon AFC Bournemouth their fourth defeat in five league games in the south coast derby at St Mary's. Saints started brightly and Steve Davis capped a flowing move to put them ahead after half an hour, converting on the volley from Ryan Bertrand's cross.
The lead was doubled less than five minutes later when Dusan Tadic's wicked centre was headed home by Graziano Pelle for the Italian's ninth goal for club and country this term. Bournemouth were much improved after the break but they were unable to claw their way back into the game, despite Victor Wanyama's late dismissal for a second bookable offence. Eddie Howe's side are just a point above the relegation zone and are without a win since September.