Everton resoundingly put an end to their winless run at St Mary's as a Romelu Lukaku brace and an effort from the in-form Ross Barkley secured a comprehensive victory in the south coast sunshine.
Three draws and three defeats meant the Blues hadn't won away at Southampton since Steve Watson grabbed the only goal in April 2002.
However, there was never really much doubt about the outcome here as Roberto Martinez's men deservedly picked up their first win of the 2015/16 campaign.
Martinez made just one change from last weekend's draw against Watford, replacing Kevin Mirallas - an injury doubt following the ankle knock he sustained against the Hornets – with the pivotal Arouna Kone.
The Blues made an energetic start and there were cries for a penalty on six minutes when Lukaku was brought down by Matt Targett as he powered towards Southampton's goal. However, referee Michael Oliver awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the box and replays vindicated the official's decision.
The set-piece responsibility was left to Barkley and after the midfielder's attempt had been cleared behind for a corner, Kone saw his own effort at goal blocked and cleared away.
When the breakthrough did come on 22 minutes, it happened in a flash.
From a Southampton corner, the ball was cleared and fell to Barkley, who looked up and threaded a pass down the line, into the path of Kone. The Ivorian took two giant strides as he galloped down the right and then delivered a perfect cross that Lukaku headed back across goal and in off the underside of the crossbar. Six touches from box to box and it was 1-0 to the Toffees.
Soon after, James McCarthy burst down the right and into the box to reach a clever back-heeled pass from Lukaku but saw his attempted cut-back punched behind by goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg at his near post.
It was a sign that the Toffees were well on top - and the chances continued to arrive.
Using his abundant power, Lukaku drove forward on 29 minutes and picked out Barkley - one of six Everton Englishmen playing in front of the watching Roy Hodgson - in acres of space on the edge of the box. The midfielder tried to beat Stekelenburg low down to his left but saw his effort repelled by the legs of the Dutchman, and though the rebound fell for another Three Lions hopeful in Cleverley, it arrived too quickly for the summer arrival and he was unable to steer his first–time effort on target.
At the other end, Victor Wanyama headed a Steven Davis corner well clear of Tim Howard's crossbar and, such was Everton's dominance, there was little else to concern the American before the break.
And the margin between the two sides was outlined on 45 minutes as Lukaku doubled the advantage. Using that 6ft 3ins frame to its maximum once again, the Belgian won possession on the halfway line before slipping the ball to Barkley just inside the Southampton half. The midfielder darted forward, nudged it back to Lukaku with the outside of his foot and the Belgian's low first-time effort from the edge of the box was simply too good for Stekelenburg.
Ronald Koeman's response was to throw on new boy Oriol Romeu for Dusan Tadic at the break.
The Saints only signed Romeu from Chelsea on Wednesday and the Spaniard's first contribution was a clumsy late challenge on McCarthy that earned him a deserved booking.
On 53 minutes, a mis-control with his chest from Seamus Coleman teed-up a chance for Graziano Pelle but Howard was perfectly placed to ensure the Italian's volley from eight yards could do no harm to the scoreline.
And though Southampton were brighter after the break, they rarely looked liked denying Martinez's men their win.
Sadio Mane forced Howard to palm away a swirling 30-yard effort with 11 minutes to go - but Barkley responded by ending it as a contest.
Lukaku held off his marker to feed Coleman inside the box and when the Irishman picked out the impressive Barkley, he coolly sidestepped Cedric Soares before rifling home his second in as many games to wrap up a victory that was as emphatic and warranted as the scoreline suggested.