There was a seismic gap between the two sides on and off the pitch, with Wolves heading towards Premier League promotion following the win, while Southampton were stranded in the relegation zone and staring financial trouble in the face.
Depleted Wanderers put the game to bed early
Following a disappointing defeat in a top-of-the-table clash at St. Andrew's just four days earlier, all eyes were on Wolves to see McCarthy's men would choke in their attempt to clinch a return to the Premier League after a five year absence.
Chris Iwelumo's injury in the game against Birmingham meant that Wolves were missing their two top goal-scorers, with the Scotsman and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake contributing 38 of Wanderers' 71 league goals.
It didn't take the new-look strike force long to make their mark, however, with 19-year-old Wales international Sam Vokes putting Wolves ahead after just 32 seconds from a Dave Jones corner. Deja vu struck four minutes later as Jody Craddock glanced home another Jones delivery, and the game was as good as done with 85 minutes still on the clock.
Provider turns goalscorer from spot
Things went from bad to worse for Mark Wotte's Saints on just 18 minutes. Polish striker Marek Saganowski, who had scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win for Southampton at Molineux just two years earlier, tripped Dave Edwards in the box. This enabled Jones to add a goal to his two assists as he sent Kelvin Davis the wrong way from the spot.
With the result settled, both teams strolled through the motions for the remaining 71 minutes. Vokes, Andy Keogh and Marlon Harewood went close to adding a fourth for Wanderers, with the three also putting a case forward for a starting berth in the absence of Iwelumo and Ebanks-Blake.
Southampton called upon substitutes Jason Euell, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Adam Lallana but Wotte's side didn't threaten Wayne Hennessey's goal and were deserved losers.
Contrasting seasons for contrasting clubs
With victory against Southampton, Wolves moved to within six points of promotion to the Premier League, which they achieved with scrappy wins against Derby and QPR. McCarthy's side went on to win the title with a point at Oakwell on the penultimate day of the season.
Southampton found themselves in a dire situation towards the back end of the 2008-09 season, however. The Saints were relegated to League One alongside Charlton and Norwich, and entered administration which resulted in a ten point deduction ahead of the 2009-10 season. Markus Liebherr saved the club in July 2009, and they were promoted back to the Championship under Nigel Adkins in 2011.