Mamelodi Sundowns.

Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns laid down an early marker in the 2022/23 PSL season with a crushing 4-0 win against Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

It remembers the score.

History will say Sundowns wiped the floor with Chiefs and in the longer scheme of events, it was Sundowns’ clinical finishing that triumphed over Chiefs’ encouragingly youthful, but error-prone enterprise.

The win saw Mamelodi Sundowns, who were ninth on the log at the start of the game, surge back to the top with their second win of the season.

Chiefs, who showed excellent developmental buds despite the hammering, are 11th on the log with two losses from their three games.

The game was always going to be a spectacle once Sundowns unveiled Bongani Zungu as their player once again just before the start of the game.

There also were the Bulls players who made a half-time appearance as Loftus Versfeld soaked in a packed stadium.

The first half wasn’t a vintage performance from Sundowns. In fact, Chiefs played the better football, but the hosts made fewer mistakes.

Chiefs, through Siyabonga Ngezana, made two glaring bloopers. Sundowns, smarting from a shock 1-0 home midweek loss to TS Galaxy, made the most of those opportunities.

The first one was a sixth-minute back pass to keeper Bruce Bvuma that was smartly intercepted by Gaston Sirino, who then blasted the ball past Bvuma to give Sundowns the lead.

At that point, the hosts hadn’t even moved the ball with conviction, but they had a lead, which they didn’t deserve.

Sundowns doubled their lead in the 16th minute through a Peter Shalulile penalty.

Ngezana, who was subbed off at half-time, was again the offender, pulling down Shalulile just inside the box.

Zitha Kwinika was wrongly carded for the foul, but without doing anything overly impressive, Sundowns had earned themselves a two-goal lead.

It was from here where Chiefs took control of the game, especially in midfield where Yusuf Maart, Siyethemba Sithebe, and Cole Alexander had the better of the exchanges.

While Sundowns were the classier side from a name perspective, Chiefs got stuck in and actually created the better chances.

One from Alexander in the 31st-minute hit the side-netting while Maart’s 37th-minute pot-shot narrowly went over the bar.

Chiefs, who made two half-time changes with Njabulo Ngcobo and Kgaogelo Sekgota coming on for Ngezana and Alexander, started the second stanza as the better team.

They should have pulled one back in the 50th minute through Reeve Frosler, but the wing-back inexplicably blasted the ball wide of Ronwen Williams’ net after Dillan Solomons did well to pull the ball back and cross to him.

Chiefs were duly punished for their profligacy two minutes later when Shalulile completed his brace after a sweeping Sundowns move caught the visitors napping at the back.

Four minutes later, there was a moment of high drama when referee Victor Gomes, who had doled out four yellow cards until then, awarded Chiefs a penalty when Teboho Mokoena was adjudged to have fouled Sekgota just inside the box.

If the penalty looked soft, the football gods were clear in showing that when Williams saved Khama Billiat’s penalty.

Chiefs continued to battle on, but the two misses had knocked the stuffing from them and when Ethiopian international Abbubeker Nesir skilfully slotted in the fourth in the 76th minute, the romp was complete.

Thankfully, the Chiefs fans, who were leaving in droves after the fourth goal, didn’t go down Pirates’ 2017 stadium destruction route and took their defeat on the chin.

However, it remained a hiding and one they’ll take a while to digest.