Match Report

Southampton 1-2 West Ham – Match Report

Author: . Published: at 10:48pm

Match Report by @WestHamAmerican

West Ham defeated Southampton today  1-2  in a late December Premier League match at St. Mary’s.  A Nathan Redmond goal wasn’t enough to overcome the brace put up by Felipe Anderson, as West Ham shook off their weekend defeat to Watford and vaulted back to the top half of the table at the halfway point of the season.

Entering the day West Ham brought a patchwork starting 11 with Pablo Zabaleta pulling out of the trip southward late due to flu-like symptoms.  Southampton, under new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, was seeking a third straight league victory.  While the Saints weren’t as depleted as West Ham, Hasenhuttl was forced to call upon Mario Lemina to replace suspended Pierre Højbjerg in their midfield.

The opening half was spirited.  Early in the match Antonio, a late entry at right back, suffered some defending lapses but made up for it with his presence on the opposite side of the pitch.  Declan Rice once again showed veteran experience despite his relative youth.   Despite some chances for both teams, including a missed ten yard shot from Lucas Perez, the first half concluded 0-0.

The second half started with a flurry of goals.  Early on Redmond was able to join with Oriol Romeu and play a series of rebounds off of Fabianski until Redmond was able to tap one past the goal line.  While some challenged whether he was offside, the goal was upheld.

Never one to dwell on an earlier goal, Felipe Anderson, only seconds later, took possession outside the penalty area, and while using the center ref as a screen, fired off a strike from 22 yards that was just inside the nearside post.

Four minutes later Anderson took the lead when Antonio emerged from a Saints set piece with possession and led a lightning-fast counter attack, the length of the pitch, and played through to Anderson who’s one-on-one shot was past Alex McCarrthy and at the 59 minute mark, West Ham had all the scoring they would need.

The late entry of Mark Noble and Arthur Masuaku fortified the Hammer’s defensive efforts with Shane Long and Charlie Austin sent on by Hasenhuttl to find the equaliser.  West Ham’s team showed great effort in maintaining possession and for most of the four minutes of added time; Southampton had no opportunity to threaten.

With the victory, West Ham enters the final week of 2018 in ninth position and only five points out of the top six.  All made more unlikely with Lanzini , Yarmolenko, Arnautovic, Hernandez, Zabaleta, Reid, Fredericks, Balbuena, Sanchez, and Wilshere all unavailable for selection today.  Credit to Manuel Peliegrini for his ability to maximize the efforts of “the next man” when the usual starters are injured.

The big news this week will be which of those players will join the squad on their Sunday trip to Burnley.  That, along with Pellegrini’s targets during the January transfer window, will no doubt be widely discussed on TheWestHamWay.co.uk this week.

Southampton FC- McCarthy, Targett, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Yoshida, Valery, Romeu, Lemina, Armstrong, Redmond, Ings

Subs- Stephens, Long (62’), Austin (80’),  Elyounoussi (87’), Ward-Prowse,  Gunn, Ramsay

West Ham-  Fabianski, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Diop, Antonio, Rice, Obiang, Snodgrass, Anderson, Diangana, Perez

Subs- Carroll (55’), Adrian, Noble (78’),  Masuaku (90+2),  Silva, Coventry

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