Sunday 25 February 2018

Southampton v West Ham - Story of the match

Javier Hernandez impressed for West Ham
Javier Hernandez impressed for West Ham

Southampton ended their goal drought at St Mary's and increased 10-man West Ham's misery with a 3-2 Premier League victory secured by a stoppage-time penalty from Charlie Austin.

West Ham's club-record signing Marko Arnautovic was given a straight red card in the 33rd minute after he appeared to elbow Jack Stephens when the Hammers already trailed to Manolo Gabbiadini's opening goal.

Austin's late penalty, following Dusan Tadic's spot-kick in the first half, then secured a first league victory of the season for Southampton, who almost drew once again after Javier Hernandez's two goals took the visitors level.

Tweet of the match: "A bit of a rollercoaster ride but that is a solid start of the PL @SouthamptonFC. Well done #SaintsFC" - former Southampton striker Egil Ostenstad (@Egilostenstad)

Star man: Javier Hernandez, West Ham. While both teams performed erratically and in the absence of any one player trying to dictate play, Hernandez's instinctive positioning and ability to finish brought his team within minutes of an unlikely draw with the two goals that demonstrated why he could prove such a shrewd signing. Quite why he is not still at Manchester United, only Louis van Gaal will truly know.

Highlight of the match: Marko Arnautovic will likely end up with more than the three-match ban that is routine for a straight red card after the way he appeared to catch Jack Stephens with his elbow. The incident will remind observers of the same petulance Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey displayed when being sent off for stamping on Dele Alli last week. After Mario Lemina's had struck Arnautovic while they jumped for a header, he remained on the floor for treatment and then, still apparently angry at the incident, he reacted at Stephens, costing his team as they were left for over an hour down to 10 men.

Moan of the match: The recent arrival of the £18.1million Mario Lemina meant James Ward-Prowse was named on Southampton's bench, sacrificing some creativity from midfield and providing further cover for defence from a midfield already well balanced by Oriol Romeu. Their third starting central midfielder, Steven Davis, provides such energy that he is capable of contributing both in defence and in the final third, so Mauricio Pellegrino's decision to leave out such a promising product of the club's youth system seemed needlessly negative. If Southampton have struggled to score in recent games, such pragmatism hardly seems the solution.

Player ratings

Southampton

Fraser Forster: 6 (out of 10)

Cedric Soares: 7

Maya Yoshida: 6

Jack Stephens: 6

Ryan Bertrand: 5

Oriol Romeu: 6

Steven Davis: 7

Mario Lemina: 6

Nathan Redmond: 8

Dusan Tadic: 7

Manolo Gabbiadini: 8

Subs

James Ward-Prowse (for Lemina, 65mins): 8

Shane Long (for Tadic, 80mins): 8

Charlie Austin (for Gabbiadini, 80mins): 8

West Ham

Joe Hart: 6

Pablo Zabaleta: 5

Angelo Ogbonna: 5

Jose Fonte: 4

Aaron Cresswell: 6

Mark Noble: 7

Declan Rice: 6

Michail Antonio: 8

Andre Ayew: 6

Marko Arnautovic: 4

Javier Hernandez: 8

Subs

Diafra Sakho (for Antonio, 68mins): 7

Edimilson Fernandes (for Ayew, 68mins): 6

Pedro Obiang (for Rice, 76mins): 5

Who's up next?

Southampton v Wolves (Carabao Cup, August 23)

Cheltenham v West Ham (Carabao Cup, August 23)

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