Anderson double sinks Saints

By SFC Media time Thu 27 Dec Saints v West Ham
Photo by Matt Watson | Nathan Redmond
Thu 27 Dec 7.45PM
Premier League
West Ham United
Redmond [50']
Anderson [53' 59']
Targett (66') Bednarek (83')
yellow card
Referee: Craig Pawson | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 31,654

Southampton were denied a third straight Premier League victory by a second-half turnaround inspired by the Brazilian magic of Felipe Anderson at St Mary’s.

Visitors West Ham had shaded a subdued first half, but it was Saints who edged in front five minutes after the restart, as Nathan Redmond forced home a scrappy opener from close range.

The hosts had worked hard for the lead but surrendered it in just three minutes, as the classy Anderson drilled a low shot inside Alex McCarthy’s near post from 20 yards.

Saints were then caught on the break as Anderson scored the game’s third goal, and his second, within nine minutes of Redmond breaking the deadlock.

Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men kept pushing forward, but West Ham's number eight would prove the difference between the sides.

Despite the quick turnaround and volume of games over the festive period, Hasenhüttl made just the one enforced change to his starting line-up victorious at Huddersfield five days prior.

The suspended Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was forced to sit out, with Mario Lemina filling the vacancy at the heart of Saints’ midfield.

The hosts started with all the purpose of a team coming in off the back of successive wins.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Stuart Armstrong of Southampton FC (right) during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and West Ham United at St Mary's Stadium on December 27, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Bridle - Southampton FC/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Saints showed plenty of positive intent in the opening minutes

Stuart Armstrong released the marauding Matt Targett, whose lay-off was struck first time by Redmond but too close to goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Then Danny Ings showed his confidence with a clever nutmeg on Angelo Ogbonna in the box, jinking between two defenders before prodding into the sidenetting.

Anderson, West Ham’s star man and record signing, retaliated by dishing out similar treatment to Jan Bednarek, while Redmond nicked the ball from the toes of the Brazilian as he prepared to shoot in a lively opening.

Both teams fired warning shots, through Robert Snodgrass and Armstrong, before the Hammers created the best chance of the half midway through it.

The dangerous Anderson fed the ball down the line for the overlapping Aaron Cresswell, who perfectly picked out Lucas Pérez on the penalty spot, but the Spaniard scuffed his shot and dragged it wide with a noisy visiting contingent ready to rejoice.

Having started on the back foot, West Ham were beginning to get on top, but neat patterns of possession would not amount to clear sights of goal.

Another effort from Snodgrass whistled past the post in the first half’s closing stages, but it was Saints who were sharpest out of the blocks after the interval, as Redmond took full advantage.

It seemed everybody inside St Mary’s thought the winger was offside when the ball dropped at his feet in the middle of the penalty area – including the man himself – but former Saint Michail Antonio was playing him on.

With more time than he realised, Redmond’s initial snapshot was brilliantly saved by Fabianski, before Romeu followed up, and Redmond eventually bundled the ball over the line for his second goal in as many games. It wasn’t pretty, but Saints were in front.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27:  Nathan Redmond(L) of Southampton is lifted up by his team mates after opening the scoring during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and West Ham United at St Mary's Stadium on December 27, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Saints celebrate Nathan Redmond's opener early in the second half

The lead proved short-lived. Back came West Ham, as Anderson almost used referee Craig Pawson as a shield, blasting the ball low and hard inside Alex McCarthy’s right-hand post as the official stepped aside just in time.

Saints responded well enough to the setback, forcing a corner, but when Armstrong’s tame shot was cleared, Hasenhüttl’s men had overcommitted bodies forward and were badly exposed.

Antonio led the charge, galloping over the halfway line and feeding Anderson to his right, who went eye to eye with McCarthy and smashed the ball over the England keeper in ruthless fashion.

Saints’ Austrian boss turned to Shane Long in place of Ings in a bid to shift the momentum back in his team’s favour, but Redmond’s cross was intercepted before it could reach the Irishman, who looked poised to score with his first touch.

Anderson remained the thorn in Saints’ side. Having only just kept the ball in play on the left touchline, his pace carried him deep into home territory to pick out Pérez, who was only denied a potentially killer third by a brilliant block from Jannik Vestergaard.

Typically industrious, Long threatened to play his part in a Saints equaliser, refusing to give up before Redmond picked up the pieces and released Lemina to his right, who brought the best out of Fabianski. 

Redmond was later penalised for offside, but neither Lemina nor Fabianski were to know at the time.

The arrival of Charlie Austin, Saints’ match-winner last time out on home soil, prompted a switch to a back four as Maya Yoshida was sacrificed ten minutes from time.

Two-goal Anderson went searching for his hat-trick as time ticked on, but twice he was thwarted by McCarthy.

Tonight's Match Sponsor: Eight Wealth Management

Head to Head Stats

West Ham United
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Alex McCarthy (GK)
Jan Bednarek yellow card
Maya Yoshida
replace Charlie Austin (80′)
Jannik Vestergaard
Mario Lemina
replace Mohamed Elyounoussi (87′)
Matt Targett yellow card
Oriol Romeu (C)
Yan Valery
Danny Ings
replace Shane Long (62′)
Stuart Armstrong
Nathan Redmond goal
Kayne Ramsay
Jack Stephens
Charlie Austin
James Ward-Prowse
Shane Long
Angus Gunn
Mohamed Elyounoussi

West Ham United

Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
Issa Diop
Aaron Cresswell (C)
Angelo Ogbonna
Michail Antonio
Declan Rice
Grady Diangana
replace Andy Carroll (55′)
Pedro Obiang
Robert Snodgrass
replace Arthur Masuaku (92′)
Felipe Anderson goal goal
Lucas Pérez
replace Mark Noble (78′)
Arthur Masuaku
Andy Carroll
Xande Silva
Conor Coventry
Mark Noble
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