Saints soundly beaten at West Ham

By SFC Media Sat 04 May West Ham v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson
Sat 04 May 3PM
Premier League
West Ham United
3
Southampton
0
Arnautovic [16' 69'] Fredericks [72']
Lanzini (63')
Romeu (80')
Referee: Stuart Attwell | Venue: London Stadium | Attendance: 59,961

For the second season in succession, Southampton suffered a 3-0 defeat at London Stadium, as they were soundly beaten by West Ham in their final away game of the Premier League campaign.

Marko Arnautović’s double and a second-half strike from Ryan Fredericks proved the difference, ensuring Manuel Pellegrini’s side took the full complement of points in what was the penultimate fixture of 2018/19 for both sides.

With safety having been assured a week previously, the result itself was ultimately a damage more to pride than anything else, but it did deal a blow to Saints’ chances of climbing higher than their current position of 16th in the table.

As Ralph Hasenhüttl had promised ahead of the game, there were a couple of notable changes to the team, particularly the return of goalkeeper Fraser Forster, who was handed a start as he made his first appearance since December 2017.

Also coming into the side was Mohamed Elyounoussi, after more than two months since his last game, while Mario Lemina and Stuart Armstrong were restored to the starting XI, with Angus Gunn, Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond all dropping to the bench.

Mohamed Elyonoussi was back in the line-up at London Stadium (Photo: Matt Watson)

It was Saints, in their 4-2-2-2 formation, who crafted the first significant opportunity, in only the sixth minute. Elyounoussi found Danny Ings through the middle, with the striker forced to check back amid a host of retreating West Ham. He then looked up and saw Armstrong racing outside of him down the inside-right, with Ings rolling a diagonal pass through to him and the midfielder firing over from an angle with his right foot.

Elyounoussi was again involved as the visitors created another chance in the 14th minute, getting onto Ryan Bertrand’s chipped pass down the left, lifting the ball over defender Issa Diop with his own left foot and then slicing a volley wide from 18 yards with his right.

It was bright stuff from Saints, but they were undone only two minutes later, as West Ham took the lead.

Yan Valery played a misplaced pass infield from the right, which went straight to the hosts’ captain, Mark Noble, and he split the defence with a perfectly-weighted pass, sending Arnautović through on goal, with the forward finishing calmly with his left foot past Forster.

There was nothing the Saints keeper could realistically have done to have prevented that goal, and he did well to deny West Ham another on the half-hour mark, diving low to his left to hold on to Michail Antonio’s curling drive from distance.

Forster made an even better save from the former Southampton loanee in added time at the end of the half, again springing to his left to get a strong hand onto Antonio’s low, angled shot from the edge of the area to ensure Hasenhüttl’s men went into the break only one behind.

Nathan Redmond was bright for Saints in the second half (Photo: Matt Watson)

The Saints boss used the interval to make his first change of the day, as Redmond replaced Ings.

Redmond was straight into the thick of the action, twice being denied by desperate blocks in the area inside the opening minutes of the half, while he drew a good save from Lukasz Fabianski on 64 minutes, with the West Ham keeper tipping his volley from inside the corner of the box over.

Two minutes later, Saints looked as though they might have created a good opening, as Armstrong slipped a pass inside to Shane Long, who drove into the area before going down under pressure from Fredericks, with referee Stuart Atwell waving away his penalty appeal.

Shortly after, Forster saved well at his near post from Manuel Lanzini, with Hasenhüttl then making his second change, as Ward-Prowse was sent on for Armstrong.

Before he could even get into the game, though, it was 2-0 to West Ham.

Arthur Masuaku pushed the ball into space down the left side of Saints’ area and fired in a cross, which Forster dived to punch clear, only to see it hit Arnautović six yards out, loop up and fall kindly for the Hammers forward to nod in.

Saints look on after falling further behind at West Ham (Photo: Matt Watson) 

Two became three on 72 minutes, as Fredericks drove forward, took advantage of a kind ricochet into the area and finished low across goal, to erase any remaining doubts about where the points might be heading.

It could have been 4-0 soon after, as West Ham worked the ball to Lanzini alone on the edge of the 18-yard box, but he blazed over.

Arnautović also went close to another, and to completing his hat-trick, with four minutes remaining, but his curling shot from 20 yards whistled inches past the post.

Saints will now be hoping for much better when they head back home for their final game of the season, as they round off the campaign at home to bottom-placed Huddersfield Town next Sunday.

West Ham United

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    56
    44
  • Shots
    17
    11
  • Shots on target
    6
    1
  • Corners
    2
    7
  • Passes Complete
    421
    293

West Ham United

1
Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
24
Ryan Fredericks
4
Fabián Balbuena
26
Arthur Masuaku
23
Issa Diop
45
Grady Diangana
Jack Wilshere (68′)
10
Manuel Lanzini
Lucas Pérez (83′)
30
Michail Antonio
14
Pedro Obiang
16
Mark Noble (C)
Carlos Sánchez (78′)
7
Marko Arnautovic
13
Adrián
27
Lucas Pérez
5
Pablo Zabaleta
21
Angelo Ogbonna
15
Carlos Sánchez
17
Chicharito
19
Jack Wilshere

Southampton

44
Fraser Forster (GK)
35
Jan Bednarek
21
Ryan Bertrand
43
Yan Valery
5
Jack Stephens
11
Mohamed Elyounoussi
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
17
Stuart Armstrong
James Ward-Prowse (67′)
18
Mario Lemina
Oriol Romeu (75′)
9
Danny Ings
Nathan Redmond (45′)
7
Shane Long
22
Nathan Redmond
28
Angus Gunn
14
Oriol Romeu
16
James Ward-Prowse
10
Charlie Austin
66
Kayne Ramsay
33
Matt Targett
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