Hammers Victorious In Vital Saints Clash

Before the home game against Southampton took place, West Ham United had dropped down to nineteenth in the Premier League table. However, the crucial 1-0 win on Sunday afternoon means they are now up to fourteenth.

Both Emmerson Palmieri and Nayef Aguerd passed late fitness tests in order to be involved, as David Moyes made a number of changes with goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański returning from Injury to replace Alphonse Areola who was back on the bench.

Thilo Kehrer, Declan Rice, Saïd Benrahma and Danny Ings all started in place of Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Fornals. Gianluca Scamacca was suffering with a re-occurrence of a knee injury, while Flynn Downes and Michail Antonio returned to the matchday squad. Maxwel Cornet and Vladimír Coufal were other options available to the Scotsman.

It was clear to see why both teams were struggling at the foot of the table in the opening stages of this match, and it was the Saints who might have given the hosts something to think about. Theo Walcott went close but fortunately for the majority inside the stadium, the former Arsenal and Everton striker was unable to get his effort on target.

The teams were evenly-matched with West Ham probably having the better chances of the two before they finally went in front after twenty five minutes. Jarrod Bowen won a free-kick after being brought down by Duje Ćaleta-Car. Kehrer sent the set-piece into the box where Aguerd headed past visiting goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.

However, there was a lengthy VAR check for an apparent offside but it was decided that there was nothing wrong with the move and referee Paul Tierney’s original decision stood to give the Moroccan his first goal for the Hammers.

Up the other end, the Saints, who are now under the stewardship of Rubén Sellés could have equalised after Mohamed Elyounoussi set up Romain Perraud to have a shot but fortunately for the Irons, Fabiański dealt with the Frenchman’s effort.

the East Londoners had chances to go further in front through both Palmieri and Benrahma but neither of them could get the better of Bazunu.

Moyes saw his side hit the bar before the break, as Benrahma found Bowen in space and he rocketed a shot towards goal and would have beaten the former Manchester City stopper, but for the key intervention.

West Ham kept their lead intact but were looking to add more goals after the restart.

Bowen went close again but unfortunately, Bazunu was once again on hand to thwart him.

The Hammers’ boss made his first change, as former Saints’ striker Ings was withdrawn in favour of Antonio and three minutes later, Flynn Downes was introduced to take the place of Tomáš Souček.

Later in the encounter, Fabiański was equal to everything that the visitors were able to throw at him, as he repelled efforts from both Roméo Lavia, as well as fifty fourth minute substitute Carlos Alcaraz.

Soon after, the home side wasted a golden chance to increase their lead when Bazunu somehow managed to get a hand on Benrahma’s free-kick and although the danger wasn’t cleared, Zouma could only head over the top.

This match should have been a lot easier than it was for the home side, who were looking to finish off this must-win game but couldn’t find the killer touch. Bazunu tipped Bowen’s cross over after it had deflected off Ćaleta-Car. Lucas Paquetá wasn’t able to then make the most of Aguerd’s flick-on from the resulting corner.

Then, Sellés saw his side blow their best chance of the game when substitute Paul Onuachu, who came on in the seventy second minute for Walcott, hit the bar when he perhaps should have levelled for his side.

Two more personnel changes were made by Moyes with just minutes to play, as Cresswell and Fornals were brought on for both Palmieri and Paquetá.

After three minutes of stoppage time were added, the home fans were to breathe a collective sigh of relief, as the Saints were beaten.

The East Londoners are back in action here on Wednesday night, as they play their rearranged fixture against Newcastle United.