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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
21:44 11th February 2015
By  Simon Williams

REPORT: Southampton West Ham United

Saints were held by the ten-men of West Ham United in a hard fought goalless draw at St Mary’s which the hosts will feel they should have won.

The hosts dominated proceedings for much of the match, and were given a further advantage when Hammers goalkeeper Adrian was sent off for handling outside of his area on 61 minutes.

An attacking presence which was bolstered by the debut of Filip Djuričić late on seemed likely to draw further goalscoring opportunities, but the form of substitute stopper Jussi Jaaskelainen kept Ronald Koeman’s team at bay. 

Another clean sheet for Fraser Forster maintained Southampton’s fine defensive record, but the team are likely to see this one as a missed opportunity for the time being.

With regular left backs Ryan Bertrand and Matt Targett sidelined by suspension and injury, Maya Yoshida deputised. Morgan Schneiderlin missed out, so Harrison Reed came back into the starting eleven. 

Saints got the game under way - attacking the Chapel stand on a cool evening inside St Mary’s, a place where the visitors have never previously won.

The hosts made a bright start to the contest, as they pressed their opponents from the whistle, looking to use the outlets of Mané and Elia to good effect on either flank.

Time and time again they threatened to open up the visitors’ backline, settling for a spell of possession in between moments of attacking, with West Ham unable to find any rhythm of their own.

On 14, Saints went close to opening the scoring when Nathaniel Clyne’s surging run down the right led him to Steven Davis who produced a backheel to find Mané, with the Senegalese almost able to walk the ball in after rounding the West Ham defence only to be thwarted on the line by Adrian.

The hosts continued their dominance up until the end of the half in terms of chances with Mané whipping a free-kick across goal and wide, before curling another effort just past the other post after Elia and Pellè had combined on the edge of the area to tee him up.

One of the best opportunities arrived before the half hour when Victor Wanyama played the ball forward to Elia, who beat the offside trap to then check back and then took the shot on from outside of the box, but drilled it wide.

The opening half ended with a series of frustrating calls made by the match officials, which culminated in Steven Davis’s shot deflected wide but no corner was awarded.

West Ham introduced Matt Jarvis for Enner Valencia at half-time, and later brought on Andy Carroll for Diafra Sakho to freshen up their attacking options.

Sam Allardyce’s game-plan will have changed though just past the hour when visiting keeper Adrian was sent off for handling the ball outside of his area under pressure from Mané. Back up shot stopper Jussi Jaaskelainen replaced the sacrificed Carlton Cole, with the Hammers naturally opting to play with just the lone striker of Carroll for the remainder of the game.

That invited Saints to turn the screw, which they did. Mané fed Pellè into the area on 71, with the Italian scooping his shot over the bar, before substitute Dušan Tadić found himself in acres of space at the far post to receive fellow sub Ward-Prowse’s cross, but he was quickly closed down by Aaron Creswell.

The hosts played their way through again on 78, but Pellè’s ambitious overhead kick looped up kindly for Jaaskelainen to gather 

Filip Djuričić was introduced for the first time in a Southampton shirt with nine minutes remaining in place of the booked Mané, to give Saints one last push a finding a way past a stubborn Hammers defence.

The crosses continued to rain in on the West Ham backline, with Yoshida heading a corner from Ward-Prowse just over, while Fonte and Tadić each seeing strikes pushed away by Jaaskelainen in stoppage time, as the visitors held out to take the draw.

Southampton team: Fraser Forster, Nathaniel Clyne, José Fonte (c), Florin Gardos, Maya Yoshida, Victor Wanyama, Harrison Reed (James Ward-Prowse 67), Steven Davis, Eljero Elia (Dušan Tadić 62), Sadio Mané (Filip Djuričić 81), Graziano Pellè

Unused substitutes: Kelvin Davis, Jason McCarthy, Jake Flannigan

Booked: Mané (39), Fonte (42)

West Ham team: Adrian, Aaron Cresswell, James Tomkins, Cheikhou Kouyate, Carl Jenkinson, Alex Song (c), Morgan Amalfitano, Stewart Downing, Diafra Sakho (Andy Carroll 55), Enner Valencia (Matt Jarvis 46), Carlton Cole (Jussi Jaaskelainen 63)

Unused substitutes: Joey O’Brien, Reece Burke, Reece Oxford, Elliot Lee

Booked: Cole (51)

Sent off: Adrian (61)

Referee: Craig Pawson

Attendance: 31,241 (including 3,237 away)

    QUICK FACTS

    St Mary's has been home to Saints since 2001