Victor Wanyama was sent off with over 30 minutes left to play at St Mary’s, but Saints held firm to record a fifth clean sheet in a row – the first time in 15 years that a Southampton side has done so in the Premier League.
Maya Yoshida’s goal was the difference between the two sides and Koeman was quick to praise his side’s defensive display against the Hammers.
“The boys worked incredibly hard to keep the points at home. They didn’t create any big chances,” Koeman told youtube.com/southamptonfc
“It was difficult for them to create because we had a very good spirit, very good defensive organisation – that was the key to keep the three points at home.
“It was a very important game today. We knew the distance between West Ham and we wanted to make the gap a little bit shorter than it was.
“It was an important game and an important win. After the sending off of Victor it was difficult, but it was an outstanding defence today.
“Even against 11 we had the better chances in the game.”
And Koeman was quick to praise the supporters for their backing as Saints looked to hold firm despite the man disadvantage.
“[The fans] were very important because we had a difficult last 30 minutes,” Koeman added. “It was 11 against ten and they were pushing.
“Andy Carroll was on the pitch and a lot of crosses, free-kicks and set-pieces were coming in, but we did an amazing job defensively.
“We like to win games at home for our fans.”