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Saints 0-0 West Ham: Report

PUBLISHED

18:55 15th September 2013

Saints and West Ham played out a goalless draw at St Mary’s with the two teams remaining inseparable at the start of the campaign.

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A look at the stats before this game showed that both teams had four points from their opening three matches whilst each side had also been low scorers so far this season, with the Hammers not finding the net in either of their last two games.

That proved to be a precursor for what to expect in this contest as there was little surprise all-round to see a goalless draw at the end of a competitive 90 minutes.

Saints elected for artistry over the industry you come to expect from a Sam Allardyce side, but the never-say-die attitude of the visitors was enough on the day to deny the hosts from taking all three points from the match.

It was not for a lack of trying though, as Southampton found West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in good form too. The veteran Finnish shot stopper denied a glut of chances from the home side, the pick of those coming to deny Osvaldo in the first half and Lambert in the second 45.

Allardyce remains unbeaten as a manager against Saints, but the Hammers remain without a win at St Mary’s since the stadium opened in 2001 with this the fifth time they have failed to take a win back to East London from here.

Mauricio Pochettino made three changes to the team that played at Norwich last time out. Nathaniel Clyne, Luke Shaw and Jay Rodriguez all came into the side, replacing Danny Fox, Calum Chambers and James Ward-Prowse, with the latter two dropping to the bench.

Adam Lallana skippered the team on the right side of midfield, whilst Guly do Prado returned to the matchday 18 and was named amongst the substitutes.

Fresh from his exploits with the English national team, Rickie Lambert lined up to make his 200th overall appearance for the club in attack alongside Dani Osvaldo, who made his full home debut for Saints.

The hosts got the game underway with Morgan Schneiderlin and Adam Lallana taking kick-off under the grey skies and rain on a cool afternoon at St Mary’s.

It was an open start to the contest and predictably competitive in nature too, as the visitors set about their physical approach to the game to advance into the final third.

The first chance of the match went the way of the Hammers who loaded the penalty area down the left side where Mohamed Diame cut inside to test Boruc from close range before earning his side a corner.

Saints created a great chance for themselves in the tenth minute when Jay Rodriguez sped away down the left to draw the West Ham defence out, and when the frontman played the ball across the area, Osvaldo was waiting to finish, but his well-struck shot was miraculously saved low down by Jussi Jaaseklainen.

The hosts grew in confidence from that near miss, and a quickly taken free-kick by Lallana set Luke Shaw into the area down the left where the full-back did well to stay on his feet under pressure, but unfortunately his cut back couldn’t quite find a red shirt.

That set-piece had initially been awarded after Lambert was scythed down by Ravel Morrison, and the West Ham man was fortunate to escape a booking for a the late lunge on Saints’ number seven.

More cat and mouse play preceded West Ham’s Diame flashing a fierce drive wide of Boruc’s right post, before Saints went back on the offensive.

Jaaskelainen had to be at his best again this time to deny Lambert’s volley after he and Osvaldo had linked up on the edge of the box, where the ball bounced invitingly for the striker, but the Hammers stopper was equal to it at his right post.

On 28 Diame went into the book for a trip on Lallana as Saints tried to launch another swift break, but they continued to be hampered by the visitors’ hands-on approach.

Saints survived a scare moments later though, when Jarvis was put through on goal. The winger forced a good save from Boruc before Nolan put the ball into the empty net, however, an offside flag against Jarvis saw play pulled back.

After Osvaldo had served a reminder of his talents with a cheeky back-flick, tempers flared once more when Diame was clattered into by Schneiderlin in the middle of the park. That foul was then followed up by another from Guy Demel, who flattened Lambert, but again no cards were issued by the referee.

The Hammers drew their best chance of the half five minutes before the break when Diame’s cross was partially cleared with the ball ending up at Morrison’s feet via Nolan, but the ambitious curling shot couldn’t quite find the target.

Saints continued to press high with Osvaldo almost setting Rodriguez through one-on-one with Jaaskelainen, but it was the visitors who almost stole in at the end of the half when Maiga was given space to turn and shoot, but the Hammers striker couldn’t find the target.

Lallana headed Clyne’s cross over on the whistle with the two sides inseparable heading into the interval.

HALF-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 WEST HAM UNITED

A heavy downpour greeted the teams back onto the pitch as hostilities were renewed for the second 45.

Saints appeared to be the sharpest out of the blocks too with Wanyama setting his sights at goal from range and forcing Jaaskelainen into a fantastic fingertip save to deny the midfielder a wonder goal.

That preceded another good chance for the hosts when a Lallana corner was headed by Lambert against the post, and from the follow up, Wanyama had a shot which possibly struck an outstretched Hammers arm, but play was waved on by the official.

The neat link-up in the final third continued when Osvaldo set Lallana through on goal, but Jaaskelainen was quickly out to thwart the danger as the visitors held out again.

From there Saints maintained the pressure, and went close again when Osvaldo had a shot blocked. The rebound was acrobatically struck by Schneiderlin towards goal where a possible handball from Winston Reid went unnoticed.

The Hammers immediately switched Razvan Rat for Demel with the last half hour looming, but still struggled to find a spark.

Just past the hour mark, Wanyama became the first Saint to go into the book for a late challenge on Morrison.

Saints again made Jaaskelainen work when Rodriguez kept the ball alive on the right to pick out Schneiderlin, whose volley was parried away by the ‘keeper which albeit at a comfortable height was a good save nevertheless. Fonte headed the resulting corner wide as the hosts pushed closer to a breakthrough.

The Hammers made their second change when Maiga went off with Ricardo Vaz Te coming on in his place. Saints followed up with their first sub when James Ward-Prowse entered the action in place of Lallana.

Lallana had been on the receiving end of a lunge from Joey O’Brien moments earlier. A foul which rightly earned the Hammers defender a booking.

The home side created another good chance to score soon after when Lambert worked Jaaskelainen after being put through by Rodriguez. The striker curled a wicked strike towards the top corner, only to be denied by a fine save once more.

With Luke Shaw suffering from cramp, Saints were forced into a second change on 77 minutes as Shaw departed for Calum Chambers to take up a slot at right back with Clyne moving across to the left.

At the same time, Ravel Morrison was replaced by Matt Taylor for the visitors, with the ex-Portsmouth man receiving a warm welcome.

Fonte almost got on the end of Ward-Prowse’s free-kick delivered to the far post, but Winston Reid did just enough to deny the Portuguese from stealing in.

Ward-Prowse’s set pieces continued to provide a good source of opportunity for the hosts, but his next attempt somehow evaded everyone inside the box as the Hammers were given a let off.

The Hammers had a terrific chance to strike in the 83rd minute after Mark Noble brought the ball back for James Collins inside the area, but the defender applied a centre-back’s finish to the move as the ball ended up in the stands.

The visitors attempted to run the clock down inside the last five minutes of the 90, but Saints made sure of a late rally by forcing a succession of corners in the 89th minute, which put the Hammers under further pressure.

Four minutes of additional time were added on for stoppages, where it was the visitors’ turn to test Saints from a couple of corners, before the home side could press back, but the only chance that came their way saw Wanyama skew a shot from range well wide.

FULL-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-0 WEST HAM UNITED

Southampton team: Artur Boruc, Nathaniel Clyne, Jose Fonte, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw (Calum Chambers 77), Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin, Adam Lallana (c) (James Ward-Prowse 72), Jay Rodriguez, Dani Osvaldo, Rickie Lambert

Unused substitutes: Kelvin Davis (GK), Steven Davis, Gaston Ramírez, Guly, Jos Hooiveld.

West Ham team: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel (Razvan Rat 60), Joey O'Brien, James Collins, Winston Reid, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan, Mohamed Diame, Ravel Morrison (Matt Taylor 77), Matt Jarvis, Madibo Maiga (Ricardo Vaz Te 64)

Unused substitutes: Adrian, James Tomkins, Jack Collison, Elliott Lee

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 28,794 (including 2,664 away)

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