Summary: Southampton and West Ham moved another point closer to Premier League safety after sharing the spoils in a lively encounter at St Mary’s.
The Saints dominated much of the game but failed to make their first half pressure count with top scorer Rickie Lambert going closest to breaking the deadlock as he stretched to meet Gaston Ramirez’s free kick at the far post only for Jussi Jaaskelainen to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men continued to press and eventually took the lead through Ramirez just before the hour. Taking advantage of a loose clearance, the Uruguayan saw his first effort blocked but had the presence of mind to pounce on the ball as it became free again and expertly finished pas Jaaskelainen.
That sparked the Hammers into life and they equalised six minutes later. Jos Hooiveld brought an end to Mohamed Diame’s powerful run 25-yards from the home goal and Andy Carroll proceeded to smash the free kick towards goal with the ball deflecting twice before finding its way past Artur Boruc.
Mauricio Pochettino post-match…“I do think we deserved the victory. We worked superbly and were better than them. We knew they would be physical and direct but I want to congratulate my players because we managed to impose our brand of football even though the pitch suited them.”
Sam Allardyce post-match…“In the end I thought we were more than comfortable. Away goals have been our problem all season and we again created some simple chances which we didn’t convert. There are six games left, we have 38 points and are in a nice position in the league.”
Good day for?…James Collins: West Ham centre back was a tower of strength at the back keeping Rickie Lambert in close quarters for 90 minutes – a feat most Premier League clubs have failed to achieve this season.
Bad day for?…Jos Hooiveld: Found life difficult up against the physical presence of Carroll and was penalised for a foul on Mohamed Diame that led to West Ham’s equaliser.