West Ham 1 Southampton 3: Hammers undone by Schneiderlin brace

By Rob Virtue on August 30, 2014 5:50 PM |


Sam Allardyce's West Ham side produced a poor performance and were punished as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Southampton at Upton Park on Saturday.

With transfer deadline day fast approaching, West Ham started the day with the welcome announcement of FC Barcelona midfielder Alex Song joining on a season long loan deal.

However, what happened on the pitch was far less appealing for the Hammers faithful.

The first five minutes saw Southampton settle into the game well, with new recruit Dusan Tadic delivering a dangerous ball into the box, but Aaron Cresswell was on hand to intercept.

After 20 minutes, Stewart Downing's direct free kick which hit the wall managed to fall to Ricardo Vaz Te, but the Portuguese forward's guided effort was expertly blocked by Fraser Forster.

And against the run of play the hosts opened the deadlock in sublime fashion. After putting pressure on the Saints midfield, Mark Noble raced clear and unleashed his shot from 25 yards out, taking a slight deflection off Maya Yoshida, which Forster failed to anticipate, and the ever present midfielder claimed his first goal of the season.

Moments later, Ryan Bertrand's lofted cross found Graziano Pelle, whose header was cleared off the line in what had been an intriguing opening half an hour.

On the 32nd minute, Winston Reid failed to clear Dusan Tadic's dangerous cross, but midfielder Steven Davis blazed his shot over.

On the stroke of half-time, the visitors deservedly put the game back to all square. After Morgan Schneiderlin's initial shot was brilliantly blocked by Cresswell from a Ryan Bertrand free kick, the French international reacted quickest and tucked away the rebound nicely to make it 1-1.

Southampton came out of the second half in rapid style. Shane Long turned Cresswell brilliantly and managed to force Adrian into a good save.

The visitors were dominating, giving West Ham a problem every time they attacked.

Tadic's volley nearly caught out Adrian, but the Spaniard pulled off a good stop. From the resulting corner, Schneiderlin should have doubled his tally and put his side in front, but blazed his volley over the bar from 10 yards out with the Hammers defence non-existent.

After constant pressure, Ronald Koeman's side thought they were finally in front. James Ward-Prowse's inviting ball was tapped in by Pelle, but linesman Simon Bennett raised his flag for offside.

After 67 minutes, Southampton's pressure was finally rewarded. A short corner between Tadic and Ward-Prowse, which West Ham failed to spot, resulted in the latter whipping in an excellent cross, and Schneiderlin earned his brace with a near post header.

Some quick thinking from a free kick by substitute Gaston Ramirez, found Pelle, whose piledriver was well saved by Adrian in a game that has been completely dominated by Southampton.

The Saints topped off the performance with a third goal. Nathanial Clyne's cross was blocked by Adrian, but his clearance fell at the feet of Pelle, who smashed the ball home which was fully deserved for both him and his team.

West Ham: Adrian, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Kouyate, Noble ©; Vaz Te (Diame, 57), Zarate (Morrison, 57), Downing; Cole (Valencia, 78).

Subs Not Used: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Poyet Sakho.

Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Fonte ©, Yoshida, Bertrand; Schneiderlin, Davis; Ward-Prowse (Cork, 70), Tadic; Long (Ramirez, 65), Pelle.

Subs Not Used: Davis, Gardos, Hooiveld Wanyama Mayuka.

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