Manolo Gabbiadini opened the scoring with a smart finish into the left corner before things went from bad to worse for the visitors when Marko Arnautovic was sent off for elbowing Jack Stephens.
And West Ham’s nightmare afternoon continued shortly after when Dusan Tadic tucked home a penalty, before summer signing Javier Hernandez halved the deficit just moments before half-time.
Despite their man advantage Southampton struggled to get on top and it was Hernandez who brought West Ham back on level terms with 15 minutes left, poking home from just a yard out.
But – somewhat in keeping with the game – it ended in controversy when Pablo Zabaleta bundled Maya Yoshida over in the box in injury time, and Charlie Austin kept his cool to earn all three points.
Gabbiadini is key to Southampton improving on last season
After Southampton’s season faded last time out under Claude Puel, eventually finishing 15 points behind Everton in seventh place, they will be looking to close the gap and push for European spots.
If they are to get anywhere near the top seven in the Premier League then there’s little doubt that they will be reliant on Manolo Gabbiadini, the man that they acquired from Italian side Napoli, last January – he scored four times in his first three games at St Mary’s last year.
Despite his eight-game drought at the end of last year he was back on form during the victory over West Ham, opening the scoring with a neat finish into the corner to get his season up and running.
His opener also signalled the end of a goal drought for the Saints that lasted 466 minutes, dating back to the end of April, and with Jay Rodriguez sold to West Brom over the summer the Italian will now be more vital than ever if Southampton are going to improve on last season’s disappointment.
West Ham’s summer arrivals give mixed performances
After their 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United last weekend West Ham fans can be forgiven for approaching Saturday’s clash with Southampton thinking that it couldn’t get any worse.
But within half an hour at St Mary’s their worst fears were once again a reality, being two goals behind and a man down, and any pre-season optimism felt from their summer signings had gone.
Spending just shy of £50 million on Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, along with the fellow arrivals of the experienced Joe Hart and Pablo Zabeleta, seemed like numerous steps in the right direction for the Hammers following a relatively poor first season at the London Stadium last year.
But it didn’t transpire like this on Saturday, with Arnautovic’s tendency to lose his cool on the pitch rearing its ugly head once more and seeing his match end early, Hart conceding his 7th goal in just two appearances and Zabaleta clumsily – and controversially – conceding a last-ditch penalty kick.
Hernandez was the only man to leave the south coast with his head held high, opening his Premier League account for West Ham with a smart double, but it’s clear there’s still lots of work to be done.
Lemina has the potential to succeed in England
Southampton’s club record signing Mario Lemina was awarded his first-team debut following his £18million switch from Italian side Juventus and, by all accounts, he showed he could be a key man.
Boss Mauricio Pellegrino obviously sees something in him that warranted spending such a large amount and he showed in glimpses that he could be a powerful and composed midfield character.
It was perhaps a bit of a rude awakening for the 23-year-old, being involved in an early scrap with Mark Noble, but he recovered well and showed his impressive passing range and defensive solidity.
As with any signing it will take a while for Lemina to hit full stride and he could do with more time with his team mates in training but he showed enough to suggest he’ll play an important, protective role this year.
“Terrible, terrible manager”: West Ham fans lose patience with David Moyes
Drawing with Stoke City was a disappointing result which brought West Ham firmly back to earth after seeing off Southampton and then drawing at Stamford Bridge, but fans pointed the finger at one man in particular: David Moyes.
The former Everton, Manchester United and Sunderland boss opted to retain the same starting line-up that took a point from Chelsea and used the same 5-4-1 system, deploying Marko Arnautovic as a makeshift centre-forward.
On home turf against second from bottom Stoke City, the conservative set up almost ended in catastrophe as Joe Hart’s calamitous error allowed Peter Crouch to give his side the lead before Andy Carroll’s last gasp equaliser.
Fans did not hide their displeasure on Twitter…
Rescuing a point should not hide the fact David Moyes set up with a 541 against 19th place and the team who has conceded the most this season (at home) and is a terrible, terrible manager. Only ever makes a change when you fall behind instead of going for it.
— West Ham News (@whufc_news) April 16, 2018
Bilic is miles better than Moyes
— West Ham Transfers (@westhamtransfer) April 16, 2018
If Carroll hadn't have scored that, we would've gone down and Moyes would've remained a living meme with no reputation. Moyes owes Carroll unlimited drinks, bags of cocaine and a ride on his wife and daughter
— Cartlon Cole (@_CarltonCole9) April 16, 2018
Moyes’ unshakeable conservatism almost cost West Ham the game and god knows what else tonight. Made substitutions at least 15 minutes too late and ultimately lucky to escape with a point. Still far from convinced
— Dan Silver (@dansilver_) April 16, 2018
My conclusion tonight:
•Rice superb as usual.
•Hernandez needed to start.
•Moyes needed to make subs far earlier.
•Hart is England’s No 246
•Moyes needs to go!
•Oh but it’s ok as we’ve got flags waved around at half-time.
— Katie (@flump9) April 16, 2018
5221 v Stoke at home.
Stoke are 19th in the fucking league.
Anyone who wants to keep Moyes needs the cyanide. #MoyesOut
— West Ham Transfers (@westhamtransfer) April 16, 2018
The Scot’s contract is set to run until the summer with safety still not secured for the Hammers, who have been brought right back into the fight by drawing against the Potters.
It could have been worse for the Irons had David Moyes not looked to his bench, where he first deployed the hero at Chelsea, Javier Hernandez, but even then not until the 77th minute.
Playmaker Manuel Lanzini joined in with only nine minutes left on the clock and Andy Carroll, who proved to be the equaliser, was only given four minutes of normal time plus injury time.
With fixtures coming up against the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United before the season is out, fans were baffled by the decision to go quite so defensive in a must win game at the London Stadium.
Now, West Ham are seven points from safety with five games left to play but only face opposition against top half sides, with a trip to face Leicester City and Sam Allardyce’s return on the final day of the season with Everton completing the club’s fixture list.
Crystal Palace 2-3 Manchester United: Three talking points from Selhurst Park
The Red Devils mounted an incredible comeback at Selhurst Park.
Nemanja Matic scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Manchester United overturned a two-goal deficit to inflict more pain on struggling Crystal Palace. Matic fired home from 25 yards to complete a memorable comeback from United, whose victory helped them regain second spot in the Premier League. Palace, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone after slipping to their third successive defeat.
Selhurst Park was rocking when Andros Townsend put the hosts ahead via a huge deflection, before Patrick van Aanholt doubled their lead shortly after the break. However, Chris Smalling gave United hope 10 minutes later and the visitors then restored parity through Romelu Lukaku. With time ebbing away the draw looked inevitable, only for Matic to break Palace’s hearts with his first goal for the club. Here are three talking points…
Palace’s survival hopes suffer a hammer blow
A week earlier, the Eagles thought they had earned a vital point against Spurs in their battle to avoid the drop. That was until Harry Kane popped up to snatch victory with practically the last touch of the game. A sense of deja-vu was palpable when, after another encouraging performance against one of the top-flight’s heavyweights, Matic ensured Palace went home empty-handed. It was a monumental body blow.
Roy Hodgson’s side had belied their lowly league position and taken the attack to United, deservedly assuming complete control. Had the score remained at 2-0, Palace would have been as high as 13th in the table. But United’s comeback, which left Hodgon and his players visibly deflated, means they are 18th, one point adrift of safety with an inferior goal difference. Although the performance was a positive one, the result leaves the South London club deep in the mire.
Mourinho buoyed as United show resilience
For all the talk about how this has been a disappointing campaign for United, they leapfrogged Liverpool into second place as a result of this stunning victory. Jose Mourinho’s men exhibited substantial amounts of steel in doing so. They faced a real test of character, having fallen behind against a team fighting for their lives. It looked like a mountainous task, but United fought their way back into the game before snatching all three points at the death.
This was the first time since 2013 that the Red Devils had clawed back a two-goal deficit to win a Premier League match. Of all their victories this season, perhaps this one will please Mourinho the most. Any divisions are quickly exposed when teams find themselves in trouble. But the way United stuck to their task was a big statement at a key stage of the season. It should give Mourinho belief that his side can see off the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the battle to finish runners-up.
Hodgson desperate for Wilfried Zaha’s return
Hodgson has previously tried to dismiss its significance, but Palace’s inability to win without Wilfried Zaha cannot be passed off as an anomaly. The Eagles have lost every single one of the nine Premier League games in which the 25-year-old has not featured this season, scoring only one goal in the process. For a while it looked as though that alarming record would be consigned to the history books, until United mounted an inspired comeback.
Zaha is clearly a talented individual whose absence would affect any team’s potency, but Palace’s over-reliance on him must be very concerning. The Ivory Coast international is currently sidelined through a knee injury and although he is back in light training, Hodgson has put no timeframe on his return to the fold. It’s no exaggeration to argue the Eagles’ survival aspirations depend on him.
Leicester City 1-1 Bournemouth: Three talking points from the King Power
Mahrez, who had been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City in the January transfer window, curled the ball past Asmir Begovic from 30 yards to deny the Cherries victory in a grandstand finish at the King Power Stadium.
Joshua King had given Bournemouth a first-half lead when he stepped up to dispatch a spot-kick after being fouled inside the area.
The Foxes threw everything at their opponents in the second period but had to wait until deep into added-time for a dramatic equaliser.
Here are three talking points…
Redemption for Mahrez after troubling period
The Algerian’s attempts to engineer a switch to City and subsequent failure to report to training had not been well received by Leicester supporters.
Mahrez had been a key figure in the Foxes’ phenomenal Premier League title triumph two years ago, but his reputation suffered a battering when he made it clear he saw his future away from the club.
After a difficult period for all involved, Mahrez is back in the fold and now back in the fans’ good books.
His last-minute goal against the Cherries certainly was evidence of his redemption.
Thirty yards out, the 27-year-old started the ball outside the wall and watched it bend back past Begovic’s outstretched right hand.
Leicester, who have never beaten Bournemouth in the top-flight, are winless in five Premier League matches, but they remain eighth in the table.
With Mahrez’s reintegration seemingly complete, a fruitful finish to the season could even help them push for a European place.
Howe ‘disgusted’ as Bournemouth concede so late
Bournemouth’s backs had been firmly up against the wall in the second half as they sought to hold on to their tenuous advantage.
It looked to have been a worthwhile effort until Mahrez’s moment of magic.
A share of the spoils was probably fair in the context of the game, but Cherries manager Eddie Howe admitted he felt ‘disgusted’ after watching the visitors concede so late.
Only four minutes of stoppage-time had been scheduled, but an injury to Simon Francis as well as a substitution meant referee Lee Probert played nearly double that amount.
Despite missing out on what would have been a crucial win, Bournemouth are edging towards safety.
They have lost only once since Christmas, a run that has helped them climb out of the relegation zone and amass 33 points.
Two more victories from their remaining nine fixtures should be enough to secure Premier League football for a fourth successive campaign.
Summer will be a key time for both clubs
In a league that is dominated by the so-called ‘Big Six’, the primary aim of the other 14 clubs is survival.
As mentioned above, both Leicester and Bournemouth are all but guaranteed to be playing in the top-flight next season.
The question for both in the summer will be, how can they push on?
The first job for the Foxes’ hierarchy and manager Claude Puel will be deciding the future of Mahrez.
Do they cash in on their star player and reinvest the funds into the squad, or do they try to tie him down to a new contract?
Bournemouth’s ambitions are perhaps not as high as Leicester’s, but after finishing ninth last season, another mid-table position will consolidate their status as a bona fide Premier League outfit.
On the field, there may be some significant outgoings as Howe looks to freshen his resources.
The out-of-favour Harry Arter is one player who looks likely to leave the south coast.
Off the field, the club will hope its plans for a new stadium get closer to becoming a reality.
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