West Ham’s early-season struggles continued as they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Southampton at the London Stadium on Sunday.
- West Ham 0 Southampton 3
- Austin gives Saints 40th-min lead
- Tadic makes it 2-0 after the break
- Ward-Prowse adds a late third
- Hammers winless in four outings
Charlie Austin broke the deadlock on 40 minutes to give the visitors a half-time lead, before goals from Dusan Tadic and James Ward-Prowse after the break secured a comfortable win for Claude Puel’s side.
The Hammers have now lost their last four matches in the Premier League to remain in the relegation zone, while the Saints moved into the top-half of the table as they made it back-to-back wins in the top flight.
Much has been expected from Slaven Bilic’s men this term following their move to the new stadium, but they have battled to get going – losing four of their opening five league games prior to the visit of the south-coast club.
The hosts made a promising start, however, when Simone Zaza controlled an aerial pass from Angelo Ogbonna on his chest before taking a shot from outside the area that went wide.
But that would be their one and only chance in the first half, although the east Londoners were denied a penalty on 16 minutes after Zaza went to ground as he looked to get in between Cedric and Jose Fonte.
The Saints then took the lead with their first chance on 40 minutes, Ryan Bertrand getting in behind the opposition defence and cutting the ball back for Austin to score from a few yards out.
Things could have been far worse for the home team had Nathan Redmond and Cedric taken their chances for half-time, but Adrian saved the first attempt from the winger and then saw the right-back fire into the side-netting.
The Saints started the second half strongly and created a couple of early chances as Fonte sent a looping header into the gloves of Adrian before Tadic drew a smart save from the keeper as he latched onto Cedric’s cross.
The Hammers saw another penalty appeal turned down on 59 minutes when Zaza hit the turf, but on this occasion the referee produced a yellow card for simulation.
To add salt to their wounds, the capital club conceded again three minutes later, Austin this time turning provider as he played in Tadic, who rounded the keeper an tapped home.
Steven Davis should have done better when he received a cut-back from Redmond on 66 minutes, but the midfielder fired over from 18 yards out.
Winston Reid was presented with a rare chance for the Hammers on 69 minutes as he headed wide at the far post from Dimitri Payet’s corner, before the visitors survived a penalty shout when the ball struck Bertrand on the hand.
Payet went close moments later as he got on the end of Michail Antonio’s cross following a quickly-taken free-kick, but the French star failed to hit the target.
Adrian then had to be alert as he kept out Redmond with his legs at the near post, while at the other end Zaza saw his effort somehow cleared off the line by Virgil van Dijk soon afterwards.
The Hammers keeper was called into action again on 86 minutes with a fine save to deny Ward-Prowse, who finally managed to beat Adrian in added time after being picked out by Davis’ cut-back as the Saints carved the opposing defence open.