|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Andy Carroll comes off the bench to help West Ham beat Southampton
Jacob Steinberg at Upton Park
Date Published Monday 28 December 2015 20.05 GMT
Southampton only have themselves to blame. Their supporters had to wait a long time to see the side whose stylish play made them one of last seasonís success stories and after reminding themselves how incisive they can be by thumping Arsenal on Boxing Day, Ronald Koemanís players were threatening to humiliate West Ham United when they led by a goal at half-time.
Koemanís side created enough chances to win several matches, but they were made to regret their profligacy when West Ham came roaring back to earn their first win since beating Chelsea on 24 October thanks to late goals from Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll.
In keeping with a baffling game, and a baffling Premier League season, it was a bizarre equaliser from Antonio, before Andy Carroll scored the winner after coming off the bench.
West Ham, missing half a team because of injuries, deserve great credit after their comeback. They were abysmal in the first half. Carl Jenkinson, deputising for Aaron Cresswell at left-back, was an obvious weak link in an unfamiliar position and there had already been a hint of nerves by the time Southampton went ahead in the 13th minute. The manner of the goal must have been deeply troubling for Slaven Bilic, given how straightforward it was for Shane Long to start a slick attack by winning a header in front of James Collins, race on to Steven Davisís pass and slide a low centre into the six-yard box, where Dusan Tadicís touch went in off Jenkinson.
West Hamís midfield was overrun, simple passes went astray and they struggled to get out of their half after falling behind, let alone threaten the Southampton goal. The only disappointment for the visitors was their failure to kill the game off before half-time, despite having 10 shots.
Boos rang out around Upton Park on several occasions during the first half and there was a moment when Long gave Angelo Ogbonna a five-yard headstart and still got to the ball before the Italy centre-back with something to spare.
There were mitigating circumstances for West Ham. Any team in their position would fall below their usual standards without Cresswell, Victor Moses, Dimitri Payet, Winston Reid and Diafra Sakho, but Bilic was not interested in excuses. Carroll and Manuel Lanzini replaced Mauro Zarate and Alex Song for the second half, while Jenkinson was more comfortable after switching positions with James Tomkins and returning to right-back.
The changes brought an immediate improvement. Collins had a header cleared off the line by Cuco Martina, before Carroll blazed over from close range, and West Hamís persistence was rewarded when they equalised with one of the strangest goals Upton Park has ever seen. Antonio will struggle to explain how he scored his first West Ham goal after he took advantage of slack defending from Cuco Martina, fell over after a risky challenge from Jose Fonte in the area and then got up to celebrate when Victor Wanyamaís attempted clearance deflected off his head and looped over Maarten Stekelenburg, who was as perplexed as everyone else.
Lifted by that moment of good fortune, Antonio then played a part in West Hamís winner, meeting Valenciaís cross from the right with a header that crashed off the bar and rebounded to Carroll, who nodded the ball past the helpless Stekelenburg.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, RATINGS, PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
WEST HAM: Adrian 5.5; Tomkins 6, Collins 6, Ogbonna 5.5, Jenkinson 5.5; Noble 5.5, Kouyate 6, Song 4 (Lanzini 46, 5); Antonio 7, Valencia 6 (Obiang 86), Zarate 5 (Carroll 46, 7)
Subs not used: Randolph, Hendrie, Oxford, Cullen
Scorers: Antonio, Carroll
Manager: Slaven Bilic
SOUTHAMPTON: Stekelenburg 6; Martina 6, van Dijk 6.5, Fonte 7, Bertrand 6; Romeu 6, Davis 7.5, Wanyama 7; Tadic 7 (Ramirez 75, 6), Long 7, Mane 6 (Juanmi 75,6)
Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Yoshida, Clasie, Ward-Prowse, Caulker
Scorer: Jenkinson OG 13
Booked: Martina, Romeu, Bertrand
Manager: Ronald Koeman 7.5
Referee: Michael Oliver
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