|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
West Ham cling on against Southampton after AdriŠn red card
James Riach at St Mary's for the Guardian
Published Wednesday 11 February 2015 21.48 GMT
It may not have been very sophisticated, but Sam Allardyce will care little. West Ham fought for a valuable point here in a game that will be forgotten in a hurry, a dull goalless draw that only came to life once the Hammersí goalkeeper, Adrián, was sent off in the second half for handling the ball outside the area.
The night ended, though, with Andy Carroll departing St Maryís on crutches with a recurrence of his knee injury, another setback for the striker who had come on as a second-half substitute and is set to be unavailable for at least two and a half weeks.
Adriánís sending off should have been the turning point in an otherwise uneventful contest, but from the 61st minute onwards West Ham had everyone bar Carroll behind the ball. In the end you had to admire their discipline, creating an insurmountable blue wall that Southampton were unable to penetrate.
It was a missed opportunity for Ronald Koemanís side, who had few clear chances as they slipped behind Manchester United in the Premier League table. The Saints were often guilty of overelaborating in attack and Koeman admitted afterwards that those players who were so potent earlier in the campaign are not quite firing on all fronts.
Adrián was sent off by the referee, Craig Pawson, in controversial and clumsy circumstances. The Spanish goalkeeper received the ball on the penalty spot and instead of clearing, attempted to drop his shoulder and turn past Sadio Mané. The Senegal international read the dummy and got his body in between the ball and the despairing keeper, who proceeded to handle outside the area as he tumbled to the turf inside the D.
However, Mané did appear to raise his arms when attempting to put himself between Adrián and the ball, with Allardyce stating afterwards that West Ham would appeal against the red card. ďIt was a foul on our goalkeeper before he handballs it. Thereís no doubt Sadio Manéís got his hands all over Adrián and weíve had to cope with that sending off. I suggest that [the head of referees] Mike Riley does something that I canít suggest publicly. We will appeal, immediately. Iíll be very disappointed if we donít get off.Ē
On Carrollís knee injury, the West Ham manager added: ďItís the same knee, he got kicked in the back of the knee and felt something wrong. He stayed up and was a nuisance. I just hope that staying on hasnít done any more damage. He got fit in two and a half weeks [after the Liverpool game] but clearly itís going to take longer this time because itís the same injury.Ē
Mané was Saintsí best player and it was his jinking run into the area following a smart backheel after 13 minutes that resulted in their best early chance. Mané looked to have overrun it but beat his man before squeezing the ball across goal into the path of Eljero Elia, but Carl Jenkinson was well-placed at the far post to hack clear. Again Mané was the danger man, in the 54th minute, and slid a ball inside to Graziano Pellè, but the striker duffed his shot which looped into the arms of Adrián. West Ham countered through the half-time substitute Matt Jarvis Ė soon joined by Carroll from the bench Ė and he pulled back for Stewart Downing on the edge of the area, but his effort deflected wide.
Carlton Cole was perhaps fortunate not to receive more than a yellow card for a high boot on the Southampton left-back, Maya Yoshida, and it proved to be his last act of the evening. He was replaced by Jussi Jaaskelainen following the red card, an incident as calamitous as it was avoidable.
For Southampton there were too many missed passes, too many bad decisions in the opposition penalty area, and in the end Jaaskelainen only had to make one real save, to deny Dusan Tadic with a stinging drive. Koeman said: ďIf you are the better team, with more possession, more chances and you play around 25 minutes, 11 against 10 then you expect to score. We didnít. If you play a game like tonight, a long time 11 versus 10, in my opinion you have to score. At least you have to create more.Ē