|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Marko Arnautovic’s double helps West Ham see off Southampton in style
Date Published Sat 4 May 2019 17.24 BST
Marko Arnautovic scored his first goals since January as West Ham swept aside Southampton.
The Austrian, whose form had deserted him since a lucrative move to China failed to materialise during the transfer window, found the net twice and remind the home fans of his ability.
Ryan Fredericks hit the third goal as West Ham secured their biggest home win of the season.
The West Ham manager, Manuel Pellegrini, said he now hopes Arnautovic learns from his stop-start season. “With this team, with Marko, a complete season that is quiet, calm and just playing football, he is a player who makes a difference,” he said. “I’m sure this season will be a good lesson for him I am absolutely convinced next season we will see a great Marko.”
The hosts were missing two of their most influential players, the ill Declan Rice and Felipe Anderson, but it did not show as they raced into a 16th-minute lead through Arnautovic. Southampton’s Yan Valery inexplicably gave the ball to Mark Noble who then played in Arnautovic, who drilled it past Fraser Forster.
It felt like a moment of redemption for the forward who has, on occasions, been booed by the West Ham fans following his unseemly attempts to engineer a January move.
With Southampton having guaranteed their survival the previous week, Forster was brought out of cold storage for a first appearance since Boxing Day 2017.
The former Celtic keeper twice got down well to keep out Michail Antonio efforts and also beat away a shot from Manuel Lanzini before half-time.
The Southampton manager, Ralph Hasenhüttl, sent on Nathan Redmond at the start of the second half to inject some life into their attack. The winger met a corner at the far post but with plenty of the goal to aim at he blasted his shot straight at Michail Antonio.
Shortly afterwards Redmond’s volley forced West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski into his only save.
Saints felt they should have had a penalty when Fredericks collided with Shane Long in the area but the referee, Stuart Attwell, did not agree.
Forster then saved an effort from Manuel Lanzini at his near post but West Ham were beginning to exert pressure and it told in the 69th minute. Forster could only palm Arthur Masuaku’s drilled cross into the body of Arnautovic, who snaffled a simple header after the ball looped into the air.
Three minutes later, West Ham had their third, Fredericks combining with substitute Jack Wilshere to find an opening and the full-back fired beyond Forster for his first Premier League goal.
Arnautovic almost completed a hat-trick late on when he cut inside on to his right foot only to curl the ball agonisingly wide. Hasenhüttl put the lacklustre defeat down to his side’s recent efforts. “It’s not a coincidence that after some intense weeks and months, using that energy to stay in the league, and then you have a game where you make a big mistake and go 1-0 down, that the physical energy is not so high,” he said.
“That’s not a surprise to me. The power and conviction was not there. We have invested a lot. You could feel we were not that compact and a few steps too late.”
Daily Mail: PLAYER RATINGS AND LIVE TABLE
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6, Fredericks 6, Balbuena 7, Diop 7, Masuaku 6, Noble 8 (Sanchez 78 mins), Obiang 6, Diangana 6 (Wilshere 67 mins, 6), Lanzini 6 (Perez 83 mins, 5), Antonio 6, Arnautovic 6
Subs not used: Adrian, Zabaleta, Fernandez, Ogbonna
Scorers: Arnautovic 16, 69 Fredericks 72
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Forster 7, Valery 5, Stephens 6, Bednarek 6, Bertrand 6; Hojbjerg 6, Lemina 6 (Romeu 75 mins, 6)' Armstrong 6 (Ward-Prowse 67 mins, 6), Elyounoussi 6, Long 7; Ings 6 (Redmond 46 mins, 6)
Subs not used: Gunn, Austin, Targett, Ramsay
Referee: Stuart Atwell 7
Man of the Match: Mark Noble