Maya Yoshida’s early goal was enough to earn Southampton a 1-0 win over West Ham at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, as the hosts held on with 10 men.
Yoshida opened the scoring inside nine minutes with his first goal of the season, but Southampton had to survive a tense second period after Victor Wanyama was dismissed in the 54th minute for a foul on Dimitri Payet.
Defender Yoshida was brought in as one of three changes made by Saints boss Ronald Koeman from the team that had earned an impressive 0-0 draw at Arsenal in midweek, and the Japanese made almost an instant impact when he swept home the opener early on.
West Ham were given hope when referee Mark Clattenburg showed Wanyama his third red card of the season for a challenge on Payet after the break but despite sending on Andy Carroll and new signing Emmanuel Emenike, they could not find a way through.
England hopeful Fraser Forster impressed once more in the Southampton goal, a superb first-half save from Winston Reid the personal highlight for him as he secured his fifth clean sheet in as many appearances since returning from injury.
The hosts started brightly and took just eight minutes to force West Ham goalkeeper Adrian into a save.
After Alex Song had surrendered possession cheaply inside his own half, Cedric met Shane Long’s cross with a powerful header that the Spanish shot-stopper dived to his right to parry behind.
However, West Ham – whose only change saw Victor Moses replace Cheikhou Kouyate – did not learn their lesson and more slack play was punished a minute later.
Payet and Enner Valencia provided little resistance as Wanyama strolled into the box and poked the ball to Yoshida, who fired home from six yards.
West Ham would have fallen two behind had James Collins not blocked Graziano Pelle’s shot from a set-piece, but with 29 minutes played they finally tested Forster.
The 27-year-old, still hoping to earn a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2016, reacted superbly to palm Reid’s header from a Payet free-kick away from goal to keep his side ahead.
Slaven Bilic’s side began to enjoy more possession, but Reid could only loop another set-piece delivery over the crossbar before half-time.
West Ham remained positive after the restart and their hopes of a comeback were boosted when Wanyama was shown a red card in the 54th minute for cutting down Payet.
Koeman sacrificed Sadio Mane for Oriol Romeu to fill the space in midfield, while Bilic brought Carroll on in place of Victor Moses.
But it was Southampton who went close next, Long clipping a shot over after Collins had failed to deal with a long ball in the 63rd minute.
Emenike was introduced for a Premier League debut by West Ham, but it was Southampton substitute Charlie Austin who proved more dangerous, drilling wide with two minutes remaining.
There was a narrow escape for Cedric, whose attempt to cushion a cross back towards Forster nearly crept inside the far post in the 91st minute but West Ham could not find the goal that would have earned them a point.
Key Opta stats:
Maya Yoshida scored his first Premier League goal since December 2014.
Two of Yoshida’s three Premier League goals have been against West Ham.
No player from any club, other than Victor Wanyama, has been sent off in the Premier League more than once this season.
There have been a Premier League-high 10 red cards in West Ham games this season (four for West Ham, six for opponents).
Fraser Forster’s clean sheet percentage is the best of any goalkeeper with 30 or more Premier League appearances (51.4 per cent), with 18 clean sheets from his 35 games.