The majority of Premier League sides played on Boxing Day yesterday, soaking in the atmosphere of the post-Christmas buzz around the country. Two teams, however, weren’t afforded that luxury, although they did get an extra day in which to prepare for their game. Tonight, on the south coast, Southampton and West Ham United went to war – and an entertaining game with all the fun you’d expect, it was the Hammers that came away with a 2-1 victory and all three points.
The first 45 minute was dull to say the least, as both teams attempted to work each other out. There were a few shots here and there but it felt like there was some tension in the air, as if the sides knew that was at risk with a loss. When they went into the half time interval, though, it would seem as if they had a bolt of electricity sent through them.
When they came out for the second half both teams had a renewed sense of hope, with Southampton taking the lead in front of their home faithful. Nathan Redmond’s determination allowed him to put the necessary pressure on Angelo Ogbonna, who virtually turned the ball into his own net after his first shot was saved.
Alas, the visitors didn’t rest and they certainly didn’t allow the Saints to push them around, with Felipe Anderson’s low strike levelling things up just a few minutes later. Then, before the hour mark was even reached, Anderson once again put the ball in the back of the net to send the travelling fans into a state of ecstasy.
Southampton will attempt to turn their attention towards a home game against Manchester City, as West Ham prepare for a visit to Turf Moor to face Burnley.
Southampton: McCarthy (6), Bednarek (5.5), Yoshida (6), Vestergaard (6.5), Valery (6), Lemina (6.5), Romeu (6.5), Targett (6), Redmond (7), Armstrong (6.5), Ings (5.5), Austin (N/A), Elyounoussi (N/A), Long (6)
West Ham: Fabianski (6.5), Antonio (6), Diop (6.5), Ogbonna (7), Cresswell (6.5), Obiang (6), Rice (6.5), Diangana (6), Snodgrass (6.5), Anderson (8), Perez (6.5), Carroll (5), Masuaku (N/A), Noble (N/A)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Goals: Redmond :: Anderson x2
Yellow Cards: Bednarek, Targett
Red Cards: N/A
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