Marko Arnautovic was in unstoppable form as West Ham gained three valuable points against relegation rivals Southampton, moving five points away from the drop.

Three first-half goals from Joao Mario and Arnautovic (2) gave the Hammers fans plenty to cheer about.

Arthur Masuaku came back into the side for David Moyes, with Mark Hughes opting to go with 4-4-2, Charlie Austin partnering Manolo Gabbiadini up front for the away side.

West Ham suffered a huge blow just six minutes into the game after Michail Antonio appeared to pull his hamstring after a long-range effort. Edmilson Fernandes replaced him and did an excellent job.

The best part of 60,000 West Ham fans were in excellent voice early on, and they were rewarded after 13 minutes when Joao Mario unleashed a rippling shot from the centre of the box into the top right-hand corner, after an excellent breakaway from Cheikhou Kouyate.

The Hammers came ever so close to a second just moments after, Mark Noble with an excellent pass through to Arnautovic, but to everyone’s shock his effort steered wide of the post.

However, the home side doubled their lead with just 17 minutes on the clock after an excellent cross from Mario found the head of Arnautovic, who had his header saved, but was alive to smash home the rebound and fire West Ham into a 2-0 lead.

Southampton imposed no real threat throughout the game whatsoever and Joe Hart had a very comfortable afternoon; West Ham in contrast were fired up, motivated and it paid off.

The game was all but wrapped up by half-time. Arnautovic’s haunting of Hughes continued as he made it 3-0, connecting with a sweet volley from a peach of a cross from Arthur Masuaku, past the helpless Alex McCarthy and into the back of the net on the stroke of half time.

The second half was a professional performance from David Moyes’ side, keeping the Saints at bay, preventing the away side from even having a shot on target all game.

Aaron Cresswell had the best chance of the second half just moments from the final whistle, but his emphatic volley from outside the area struck the top of the crossbar.

An excellent display from West Ham, and a very well deserved 3-0 win which moves them up to 14th in the table, distancing themselves from the relegation zone.

By Frankie Levin – (@FrankWHUFC)




Jon Pope

By Jon Pope

Use to sit in the BML for 10 years, been a West Ham fan all my life, and my great grandfather was a founder member of the TIW. I also help run the Hammer Chat website.

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