It could have been a difficult away fixture for West Ham, with Southampton coming of two wins on the trot under new Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, notably their 3-2 victory against Arsenal.
Manuel Pellegrini and his men earned a good away win at St Mary’s Stadium, 2-1 it finished, moving the Hammers to ninth on the league table, with astonishing 27 points as the Chilean points out when interviewed after the match, saying:
“I’m happy,” Pellegrini said. “When you start with zero points in 12 then it’s always difficult to recover your position in this way.
“In this moment, we are in the top ten. We will continue fighting and improving and, with 27 points, in the second round, we continue improving with our winning mentality, and we try to finish the season as near the top of the table as we can.”
Hammers winning mentality
Right across the board, the Irons were switched on, with so many chances to the starting XI, the ex-Manchester City boss got the balance right. Equally, Pellegrini praises his side winning mentality stating:
“I thought we played a very good game. From the first minute, we had the intention of winning the game and I thought we were very balanced in the whole game.
Five chances the Chilean made, notably Aaron Cresswell, Pedro Obiang and Angelo Ogbonna who defender as they were regular first-team choice.
“We worked most parts of the game in our opponent’s side and we defended very well. They didn’t have many options.
“The important thing [when Southampton scored] is we continued to play in the same way, draw the game immediately, and then we scored the winning goal.”
Felipe Anderson inspires
Michail Antonio playing right-back, he still displayed is famous driving runs, while Declan Rice was bossing the midfield. The Hammers went behind from a messy Saints goal through Nathan Redmond.
But the Irons response was explosive from Felipe Anderson right foot again. Low and hard, rocketed pass Alex McCarthy desperate attempt scrambling across his goal-line, driving to his right-hand side, Pellegrini acknowledged when asked about the Brazilian star:
“He’s a different player. “He’s a player that makes important things in every game.
The Hammers second goal which secured the win, was from a lightning fast counter-attack, as Antonio driving run through the midfield and into the final third, an inch-perfect pass to Anderson and with two touches powered the ball pass McCarthy again.
With all the hype surrounding the 42 million pound signing from Lazio, Pellegrini still believes he has a lot of work to do to improve, has he concluded his interview by stating,
“I continue to think that he will continue to improve. He’s still losing too many balls; maybe he needs to understand that it’s not easy in the Premier League.
“But in every game, he makes a difference, with important play.”
With Burnley away next Sunday, the Hammers will be looking to add to their impressive away record so-far, three successive away wins and hopefully the trip to Turf Moor will push the East London side further up the table and accumulate a total of 30 points.