Southampton 0 - 0 West Ham - Saints see out goalless stalemate with the Hammers
(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Southampton and West Ham saw out a goalless stalemate with neither side able to get into free-flowing fashion to pinch the game with three points there for the taking for either side

A lacklustre first half saw neither side manage to break the deadlock beyond a Danny Ings offside goal early on as Saints dominated possession but failed to create much with it.

The second half went more towards West Ham's way but the same as the first when it came to the offensive third - in what was certainly a quiet affair. Theo Walcott struck from range with his sides best chance of the half and Said Benrahma looked like he could win it from the bench but was denied by Alex McCarthy.

Story of the match

Danny Ings, returning to the side from a hamstring injury, thought he had marked his return with a goal six minutes in only for it to be disallowed due to a clear offside from Che Adams in the build-up.

With their boss, Ralph Hasenhuttl, watching on from home due to self-isolation the quick start which may have impressed him initially quickly died down. That was until 26 minutes in when the Hammers had their first chance as  Aaron Cresswell whisked in a freekick which was just missed by the onrushing Sebastian Haller and Tomas Soucek.

Around ten minutes later saw a smart save from Alex McCarthy before his West Ham counterpart, Lukas Fabianski, did similar following a Saint's counter-attack as Ings tried to flick in Theo Walcott's cross.

In what was becoming a fairly quiet first half Ryan Bertrand became the first player in the book having brought down Andriy Yarmolenko. The resulting free-kick amounted to nothing more than wasted opportunity.

Then it was Southampton's turn with the home side gifted a free-kick in prime territory for James Ward-Prowse just outside the box and where West Ham failed to capitalised so did the Southampton captain as he fired over and into the stand.

With the second half just looking as lively as the first, and the game there for the taking, Southampton made the first change with Shane Long entering the field on the 58th-minute mark in place of Che Adams. David Moyes then followed suit with Said Benrahma for Manuel Lanzini.

Southampton then nearly broke the deadlock just after the hour mark as Theo Walcott shot from range with power and as the shot dipped down so did Fabianksi to match the effort.

With little action to split the sides West Ham's aerial threat, Tomas Soucek found himself with a good chance to head home with twenty minutes to go but failed to trouble McCarthy.

With time running out and five minutes of normal time to play substitute Benrahma had a brilliant chance to score from just outside the six-yard box but could only shoot towards McCarthy in the sticks.

But that was to be the last of the action, a lacklustre affair with the home side perhaps missing their manager on the touchline in which a point was deserved for both sides with little action to split the two.

Takeaways

Missed opportunity 

It was no doubt a missed opportunity for both sides to climb further up the table, but neither side was really able to create enough to deserve the three points.

Southampton dominated possession for the early stages but failed to capitalise with it and West Ham defended valiantly throughout in what will be seen as a better point for the Hammers when compared with the Saints.

Craig Dawson's inclusion paid dividends

The introduction of Craig Dawson in David Moyes' starting eleven raised some eyebrows having only featured in one other game this season. However, it was a change which paid dividends with the defender playing well throughout and even scooped man of the match on Amazon Prime - awarded by Clinton Morrison

Man of the match

Prime gave the award to Craig Dawson and you cannot complain about that as he leads the backline to their first clean sheet in seven. He defended brilliantly at the back to keep the Southampton attack at bay.

 

 

 

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