Soccer-Southampton defeats West Ham in Boxing Day thriller

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LONDON (Reuters) -James Ward-Prowse scored one goal and created another as Southampton dug deep to claim a well-deserved 3-2 win over West Ham United in a thrilling Premier League game at London Stadium Sunday.

The win was Southampton’s first in the league since November 5, while West Ham’s defeat continued its patchy form after a strong start to the season, with just one win in their last seven league appearances.

A lethargic opening from the home side saw Southampton take the lead after eight minutes when Mohamed Elyounoussi struck home with his left foot from the edge of the box following a car run from Kyle Walker-Peters.

West Ham created few advances as Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster remained largely calm during the first half.

“It was about time we won. We have been working very hard over the past few weeks. In the second half West Ham got a bit of the upper hand and they were the better team for about 20 minutes. Fraser (Forster) in goal was amazing today so I thank him and everyone, ”said Elyounoussi.

West Ham coach David Moyes turned to his bench after the break and substitute Michail Antonio made an instant impact when he returned home from close range in the 49th minute before Ward-Prowse hit restores the advantage of the opposing team just after the hour mark.

The penalty was awarded following a VAR check after center-back Craig Dawson appeared to cut Armando Broja inside the box, a move that infuriated West Ham players.

A revitalized West Ham retaliated three minutes later by Said Benrahma after being played by Jarrod Bowen, but Jan Bednarek caught the winner in the 70th minute when he deftly shot a curling free kick from Ward-Prowse.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl praised his team’s “courageous” performance and praised the players for their resilience.

“A huge win because our record here over the past five years is that we haven’t taken a point here. We played well today, it was the right thing to do, we never stopped believing in it and scored three fantastic goals, ”he said.

“We had a bit of a backslide but a great 15 minute opening and we can’t play that way for 90 minutes so that’s okay but we played well.”

The victory propelled Southampton to 14th in the table with 20 points in 18 games, eight points behind sixth-place West Ham.

(Report by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru, edited by Ed Osmond)


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