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Barclays Premier League

Upton Park (ATT 34,925) 20th October 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: N Swarbrick

West Ham West Ham United vs Southampton Southampton

West Ham 4

M Noble (46, pen 72)
K Nolan (48)
M Maiga (87)

ft

Southampton 1

A Lallana (63)

West Ham score four second half goals to win 4-1 against struggling Southampton

Last Updated: 20/10/12 8:10pm

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Matt Jarvis and Nathaniel Clyne challenge for the ball

Matt Jarvis and Nathaniel Clyne challenge for the ball

Southampton's fragile defence was exposed again as Mark Noble scored two second-half goals in a comfortable 4-1 victory for West Ham.

Saints remain out of the drop zone but pointless on their travels and after conceding their 24th goal of the season at Upton Park - the worst defensive record in the Premier League - these are worrying times for the South Coast club.

Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce's men from east London continue to impress in the top-flight as their fourth win in the current campaign hoisted them up to seventh.

The opening period was a turgid affair, lit up only occasionally by the lively Matt Jarvis and Andy Carroll for the hosts, but two goals in as many minutes immediately after the break changed everything.

It all started with a slice of luck for the Hammers when Noble's free-kick deceived Southampton's static defence with the ball bouncing straight in for the opener.

Best of the match

  • Man of the Match: Mark Noble. At the heart of everything good about West Ham's play and punished Southampton's frailties with two set-piece goals.
  • Moment of the match: Fonte's clumsy handball gave West Ham a penalty chance that relaxed all the pressure that Southampton had built up after Lallana's goal.
  • Goal of the match: Maiga's first league goal was one to remember, showing a touch of artistry after muscling his way through three yellow shirted defenders.
  • Talking point: Nigel Adkins' side continue to ship goals despite changing the back four and the goalkeeper. They looked comfortable before the break, but all the hard work was undone in a flash after the break when the defence went to sleep on two occasions.

Within 93 seconds the lead was doubled and it was thanks to the influential Yossi Benayoun, whose shot was parried by keeper Artur Boruc, leaving Kevin Nolan to tap in.

Adam Lallana's sizzling half-volley lifted the hopes for the visitors, but an act of madness by Jose Fonte handed West Ham a reprieve to restore their two-goal advantage.

The defender tugged at Carroll's pony tail when the ball was floated into the box and Noble stepped up to slam in the penalty and settle any West Ham nerves.

There was still time for Southampton's beleaguered defenders to fold again as they allowed Modiba Maiga to stroll through and curl in a fabulous fourth.

West Ham looked the brighter side early on but Southampton earned the game's first corner with Jay Rodriguez inches away from directing home Jason Puncheon's loss cross.

It was one of several threatening moments by the visitors for whom goalkeeper Boruc was looking shaky.

The former Celtic man became the third different goalkeeper to start for Saints this season and had Carroll to thank for not making the most of an awful clearance early on.

The home side were struggling to create any clear-cut chances, though, as Southampton went into half-time without conceding for the first time since their return to the Premier League.

However, the Saints defence was breached less than a minute into the second half.

Collins could not quite get a toe on Noble's floated 40-yard free-kick, but it bounced in the six-yard box and flew past Boruc.

The opener was followed moments later by West Ham's second after a poor Do Prado pass was not dealt with by Yoshida.

Benayoun won the ball from the Japan international and his low cross was met at the back post by Nolan, who tapped home from close range.

Only the fine reactions of Boruc prevented the Hammers captain making it three in the 61st minute as he ghosted in and directed a quickly-taken free-kick goalwards.

The save proved invaluable as Saints reduced the deficit two minutes later when Lallana turned beautifully to strike past Jaaskelainen from close range.

The goal came thanks to the hard work - and wayward shot - of Rodriguez, who was replaced by Rickie Lambert immediately afterwards.

Saints' top scorer was surprisingly left out of the starting line-up and came on at the same time as Emmanuel Mayuka, although it was the former that made an immediate impact.

First the 30-year-old saw a 20-yard free-kick just go over, before heading a Nathaniel Clyne cross wide.

Southampton were threatening to quieten the home support but undid all their good work when Fonte handled as he challenged Carroll.

Noble fired home the resulting spot-kick, allowing the Hammers to coast from the 72nd minute onwards.

West Bromwich AlbionTeam StatisticsManchester City
1Goals2
01st Half Goals0
4Shots on Target8
8Shots off Target9
5Blocked Shots7
6Corners9
13Fouls16
0Offsides1
4Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards1
79.2Passing Success89.1
17Tackles10
88.2Tackles Success80
43.8Possession56.2
56.4Territorial Advantage43.6
351Total Passes450
15Total Crosses23
120Lost Balls118
34Recoveries47
43.41st Half Poss.56.6
44.22nd Half Poss.55.8

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