Securing their fourth win in their last five matches, Southampton eased past West Ham despite midfielder Victor Wanyama receiving his third red card of the season.
Maya Yoshida helped the Saints take the lead when he smashed a goal into the centre of the net before Wanyama received a straight red for this tackle on Dimitri Payet.
West Ham did come close when Southampton’s defender Cedric cleared a ball that narrowly missed the post. On loan from Fenerbahce, Emmanuel Emenike also nearly clinched a point for the Hammers but sent a header wide from Enner Valencia’s cross.
This latest victory takes Southampton up to seventh, just one place and two points behind West Ham in the Premier League table.
Wanyama’s Red Card
Playing with an extra man in the last 37 minutes, West Ham will no doubt be kicking themselves that they didn’t take advantage of this.
As one of Southampton’s most established players, Wanyama is in his third season for the club and has established a bit of a reputation for being too careless when it comes to tackling. Already having received red cards against Norwich and Bournemouth this season, he’s the first to receive three red cards since Wes Brown did in the 2013-14 season.
It was perhaps this reputation that went against him, as the challenge itself didn’t look to have made a considerable contact with Payet, but Mark Clattenburg obviously felt it worthy of a straight red. And with five red cards already dished out this season, Clattenburg is the second-highest issuer amongst the referees.
Strength at the Back
The soccer drills continue to pay off for Southampton, as it was their strength in defence that helped them to seal the victory with a great performance from their goalkeeper Fraser Foster and back four. This now takes them to five clean sheets in a row since Foster returned following his tendon surgery in January.
Wasted Opportunities from the Hammers
With 18 shots and only two on target, Slaven Bilic’s side will no doubt be improving their coaching as a victory over Southampton would have seen them overtake Man United into fifth place.
Despite his recent form, with four goals in four games, Enner Valencia also missed opportunities and was uncharacteristically wayward in one of his efforts.