Southampton vs. West Ham Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Southampton and West Ham played out a 0-0 stalemate on Sunday afternoon at a drenched St Mary's Stadium.
Rickie Lambert came closest to breaking the deadlock as his header smacked the post in the second half, and James Collins blazed the visitors' best opportunity over from 10 yards.
The Saints edged it in terms of attempts on goal and possession, but West Ham started the better side—clearly enjoying the imperious weather conditions a little more than Southampton—and produced 10 minutes of early pressure.
Matt Jarvis was awarded two clean attempts to swing a dangerous cross-in but failed, and eventually Mauricio Pochettino's side dug themselves out of an uncomfortable hole and began to play.
The familiar dominance on the ball soon followed from the home team, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama seeing a lot of it but not doing a lot with their opportunities.
Part of that was simply down to the Hammers' impressive high-pressing strategy, but the lack of chemistry between Rickie Lambert and Daniel Osvaldo was also apparent.
The best chance of the first half fell to the latter, and he should have scored. Jay Rodriguez rinsed Guy Demel down the flank for pace, found the byline and delivered a low cut-back ball to Osvaldo's feet.
It's the sort of ball Frank Lampard has buried 100 times over, but an astonishing save from Jussi Jaaskelainen kept the Italian international from opening his account.
The Irons' best chance fell to Mohamed Diame who, playing an unorthodox right-wing role, cornered Luke Shaw one vs. one, beat him with ease and saw his near-post shot saved by Artur Boruc.
The first half ended with animosity as a heavy Schneiderlin challenge on Diame could have easily produced a red card, and both managers went back to their respective drawing boards to try to crack the code.
Southampton came flying out of the blocks in the second period, with Lambert smashing a near-post header against the upright from a corner in the first five minutes. The newly crowned England hero then put Schneiderlin through for a strike, but the midfielder tried to pass and wasted a golden chance.
Adam Lallana and Wanyama also squandered chances to take the lead, then Jaaskelainen pulled off another wonderful save to deny a goal-bound volley from Schneiderlin in the box.
Unable to conjure anything offensively, Sam Allardyce swapped the underperforming Modibo Maiga for Ricardo Vaz Te, but the Portuguese offered little else up top on his own.
The away side's best moment came in the final 10 minutes, as after a bombardment of crosses, O'Brien found James Collins unmarked in the area 10 yards out but the centre-back blazed his finish over the bar.
Referee Andre Marriner drew a wet afternoon to a close after 94 minutes, and both sides should be content with their lot.
Key Player Grades
Jussi Jaaskelainen, West Ham: A+
An incredible performance from the Finnish stalwart denied Southampton's forwards time and time again, pulling off several stunning saves to rescue an X for the Hammers.
Daniel Osvaldo, Southampton: B
There were finally signs of Osvaldo settling on the south coast, and alongside Lambert, he showed a lot of nice touches and should have scored.
Full Player Grades
|Ricardo Vaz Te||ST||C|
Southampton travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool next Saturday, while West Ham host Roberto Martinez's Everton.
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