Nobes enjoys himself, league double over Saints & more- Talking Points from West Ham 3-0 Southampton

West Ham’s final home game of the Premier League season saw them beat Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton 3-0 at the London Stadium. Marko Arnautovic’s brace and Ryan Fredericks’ first ever league goal for the Hammers sealed victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s men on Saturday afternoon in this GW37 clash. Let’s take a look at our talking points from the game.

Mark Noble enjoys himself: The West Ham veteran enjoyed one of his best games in a Hammers jersey against the Saints. He was paired with Pedro Obiang and Manuel Lanzini in the centre of midfield, with Declan Rice, Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson missing from the starting XI.

Afforded too much time and space by Southampton, Noble bossed the midfield. It was he who pounced on Yan Valery’s error and gave a perfect pass to Marko Arnautovic for the opening goal. And it wasn’t just attack- he put in some fine tackles as well, none better than the one on Armstrong to stop a potentially dangerous Saints move just before the hour mark.

A league double over Southampton: With this 3-0 win, West Ham completed a home and away league double in 2018/19 over the Saints. They’ve achieved this against only two other teams this season- Fulham and Newcastle.

Nathan Redmond’s introduction almost swings the game in Saints’ favour: While the Hammers were clearly the dominant side in the first half, those stats changed in Southampton’s favour after the interval as Hasenhuttl sent Nathan Redmond on at half time. The possession stats were 62-38 in favour of the Hammers at HT, but in the ten minutes after the break, it went 78-22 in Southampton’s favour, and Manuel Pellegrini was seen cutting a frustrated figure on the sidelines.

Margins are small in Premier League football: While the final scoreline might reflect a comfortable win for the Hammers, they didn’t have it all their way, especially in the second half. The first two goals came courtesy poor Southampton errors, one from Yan Valery and the other from the returning Fraser Forster- mistakes that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect from a team at this level. Redmond’s introduction at half time brought new life into the Saints, and Shane Long took one touch too many in one glorious opportunity just before Arnautovic grabbed the second at the other. The margins are often small at PL level, and Southampton’s defeat on Saturday was very much a classic example of that.

The return of Carlos Sanchez from injury: The Colombian medio made his return from injury after a long spell out on the sidelines- his first game since the Chelsea one in mid-September. West Ham finished with Sanchez, Wilshere and Obiang in midfield, and the former two would’ve originally been envisaged to play a greater role than they did this in 2018/19. Sanchez, in particular, will be keen to make up for lost time next season.

WHU lineup v Saints 2019

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