Two strikers upfront, first start (and goal) for Jarrod Bowen, Haller’s rabona & more- Talking Points from West Ham 3-1 Southampton 2020

West Ham claimed a much needed win as they beat Southampton 3-1 at the London Stadium on Leap Day. Given their tough run of fixtures recently, this was a game that the Hammers would’ve targetted for three points, and they achieved it thanks to goals from Jarrod Bowen, Sebastien Haller and Michail Antonio.

Here are our talking points from West Ham’s game against Saints at the London Stadium.

Two strikers upfront works well: Moyes opted for Antonio to partner Haller upfront, and the two were excellent as a duo. Haller, who has often appeared lethargic and disinterested while playing as a sole striker this season, seemed to pick up his game in the company of the energetic Antonio.

Both of them scored goals and their presence forced Hasenhuttl to switch to a back three strategy in the second half to contain the duo, with Jannik Vestegaard coming in for Michael Obafemi.

The downside of this strategy is that it leaves West Ham a bit thin in midfield, where they can be overrun, as was illustrated in Southampton’s first goal on the counter, but the positives appear to outweigh the negatives currently.

First start and first goal for Jarrod Bowen: Given his first Premier League start, young Jarrod Bowen responded with a well taken goal to open the scoring for the Hammers. He didn’t shy away from his defensive responsibilities either, something that the likes of Anderson and Lanzini have often been criticised for. Perhaps a bit greedy on a couple of other occasions when he could’ve picked a team mate in a better position instead of going for goal himself, but a good performance nevertheless.

Haller’s rabona cross: Sebastien Haller looked like a different player today in the company of Antonio. He forced Saints keeper Alex McCarthy into a mistake and then did well to finish from a tight angle to restore West Ham’s lead at a crucial juncture in the game. Also played a part in Antonio’s goal. Haller even attempted a daring rabona cross that almost resulted in another goal for his partner- an indication of his confidence during the game.

No possession, no problem: Saints had nearly two thirds of the ball of the game (66.3%), but it was West Ham who ended on the right side of the scoreline. The xG score told the story- West Ham had an expected goals score of 2.69, as against 0.85 for the visitors. This was a commanding win for David Moyes’ men.

West Ham starting lineup vs Southampton 2020

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