West Ham sunk at home by Saints

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United 1-3 Southampton

Southampton came from behind at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday to consign West Ham United to a second home Barclays Premier League defeat in as many outings.

It had all started so well for Sam Allardyce's men, with Mark Noble finding the bottom corner from distance after 27 minutes. But Morgan Schneiderlin curled home on the stroke of half-time and then converted a well-worked short corner to complete the turnaround midway through the second period.    

Ronald Koeman's side were rewarded for a fluent second-half display with a late third courtesy of Graziano Pelle, a goal that leaves the Hammers still searching for a first home point of the new campaign.  

The afternoon had earlier begun with the unveiling of former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, who has signed on a season-long loan from FC Barcelona. As for more matters on the pitch, Allardyce reverted to the XI that did the business with such style at Crystal Palace last weekend.

The Hammers then had an early sniff of goal, as Carlton Cole's header dropped towards Ricardo Vaz Te, but skipped off the turf and through to Fraser Forster. A succession of Saints corners followed, with the second resulting in a Hammers breakaway. Cheikhou Kouyate released Stewart Downing down the right, whose cross-field ball was aimed at Mauro Zarate, but cut out en route.

Following a sedate opening, West Ham were within inches of opening the scoring midway through the half. Downing's free-kick ricocheted off several a leg and fell invitingly to Vaz Te, whose side-footer hit the inside of Forster's left leg and somehow squeezed past his right-hand upright. 

But Big Sam's men would not have to wait much longer for the opener, as Noble made amends for his penalty mishap against Tottenham Hotspur with a 27th-minute strike here. Zarate stole possession in the Saints' half, fed Noble and his 25-yard strike flicked off Maya Yoshida and past the left hand of Forster.  

In response, Aaron Cresswell was perfectly placed to block Pelle's header on the line, before Dusan Tadic's centre fell to Steven Davis on the edge of the box, but he blasted way over the top.     

The Saints, however, drew level on the stroke of half-time, as a left-wing free-kick came all the way through to France midfielder Schneiderlin at the far post. Though Joey O'Brien did superbly well to block the midfielder's first effort, Schneiderlin steadied himself and bent the rebound left-footed into the far corner.  

Buoyed by their leveller, the Saints raced out of the traps after the interval and Adrian had to fling himself to his left to divert Shane Long's low drive around the post. At the other end, a typically energetic Kouyate went haring down the right and his low ball across the face of goal fizzed just beyond Cole.     

But back came the visitors, with Adrian unable to hold Tadic's left-foot volley from the left-edge of the box. The resulting corner flicked off the head of Noble and through to Schneiderlin who, from no more than eight yards, side-footed over the bar.

Moments later and Koeman's men did indeed have the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman came to the Hammers' rescue, chalking off Pelle's close-range effort from a James Ward-Prowse dead ball.    

A second scare in a matter of minutes prompted Big Sam to shuffle his pack, with Mohamed Diame and Ravel Morrison introduced for Vaz Te and Zarate. 

But the double switch would not stem the tide, as Southampton completed the turnaround on 68 minutes. A short corner caught the Hammers unaware and Ward-Prowse's near-post delivery enabled Schneiderlin to tuck home.   

West Ham were soon undone by another smart set-piece, when Pelle was set free on the right edge of the box, only for Adrian to deny the No19 on this occasion.   

But the Hammers' reprieve was short-lived. Nathaniel Clyne burst beyond Diame on the right and once Adrian had merely parried his centre, Pelle was on hand to fire high into an ungaurded net and settle the contest.   

West Ham United: Adrian, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Downing, Zarate (Morrison 57), Vaz Te (Diame 58), Cole (Valencia 79) 
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Sakho, Demel, Poyet

Goal: Noble 27

Booked: Cresswell, O'Brien

Southampton: Forster, Clyne, Yoshida, Schneiderlin, Fonte, Long (Ramirez 66), Davis, Tadic, Ward-Prowse (Cork 71), Pelle, Bertrand
Subs: Davis, Gardos, Wanyama, Cork, Mayuka, Hooiveld    

Goals: Schneiderlin 45, 68, Pelle 83    

Booked: Pelle

Referee: Mike Dean