Southampton 1-0 West Ham United

Barclays Premier League 
Southampton 1-0 West Ham United 

West Ham United slipped to Barclays Premier League defeat at St Mary's on Saturday evening, as Maya Yoshida's early goal earned ten-man Southampton all three points. 

The Japanese defender nipped in after just nine minutes to convert Victor Wanyama's low centre and notch, as it turned out, the game's only goal.  

For the Hammers, Winston Reid saw a header brilliantly kept out by the in-form Fraser Forster, while Enner Valencia had claims for a spot-kick after a coming-together with Yoshida.        

The visitors' cause was significantly improved after the break by the dismissal of Wanyama, who saw red for a rash lunge on Dimitri Payet, but still there was no way through. 

Substitute and debutant Emmanuel Emenike went closest with a near-post header as Southampton clung on to a fifth successive clean sheet to send the Hammers home empty handed. 

Cheikhou Kouyate missed out paving the way for Victor Moses to return, while Andy Carroll made a welcome return to the matchday squad, joining the fit-again Sam Byram and new boy Emenike on the bench.  

At a sodden St Mary’s the Saints started with the bit between their teeth and Adrian was called into action after eight minutes. The Spaniard stooped to his right to repel Cedric’s header from a deep Shane Long centre. But there was nothing he could do moments later to prevent Yoshida firing the Saints in front. 

It was a messy affair. Victor Wanyama prodded a low cross into the box and there was Yoshida to gleefully blast home from point-blank range. Then Graziano Pelle leapt to meet Cedric’s ball in but this time, thankfully, nodded over the top.    

In response, Victor Moses was allowed to run, and run, but his 20-yard drive was blocked and looped harmlessly into the arms of Fraser Forster.

Forster had no such luxury after 28 minutes. Dimitri Payet’s free-kick was met by a glancing Winston Reid header and Forster reacted smartly to foil the New Zealander. Alex Song tried to send the rebound goalward but there were too many bodies between him and goal. Reid had another go from a Payet corner but his header, from a tight angle, cleared the crossbar. 

Into the second half and the Mark Noble's early ball set Enner Valencia in the clear down the right. The angle was a tight one and the Ecuadorean's near-post drive was comfortably gathered.   

And as West Ham began to turn the screw, Wanyama gave the visitors a considerable helping hand. The midfielder's lunge on Payet was wild and unnecessary, and earned a straight red from referee Mark Clattenburg.    

The Hammers made a double switch on the hour, the first tactical, the second enforced. Moses made way for Carroll, while an injured James Tomkins limped from the field, replaced by January recruit Byram. 

But despite their numerical advantage, West Ham very nearly conceded a second. Shane Long nipped in at the expense of James Collins and missed by a whisker at the near post. Adrian wasn't getting there. 

Slaven Bilic rolled the dice for a third and final time with the introduction of debutant Emenike and his impact might have been instant. The Nigerian latched onto Valencia's fine right-wing cross, only to head wide of the near post.

Then, Valencia sought to take matters into his own hands. His fierce strike from the edge of the box cannoned into the body of Carroll and into the arms of the grateful Forster.  

Still West Ham pressed, now with three up top, but the ball just would not fall for the visitors in the box as five minutes of additional time came and went.   

Southampton: Forster, Cedric, Yoshida, Clasie, Fonte, Long, Mane (Romeu 56), Wanyama, van Dijk, Pelle (Austin 72), Bertrand
Subs: Stekelenburg, Tadic, Martina, Ward-Prowse, Juanmi  

Goal: Yoshida 9 

Booked: Clasie

Sent off: Wanyama 

West Ham United: Adrian, Tomkins (Byram 61), Reid, Collins, Cresswell, Song, Moses (Carroll 61), Noble (c), Payet, Antonio (Emenike 73), Valencia 
Subs: Randolph, Obiang, O’Brien, Oxford

Booked: Payet, Valencia 

Referee: Mark Clattenburg