Two goals from summer signing Chicharito was not enough for West Ham United to claim their first points of their season as the Irons fell to a 3-2 defeat at Southampton.
The Hammers appeared set for another tough afternoon on the road as goals from Marco Gabbiadini and Dusan Tadic put the Saints 2-0 up either side of a Marko Arnautovic red card.
Javier Hernandez was on hand to tuck in Michail Antonio’s saved effort on the stroke of half-time before the No17 again proved his goalscoring prowess in the second period, knocking home after Fraser Forster saved a Diafra Sakho header.
However Southampton were awarded another penalty in the last minute of the match, from which Charlie Austin scored to give the hosts the win.
The Irons started the afternoon with difficulty before the contest even began as Winston Reid – who signed a new deal at the London Stadium on Friday– was ruled out in the warm-up due to a calf injury. Angelo Ogbonna came into the side in his place.
Despite West Ham United having the best early chances at St Mary’s through Arnautovic and Michail Antonio, it was the Saints that took the lead on Eleven minutes as Gabbiadini slotted home after an exchange with Nathan Redmond.
Antonio looked tricky and moved the Hammers into dangerous territory but West Ham’s afternoon was made much more difficult after a straight red card for Arnautovic.
The Serbian No7 was given his marching orders after a clash with defender Jack Stephens in the 33rd minute and Southampton doubled their lead just four minutes later from the penalty spot.
Ogbonna was adjudged to have brought down Steven Davis in the area and Dusan Tadic saw his spot-kick find the net via Joe Hart’s feet.
Slaven Bilic’s side were however given hope going into the second half after some brilliant work from Antonio saw the No30 get a shot on goal. The effort could only be parried by Fraser Forster, allowing Chicharito to sweep home his first goal for the Hammers.
Forster was again called into action early in the second period as Hernandez’s teasing ball into Antonio could only be palmed out for a corner. Andre Ayew then saw a headed effort blocked by Stephens, although some calls suggested the ball had made contact with his upper arm.
Hernandez continued to prove a thorn in Southampton’s side as the Mexican saw a tantalising effort on the half-volley swerve agonisingly wide of the home team’s goal.
Gabbiadini came close to his second for the hosts after rattling the crossbar from 35 yards while Joe Hart was called into action twice in quick succession, making two difficult saves just after the hour mark.
Bilic made two changes half-way through the second period with Edimilson Fernandes and Diafra Sakho taking to the field in place of Antonio and Ayew, and the latter had a big hand in West Ham’s equaliser.
Aaron Cresswell delivered a delicious ball into the box, from which Sakho saw his header palmed onto the cross-bar, and Chicharito was again on hand to finish the rebound and draw the Hammers level.
However Southampton were awarded another penalty in the closing moments of the game, after Pablo Zabaleta was ruled to have committed a foul, which substitute Charlie Austin tucked away.
Southampton: Forster; Cedric, Yoshida, Stephens, Bertrand; Davis (Long 80’), Romeu, Lemina (Ward-Prowse 64’), Redmond, Tadic; Gabbiadini (Austin 80’)
Subs not used: McCarthy, Bednarek, McQueen, Boufal
Goals: Gabbiadini 11’, Tadic (p) 38’, Austin (p) 90’
West Ham: Hart; Zabaleta, Fonte, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice (Obiang 76’), Noble, Antonio (Sakho 67’), Ayew (Fernandes 67’), Arnautovic (s/o 33’), Hernandez
Subs not used: Adrian, Byram, Masuaku
Goals: Hernandez 45’, 73’