SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, Dec 27 – Felipe Anderson scored twice as West Ham came from a goal behind to win 2-1 away to Southampton in the Premier League on Thursday.
After a lacklustre first half at St Mary’s, all three goals came in a nine-minute spell early in the second half, with Nathan Redmond firing the Saints ahead before Brazilian star Anderson’s double put West Ham on top.
Victory saw the Hammers climb into ninth place in the table while Southampton, denied a third straight win under new boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, remained in 16th spot just three points above the relegation zone.
– ‘Fantastic Anderson’ –
West Ham captain Aaron Cresswell, commenting about Anderson, told Sky Sports: “Felipe’s two goals were unbelievable and we got the three points. He has been fantastic. He’s our top goalscorer and he’s our in-form man.”
Meanwhile Redmond suggested a busy run of games could have caught up with Southampton, saying: “We’re not too sure how that game got away from us. Maybe it’s the volume of games at the moment. It’s rest, recover, play, rest, recover.
“Maybe we were a bit leggy in terms of pressing. But managing the game when we’re ahead, we have to look at that.”
West Ham named just six substitutes at St Mary’s, with manager Manuel Pellegrini’s injury-hit side showing five changes from the team that lost 2-0 to Watford on Saturday.
By contrast, Hasenhuttl made only one change from the team that beat Huddersfield 3-1 last weekend, with Mario Lemina replacing the suspended Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Clear chances were few and far between in a mediocre opening 45 minutes.
Southampton’s Danny Ings, on his 200th club appearance, toe-poked the ball narrowly wide of the near post in the third minute.
At the other end, Lucas Perez squandered West Ham’s best chance of the half when he shot wide following good work by Cresswell on the left.
Shortly before half-time, West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass curled a shot from the edge of the box well wide of Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy’s right post.
– Goal spree –
But the Saints finally broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half with a scrappy goal.
West Ham, playing for an offside flag that never came, left Redmond in yards of space inside the box.
The Southampton forward’s shot was blocked by Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski. Oriel Romeu then tried to chip the ball over Fabianski before Redmond, sliding in face first, forced the ball in under pressure from the scrambling Angelo Ogbonna.
But three minutes later, West Ham equalised when Anderson shot through a crowd of players to beat McCarthy with a powerful effort.
And from 1-0 down, West Ham were 2-1 up in the 59th minute when Anderson scored his second of the game and eighth in the league this season.
Stuart Armstrong had a shot blocked on the edge of the Hammers’ area and from there the visitors launched a counter-attack, with Michail Antonio playing an excellent crossfield ball to Anderson whose strong shot across the face of goal had too much on it for McCarthy as the keeper dived to his right.
West Ham appealed for a penalty after Snodgrass went down in the box under challenge from Jannik Vestergaard but referee Craig Pawson was unmoved.
Deep into stoppage time, Anderson had a shot saved on the counter-attack as Saints pressed for an equaliser, but his two goals were enough to give the Hammers a valuable three points.