English Premiership

Hammers frustrate Saints

2015-02-12 00:34
Sam Allardyce (Gallo Images)

Southampton - West Ham held on for a 0-0 draw at Southampton on Wednesday despite playing the final 29 minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of goalkeeper Adrian.

Sam Allardyce's side looked in trouble when Adrian saw red for handling outside the penalty area, but the east Londoners battled gamely for a point that keeps them in contention for a place in Europe.

It was a frustrating night for Southampton, who dominated possession at St Mary's but couldn't break down the visitors' stubborn rearguard.

Ronald Koeman's team dropped to fourth place as a result and are only one point ahead of Arsenal in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

A lengthy list of absentees meant Southampton could only name six substitutes, with Florin Gardos and Harrison Reed the only changes to Saturday's win at QPR.

After a scrappy start, it was Southampton who had the first chance when Sadio Mane burst through on goal, but the Senegal winger's effort was cleared off the line by Hammers defender Carl Jenkinson.

Southampton winger Eljero Elia ran at the West Ham defence before cutting in on his right foot, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post.

Allardyce responded to his side's lethargic effort by sending on Matt Jarvis for Enner Valencia at half-time.

But there was no immediate improvement from the visitors and Southampton striker Graziano Pelle should have opened the scoring, only to completely miscue his close-range effort.

Stewart Downing's shot was deflected wide in a rare West Ham attack, but Allardyce still wasn't satisfied and summoned Andy Carroll from the bench to replace Diafra Sakho.

West Ham's fortunes took a turn for the worse when Adrian was sent off in the 61st minute.

The Spanish goalkeeper tried to beat Mane rather than clear and instead stumbled before making a panicked dive on the ball outside the penalty area that brought a red card.

Jussi Jaaskelainen came on to take over in goal for the visitors and wasn't overly worked despite Southampton's numerical superiority.

Pelle smashed over from the edge of the penalty area and Koeman soon sent on new signing Filip Duricic for his debut in place of Mane.

Jaaskelainen was finally called into action in the closing moments when he kept out Jose Fonte's drive with a fine stop and that was enough to preserve a point.

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