Marko Arnautovic scored his first goals since January as West Ham’s quest for a top 10 finish continued with a comfortable victory over Southampton.
The Austria striker gave the hosts the lead early in the first half but Southampton had keeper Fraser Forster – making his first appearance since December 2017 – to thank as he thwarted several more Hammers chances.
Arnautovic doubled his and his side’s tally after the break with a simple header from close range, before Ryan Fredericks scored his first Premier League goal just three minutes later.
In a game of very different halves, Southampton – quiet in the first period – came out of the break in a higher gear. However, the two quick-fire Hammers goals, which came against the run of play, took the wind out of their sails as West Ham moved to within a point of the top half of the table.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side looked to be cruising to the win in the first half, with Grady Diangana among the West Ham players having early efforts on Forster’s goal.
It was Arnautovic who broke the deadlock in the 16th minute, latching on to a pass from captain Mark Noble and giving his side the advantage with a clinical finish.
Arthur Masuaku caused havoc on the left wing as he, Arnautovic and Michail Antonio tried to double their lead but Forster, no doubt eager to impress his manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, proved strong between the Southampton posts.
Source – BBC Sport