Sep 15, 2013, 12:54 PM EST
Southampton battered and bruised the visiting back line all afternoon in the rain and wet, but could not find a way through as the two sides played to a 0-0 draw at St. Mary’s on Sunday.
The Saints came oh-so-close on numerous occasions, but the experienced Jussi Jaaskelainen denied them time and time again to earn a point for West Ham. Adam Lallana, Pablo Osvaldo, and Morgan Schneiderlin all impressed in front of their home fans but it was the 39-year-old keeper’s day.
West Ham begun by pressing the midfield and it worked for the first 10 minutes, not allowing Southampton to build a single play into the attacking third. It only took the Saints until after those first 10 minutes, however, to settle in and begin to piece together attacks.
New striker Osvaldo had the first real chance of the game, and most certainly should have scored. Jay Rodriguez worked the ball down the left edge of the box before cutting it back into the middle of the penalty area, where Osvaldo was waiting. The Italian pounced with tons of space, but he struck his shot into the dead center of the net, and Jaaskelainen stood strong to save.
The wet pitch played a part as well in the 23rd minute as two West Ham defenders slipped and gave Rickie Lambert a chance. The English international touched to Osvaldo and then found space, and when Osvaldo passed it back he had an opening, but his shot towards the bottom left corner was weak and Jaaskelainen saved well again.
Southampton’s passing became more and more precise as the game built on, and it began to dishearten the West Ham midfield. A silly foul out of clear frustration brought out the game’s first yellow card to Mohamed Diame in the 29th minute.
Things got a bit chippy before halftime, with Schneiderlin making a very hard, possibly studs-up challenge on Diame that angered West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, but referee Andre Marriner refused to show him any discipline. A dangerous free kick for the Saints a few minutes later resulted in obvious offsides but the linesman failed to call it as Rodriguez’s header flashed over.
The second half proved just as physical as the first. Victor Wanyama fired a venomous shot from long range in the first five minutes of the period, but Jaaskelanian parried it over.
Southampton again had a glorious chance go awry when Osvaldo threaded through Lallana all on his own, but the midfielder’s first touch was too heavy and Jaaskelanian collected. Minutes later Rickie Lambert rattled the post with a header off a corner.
Southampton got acrobatic in the 61st minute as they searched for the opener. Rickie Lambert fired a long ball forward for Jay Rodriguez on the right edge. The 24-year-old Englishman then cut it back for Osvaldo whose original shot was blocked. The ball popped up in the air, and Schneiderlin attempted a bicycle kick which was on target but only found Winston Reid‘s head as he nudged it over the bar.
A yellow for Joey O’Brien in the 70th minute for a tackle from behind brought the teams towards their boiling points, but again referee Marriner let the offender off relatively easy.
James Collins nearly grabbed three sneaky points for the visitors in a moment of chaos in the Southampton box on the 84th minute. The only bit of real West Ham pressure in the entire match saw the ball fall to Collins with acres of space but he blasted it well over.
The draw means Southampton’s impressive yet frustrating start to the campaign continues. They have looked a quality team in all three of their previous matches, one each of a win draw and loss, but the results are clearly varied. For West Ham, it’s a key point but they looked to lack any kind of stake in the game and going forward that may not fly against more consistent sides.
Southampton: Boruc; Clyne, Fonte, Lovern, Shaw (Chambers, 77′); Wanyama, Schneiderlin, Lallana (Ward-Prowse, 72′); Rodriguez, Osvaldo, Lambert.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen; Demel (Rat, 62′), Collins, Reid, O’Brien; Diame, Noble, Nolan, Jarvis, Morrison (Taylor, 77′); Maiga (Vaz Te, 68′).
Dec 10, 2013, 12:57 PM EST
The 37-year-old leaves a legacy that includes a MLS Cup championship in 2010, nine MLS All-Star appearances and two World Cups.
Dec 10, 2013, 11:47 AM EST
If they decide to build a new home for the Blaugrana it’s expected to cost in the region of $412 million.
Dec 10, 2013, 10:11 AM EST
“We have an agreement to extend the loan for an extra year if Barcelona don’t need Deulofeu,” Martinez admitted following the draw at the Emirates.
Dec 10, 2013, 8:32 AM EST
The Anderlecht man attributed the diagnosis to growing up in California where the sun shines strong throughout the year.
Dec 10, 2013, 7:40 AM EST
It’s believed Eto’o will move to Los Angeles Galaxy, DC United and Club Deportivo Chivas USA, Seattle Sounders or Chicago Fire.
Dec 10, 2013, 4:53 AM EST
Groups A through D finish on Tuesday, with the tournament’s holders and England’s champions hoping to clinch top spots.
Dec 9, 2013, 11:34 PM EST
Whoever is next up in the Whitecaps’ managerial seat would surely love to have a 22-goal scorer to build around:
Dec 9, 2013, 10:50 PM EST
Still a highly regarded goalkeeper, Nielsen calls it quits just 48 hours after winning MLS Cup 2013:
Dec 9, 2013, 10:10 PM EST
Might the wandering Goats actually do something right?
Dec 9, 2013, 9:22 PM EST
Once again, Major League Soccer will become the globe’s first league to employ the new World Cup match ball:
Dec 9, 2013, 8:55 PM EST
Chicago’s Chris Rolfe, Houston’s Bobby Boswell, Seattle’s Steve Zakuani among the intriguing options:
Dec 9, 2013, 8:18 PM EST
Don’t miss the last save from the package, an absolute show-stopper from Aston Villa’s U.S. international Brad Guzan:
Dec 9, 2013, 8:01 PM EST
An alternative look at all the action from Week 15 of the PL:
Dec 9, 2013, 7:53 PM EST
Who says the MLS off-season is too short?
Dec 9, 2013, 7:30 PM EST
Round 15’s Team of the Week includes a throwback man in John Arne Riise:
Dec 9, 2013, 6:52 PM EST
FC Dallas had a busy day … but, uh, who is going to coach the team?
Dec 9, 2013, 6:32 PM EST
Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports talks about Arsenal, Manchester United and more:
Dec 9, 2013, 5:48 PM EST
One versus England potentially being arranged in Miami? And another against Canada ahead of next year’s World Cup?
Dec 9, 2013, 4:59 PM EST
Hull pick up a valuable road point as Swansea’s season of missed opportunities at home continues:
Dec 9, 2013, 3:59 PM EST
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