Sep 15, 2013, 12:54 PM EDT
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′).
Jul 23, 2014, 11:27 PM EDT
Surely one of these clubs enjoyed the sweeter side of this deal and here we set out to see who it was.
Jul 23, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT
Despite starting only 12 Premier League matches last year, James Milner has decided to remain at Manchester City and fight for his place.
Jul 23, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
Catch the San Jose Earthquakes and Chicago Fire live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra tonight at 10:30pm ET.
Jul 23, 2014, 9:43 PM EDT
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Jul 23, 2014, 8:50 PM EDT
Rijeka have come forward to say they “clearly and unequivocally reject” City’s allegation of racism.
Jul 23, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT
Beasley signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Dynamo and becomes the club’s third Designated Player.
Jul 23, 2014, 6:48 PM EDT
Catch Liverpool and AS Roma live on NBCSN and online via Live Extra tonight at 7:00pm ET.
Jul 23, 2014, 5:49 PM EDT
Jurgen Klinsmann has long coveted Zelalem and the 17-year old looks to be next in line to don the Stars & Stripes.
Jul 23, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT
According to Fuchs, Germany and France would be happy to take over if needed.
Jul 23, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT
Sigurdsson, who scored seven goals during a loan spell with Swansea in 2011/12, returns at the Liberty after two seasons at Spurs.
Jul 23, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT
Can the Spanish international be a success at Chelsea? You bet.
Jul 23, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT
Is there anything Balotelli can’t do?
Jul 23, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT
Will Lampard be suiting up at Yankee Stadium for NYC FC next season? We find out Thursday…
Jul 23, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT
What would your school look like as a professional soccer team?
Jul 23, 2014, 11:40 AM EDT
The show will go on, but not in eastern Ukraine as fighting between pro-Russian rebels and the military continues.
Jul 23, 2014, 10:52 AM EDT
German boss reveals he will stay on as manager until at least 2016. Can you smell a dynasty?
Jul 23, 2014, 10:18 AM EDT
Substance over style: Barca sign towering defender from La Liga rivals Valencia.
Jul 23, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT
Will the Mexican international be moving on this summer?
Jul 23, 2014, 8:46 AM EDT
Aspas to Spanish radio: “They are treating Luis like a murderer and not like a footballer.”
Jul 23, 2014, 8:07 AM EDT
Cole: “People were killing me about possibly playing in the USA, saying it’s for the money and easy lifestyle, I choose to play in a more demanding place and team.”
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