Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Overtime Online’s live coverage of West Ham United vs Southampton as the bottom two sides in the Premier League meet here at the London Stadium.
I’m Freddie Humphry-Wakefield and I’ll be taking you through this huuuuuge six-pointer in the relegation scrap. And we have some team news for you…
Just one change for West Ham from last time out in the Premier League, with Lukasz Fabianski back in goal following his facial injury in place of Alphonse Areola.
Otherwise, it’s as you were. Massive game.
Two changes for Southampton from their 3-3 draw with Tottenham, with Duje Caleta-Car and Sekou Mara coming in for Armel Bella-Kotchap – who misses out after dislocating his shoulder – and Che Adams who’s nursing a calf injury.
James Ward-Prowse also makes his 400th appearance for the Saints. They’ll definitely need another one of his magic moments to secure a vital three points in the capital.
The Premier League relegation battle has never been closer and these two sides are right in the middle of it.
They currently occupy 19th and 20th. The winner could find themselves out of the bottom three today. The loser? Well, you know how that story goes.
It could well be a case that we witness a draw today. Time will tell.
Several sides down the bottom, including Southampton, have changed managers this season. But not West Ham.
A lot of fans still can’t believe it. If the Hammers lose today, they might have to pull the trigger on David Moyes.
He’s just said on Sky that this game is just as important as any other. I don’t buy that personally.Embed from Getty Images
On the topic of Moyes, he’s had a bit of a dig at today’s opponents, saying it’s ‘not good’ that they’ve had three managers this season.
He also branded today a ‘must-win’. Quite the contrast to his earlier comment.
The time for talking is now over. The warm-ups are done and the teams are out here in east London.
MIN 1 – After a minute’s applause to remember Jacqueline Gold we’re underway for this relegation six-pointer at the London Stadium.
MIN 3 – Definitely a feeling of nervousness here in the London Stadium. All the fans here know how big this game is for the rest of their season. Been a tentative start from both sides, too. Both feeling their ways into the game.
MIN 4 – West Ham fly forward and Ings receives the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the box, but is dispossessed by Lavia as he looks for a pass.
MIN 7 – Nice build-up play on the left but Said Benrahma gets his cross wrong and the ball floats out for a goal kick. The early domination is all with West Ham. As you’d expect for the side playing at home.Embed from Getty Images
MIN 10 – Free-kick to West Ham as Tomas Soucek hits the deck. Emerson then gets in down the left-hand side but his cross is blocked. Definitely, the first sign of life shown from either side.
MIN 14 – Stuart Armstrong feeds Kyle Walker-Peters on the right and the full-back is in on goal. But his touch is heavy and Benrahma gets back well to tackle. Theo Walcott’s resulting cross is into the arms of Fabianski, and the West Ham fans try to spur on their side.
MIN 18 – It’s a very toxic atmosphere inside the ground. Every time the hosts don’t get the ball forward quickly or every time there’s a turnover the sighs of frustration are loud. Walker-Peters finds Walcott in the box and that’s the first shot on goal, as the winger volleys wide.
MIN 20 – Declan Rice isn’t happy with his defenders here as he shakes his head as they’re slow getting out to their man. I can definitely lipread what he said, but I’ll get in big trouble if I transcribe it. Elsewhere in the relegation scrap, Brendan Rodgers has just left Leicester.
GOALLLLLLLL! WEST HAM TAKE THE LEAD THROUGH NAYEF AGUERD! It’s a simple ball from the right from Thilo Kehrer’s free-kick and Aguerd gets there first, heading past Gavin Bazunu.
VAR has been taking a look at this for ages though, so it may well be disallowed. It was actually chalked off on the field.
MIN 29 – THE GOAL STANDS, but it’s a joke how long that took to check. Cheers, Stockley Park. 1-0 Hammers.
MIN 32 – Big save from Fabianski. The ball goes through about 73 bodies and Romaine Perraud shoots, with Fabianski getting down well to his left to save.
MIN 35 – West Ham come forward again and Emerson’s cross is gathered by Bazunu. He should’ve played it earlier. He gets another cross in shortly after and Mohamed Elyounoussi has to deflect it out for a corner. Jarrod Bowen’s cross fails to beat the first man.
MIN 39 – Benrahma plays a ball over the top and Kehrer is sprinting forward from right-back. He finds himself one-on-one with Bazunu but his touch is tragic and the Saints sort themselves out. Kehrer then finds himself with the ball in the area again and tees Benrahma, but the effort is over. West Ham are really ticking now.
MIN 44 – Pressure from the Saints late in the half as Elyounoussi gets the cross in and Fabianski parries. Caleta-Car then trips Bowen and is the first player in the book.Embed from Getty Images
MIN 45 +1 – Three minutes of stoppage time added on.
MIN 45 +3 – Danny Ings is flagged offside and leaves a ball that Caleta-Car almost puts into his own net. Oh so close from Bowen as he hits the post!
MIN 45 +5 – Walker-Peters is down for some treatment just before the break. He’s probably been Southampton’s most important player. He’s fine, but the whistle goes for half-time.
So a quiet half, and definitely a nervy one as well. But West Ham go in ahead thanks to Aguerd’s header.
Still all to play for. And it’ll get nervy in that ground if West Ham don’t find a second.
A big 45 awaits.
MIN 46 – We’re back underway.
MIN 50 – Another quiet start to this half, both on the stands and the pitch. No chances so far.
MIN 54 – Perraud’s cross is flicked on to Armstrong but the Scot makes a bizarre decision and tries to loop the ball back across, and West Ham clear. Benrahma puts a couple of crosses in at the other end, but Saints clear this time as they ready a double change.
MIN 55 – Double change for Southampton as Carlos Alcaraz and Kamaldeen Sulemana come on for Elyounoussi and Mara.
MIN 57 – Southampton struggle to break West Ham down and Ings breaks on his own. He waits for support to arrive, and the attack ends with Bowen slicing wide.
MIN 61 – Lucas Paqueta loses out in midfield and Sulemana gets a shot away but it’s wide. Michail Antonio is getting ready to come on.
MIN 63 – Armstrong’s cross is blocked by Emerson and Southampton win a corner. Romeo Lavia eventually shoots but Fabianski gathers.
MIN 66 – Here’s the West Ham change and Antonio replaces Ings. A few boos as he walks off. Bowen has a great chance to shoot on the edge of the box but his effort is blocked. His cross is then cleared. West Ham are pushing for a second here.
MIN 72 – Another change for West Ham as Flynn Downes comes on for Soucek. Benrahma wins a West Ham a corner. Emerson’s cross is dangerous, but eventually cleared. A double change for Southampton now, with Armstrong replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Walcott off for Paul Onuachu.
MIN 76 – West Ham are still looking more likely to find the next goal than Southampton. Jan Bednarek chops down Emerson and is booked. A good chance for a cross. Benrahma shoots, actually, and Bazunu saves. Then a cross is headed over by Kurt Zouma.
MIN 80 – Perraud dances into the box but West Ham clear again. The visitors aren’t looking threatening, but it only takes one chance. Ward-Prowse’s cross is dealt with. The home fans urge their team to get out.
MIN 82 – A bit of pinball in the box before Bazunu gathers ahead of Bowen. Bowen does well on the right and Bazunu has to tip Caleta-Car’s deflection over his own crossbar.
MIN 84 – My word, West Ham just can’t find the second. Aguerd flicks on the corner and Paqueta is free at the back post. He can even bring the ball down, but he skies his effort.Embed from Getty Images
MIN 87 – There was the chance for Southampton. The cross comes in and the six-foot-seven forward Onuachu can attack it but he heads against the bar. Agonisingly close.
MIN 88 – Double change for West Ham, with Paqueta replaced by Pablo Fornals and Emerson by Aaron Cresswell. Two minutes to go.
MIN 90 +1 – West Ham call for handball as Antonio tries to bring a ball down in the Saints area but they win only a corner. Bowen’s cross goes all the way through. Three minutes added on.
MIN 90 +3 – Southampton are trying for territory, trying for the ball, but it’s going to be West Ham’s day. 60 seconds remain.
There it is! West Ham have a massive and much-needed victory here at the London Stadium.
The Hammers now go up from 19th to 14th. That’s just how close it is at the bottom of the table. Southampton remain bottom.
I’ve been Freddie Humphry-Wakefield, and I’ll see you next time!