Aguerd Header Secures Huge Victory For West Ham United Against Southampton

West Ham defeated Southampton 1-0 on Sunday
15:58, 02 Apr 2023

West Ham United secured a huge three points in their quest for Premier League safety as they defeated fellow strugglers Southampton 1-0 at the London Stadium on Sunday. Nayef Aguerd’s first-half header was the difference between the two sides and saw the Hammers climb out of the relegation zone and move up into 14th.

Given the league position of both teams heading into this fixture, the quality of football was exactly what you would expect. It wasn’t the most memorable games of football but in terms of the relegation battle, West Ham did what was needed to pick up a crucial three points at home to lift them out of the relegation zone and into 14th - albeit just one point above the bottom three.

There is no denying that this is the widest and tightest relegation battle we’ve seen in the top flight for a long time and there are essentially nine teams at risk of going down with around nine or 10 matches to go.

They may have been the home side but West Ham started the game with a lack of urgency and you got the sense that they were the visiting side. All you could hear through the Sky Sports cameras were the constant groans from the home crowd to try and inject some fire into their players.


The first half had few chances and it took a set piece for the deadlock to be broken. West Ham were awarded a free-kick just inside Southampton’s half and Thilo Kehrer’s ball was met by Aguerd whose header was guided past Gavin Bazunu. Then we had to wait three minutes for VAR to confirm the goal was onside - why it took so long is anyone’s guess.

Granted the line of players made it difficult for those ill-favoured lines to be drawn but it shouldn’t have taken that long for the decision to be made. This was yet another reason against the use of VAR in football as it slowed the game down. Not only did it rob West Ham of their original celebrations, they then had to sit there and wait unnecessarily for the goal to be given.

Despite VAR’s time wasting, West Ham’s heads were lifted following the goal and they started to look a lot more promising going forward and started to ask more questions of the Saints’ defence. But the visitors didn’t look beaten either, Romain Perraud forced Lukasz Fabianski into a fine stop just minutes after the goal. 

However, West Ham were on the ascendency towards the end of the first half  and they almost doubled their lead through Jarrod Bowen. The attacker danced his way into the box and his effort cannoned off the crossbar as Bazunu was left scrambling.

Moyes’ men had to endure a lot of pressure from Southampton in the second half. The Saints were able to create a lot more chances than they did in the opening 45 and West Ham had to be thankful for Fabianski on a few occasions to keep them in the lead. The additions of Kamaldeen Sulemana and Carlos Alcaraz added some much needed quality into the Saints’ attack and certainly gave the Hammers a lot more to think about. But the hosts were still able to conjure up some chances of their own as Said Benrahma saw a free-kick denied before Lucas Paqueta blazed over following a corner routine. 

Ruben Selles’ players continued to push for an equaliser in the final stages and they came inches to a leveller as Paul Onuachu rattled the crossbar with a header as you could feel the nerves around the London Stadium. West Ham were able to get themselves over the line for a vital three points that will likely have a huge say in the relegation battle come the end of term.

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