West Ham player ratings vs Southampton: Craig Dawson and Issa Diop all at sea in defeat

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Southampton came out on top in a dizzying Boxing Day clash to further damage West Ham’s top four hopes.

The visitors, without a win in their last eight against West Ham, took an early lead through Mohamed Elouynoussi. West Ham gave the Saints far too much time as Kyle Walker-Peters was allowed to move forward and play in Elyounoussi, who picked his spot from the edge of the box.

After a poor first half David Moyes wasted no time in making a double change at the break sending on Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio and it took just the latter just four minutes to make his mark.

Having not scored since late October and only being named on the bench after returning from contracting Covid, it was quite the return as Antonio nodded in after Craig Dawson had headed down Jarrod Bowen’s corner, turning what had been a drab affair into a Christmas cracker.

Southampton, however, hit back quickly themselves as Armando Broja, who had caused plenty of problems throughout, spun Issa Diop and charged past Dawson, who barged the Algerian before falling into the back of him inside the penalty box. Referee Kevin Friend waved away the protests but, after a review at the monitor, gave the spot kick which James Ward-Prowse converted well.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are famously poor at holding onto leads, however, and showed why here as West Ham were level once more just three minutes later. Bowen was given time down the right to cut in and cross for Said Benrahma, who flashed a first-time volley into the far corner.

This time it was West Ham’s turn to collapse quickly after scoring. Tomas Soucek conceded a free-kick halfway into West Ham territory, allowing Ward-Prowse to show off his set-piece prowess once more. The England international found Jan Bednarek with an outswinging ball and the Pole steered past his compatriot to restore Southampton’s lead.

Here is how Jack Rosser rated the Hammers…

Lukasz Fabianski 5

Couldn’t be faulted for any of the goals, with all three placed in the corner of his goal. Went the right way on the penalty.

Vladimir Coufal 6

Solid enough down the right hand side but didn’t offer enough going forward.

Craig Dawson 5

Set up Antonio’s goal but was dragged all over the show by Broja.

Issa Diop 5

Another victim of Southampton’s Albanian striker, not the finest day for West Ham’s defenders.

Arthur Masuaku 5

Largely a passenger, allowed Nathan Redmond to skip past him too many times.

Declan Rice 6

Not his best performance of the season. Still not poor but couldn’t exert his usual control over midfield. Came to life in the final stages but it was too late.

Tomas Soucek 5

After an uptick in form recently this was a tired showing. Conceded the free-kick for Southampton’s third and was beaten in the air by Bednarek as he headed it in.

Nikola Vlasic 5

Won a couple of free-kicks but was ineffective on the ball and dominated by Mohammed Salisu.

Said Benrahma 5

Scored a fine goal - his first since September - but far too wasteful in possession for the rest of the afternoon.

Pablo Fornals 5

Not his usual energetic self. Couldn’t get anything going on the break against a Southampton side leaving big gaps.

Jarrod Bowen 6

Energetic in leading the line and a good cross for Benrahma’s goal.

Substitutes

Michail Antonio 7

Immediately sparked West Ham into life after the break and a big moment with his first goal since late October.

Manuel Lanzini 6

Tried to make things happen right until the very end, should start at Watford.

Andriy Yarmolenko n/a

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