West Ham overcame a sluggish start at the London Stadium to beat Southampton 3-0, securing Europa League football and a sixth place Premier League finish.
The Hammers were playing in front supporters for the first time this season, and 10,000 fans were in attendance to see if David Moyes could guide his side over the line in what’s been a terrific season for the club.
Southampton hadn’t read the script, though, and arguably should have been two goals to the good after 20 minutes. But after Takumi Minamino and the impressive Kyle Walker-Peters spurned good chances, the game flipped on his head thanks to two goals from Pablo Fornals.
First, the Spaniard was on hand to follow up Jarrod Bowen’s shot that Alex McCarthy had palmed away, before he turned home Vladimir Coufal’s low cross minutes later.
Southampton then faded badly, much like their season, and the cherry was popped on top of West Ham‘s European cake late on by Declan Rice, who broke free to comfortably slot home from Fornals’ pass. Here’s your ratings…
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 7/10 – Made a smart save from Walker-Peters early on and had to be switched on throughout. Impressive from the Pole.
Vladimir Coufal (RB) – 7/10 – Is there ever a game that Coufal doesn’t deliver in? Another great showing from the Czech.
Craig Dawson (CB) – 7/10 – Nothing seems to faze him, although Southampton’s early pressure soon dissipated.
Angelo Ogbonna (CB) – 6/10 – Not required to be at his best, but has been the real leader of West Ham’s defence throughout the season.
Aaron Cresswell (LB) – 7/10 – Had a difficult opening period as Walker-Peters poured forward but soon regained control. Passing was typically crisp and positive.
Declan Rice (CM) – 8/10 – Breaks up play without you noticing, pushing West Ham forward after a tough opening 20 minutes. Captain’s performance that was capped with the third goal.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – 7/10 – Buzzed around midfield nicely, holding court in midfield with relative control. Did miss a sitter of a header, however.
Jesse Lingard (AM) – 6/10 – A relatively quiet afternoon again, but he’s more than played his part in West Ham’s success.
Jarrod Bowen (RW) – 6/10 – Perhaps drafted in to use his pace in behind, and it was actually his scruffy shot that led to the first goal.
Michail Antonio (ST) – 6/10 – A nuisance, as usual, but was rarely able to stretch his legs and get in behind Vestergaard and Stephens. Took a knock and taken off with 20 minutes left.
Pablo Fornals (LW) – 9/10 – Has taken a while for some West Ham supporters to fully embrace his quality, but there’s no disputing that he changed the game here. Two goals and assist, utterly superb.
Said Benrahma – 6/10
Mark Noble – N/A
Issa Diop – N/A
Alex McCarthy (GK) – 6/10 – Didn’t have much to do apart from scooping the ball out of his net three times. May feel he could have done better with Bowen’s shot for the first.
Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) – 7/10 – Started the game in electric fashion, playing far higher up the field than a traditional right-back. Subbed on the hour, can only imagine he took a knock.
Jannik Vestergaard (CB) – 6/10 – Missed a header from Lingard’s cross, which would eventually lead to Fornals’ second.
Jack Stephens (CB) – 5/10 – Kept Antonio quiet for the most part, but wasn’t able to help his side keep thing together.
Mohammed Salisu (LB) – 5/10 – May feel he could have closed down better on the right side for West Ham’s first two goals.
Takumi Minamino (RM) – 5/10 – Made a relatively bright start but, as he’s often done during his loan spell, faded after West Ham went ahead. Subbed.
James Ward-Prowse (CM) – 6/10 – Not his most influential showing in a Southampton shirt, and didn’t have any set piece fun either. Boo.
Ibrahima Diallo (CM) – 5/10 – Started the game well but faded very, very quickly. Booked.
Stuart Armstrong (CM) – 7/10 – Bright and efficient in possession, the Scot was Southampton’s best player in possession. That said, didn’t take a lot for that to be the case.
Nathan Redmond (LM) – 5/10 – End product again not good enough from a player who promises much but rarely delivers.
Danny Ings (ST) – 5/10 – Barely in the game, through no fault of his own. May have made his last appearance for the club.
Oriol Romeu – 5/10 – Good to see Romeu return after a long lay-off, but couldn’t generate any momentum for Southampton.
Nathan Tella – 6/10
Michael Obafemi – N/A