West Ham picked up only their second away win of the season as they consigned Southampton to back-to-back Premier League defeats with a comfortable 3-1 win on the south coast.
A saving grace for the Saints was a goal for their Deadline Day signing, striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who bagged the opener on his debut.
However the joy was short lived as goals from Andy Carroll, Pedro Obiang and a Steven Davis own goal sent the Hammers to ninth in the table.
Whilst the opening stages were mainly dominated by those in the stands jeering each other over the returning Jose Fonte, who joined Slaven Bilic’s side last month having handed in a transfer request at St. Mary’s, it didn’t take long for things to liven up.
There was delight for debutant Gabbiadini as he fired the hosts in front after just 12 minutes with a powerful finish from a tight angle, which rattled the underside of the bar before almost breaking the net.
Just minutes later, however, and Bilic’s side were level when Spaniard Pedro Obiang threaded a ball through to Andy Carroll who easily split Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida before slotting past a helpless Fraser Forster.
After the equaliser the contest calmed again with neither side really taking the ascendancy, however, Puel’s side seemingly rotated through a number of systems which handed the Hammers a fair few openings, none of which were exploited.
With the hosts having grown back into the game a little before the break, the Londoners had the first corner of the day. With the ball cleared safely, those in red and white were too slow moving out and the waiting Obiang was on hand to fire past an un-sighted Forster to give the visitors the lead.
Irish shot-stopper Darren Randolph kept his side’s lead intact in first-half injury time when he got a finger to James Ward-Prowse’s low strike.
With Nathan Redmond having replaced Jay Rodriguez at the interval, the hosts came out looking a completely different side as Ward-Prowse looked to sneak a free-kick in at the near post before as succession of decent chances came the way of Gabbiadini.
With the Italian having been denied once again, after a wonderful move, the visitors broke quickly and won a free kick on the edge of Forster’s box when Oriol Romeu brought down January signing Robert Snodgrass.
Mark Noble whipped an effort into the crowded box and, after the ball caught Steven Davis’ out stretched leg, it nestled into the back of the net, leaving the Saints with a lot to do.
Bilic looked to add insult to injury when he introduced Manuel Lanzini for Andy Carroll, however the Southerners continued to look for a way back in, and came agonisingly close when Gabbiadini fired inches over the bar after Cheikhou Kouyate’s header fell to the former Napoli man.
There were worrying signs for Claude Puel when Boufal was forced off with injury just after the hour mark, with Shane Long coming on as his replacement, speaking afterwards the Frenchman confirmed the winger had an ankle problem but there is no sign as to how bad it is.
Despite being two goals adrift the Saints began to go after the game once more, with Randolph and Anotnio coming to the rescue to deny Ward-Prowse and Gabbiadini respectively.
It’s been nearly seven years since Antonio scored in the Johnstone’s Paint Final for the Saints and he nearly had one against his former side in injury time, however, his effort slide wide of the far post.
With Southampton fans desperate for their Wembley date with Manchester United to arrive the fans from east London headed home having almost forgotten the nightmare against Manchester City in the week.
Here are FIVE things Shoot! learned from West Ham’s win on the south coast…