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Southampton Wallop West Ham United

Charlie Austin scored his fifth goal in four appearances as Southampton condemned West Ham to a fourth successive Premier League defeat.

Austin broke the deadlock in a cagey encounter with a side-foot finish following Ryan Bertrand’s pull-back.

Dusan Tadic made it 2-0, collecting a pass from Austin and rounding Adrian before finding the empty net.

James Ward-Prowse’s low finish ensured a dire West Ham remain without a league win at their new London Stadium home.

The Hammers had only one shot on target and did not force Saints keeper Fraser Forster into a proper save throughout the game, which drew to a close in a near deserted ground.

In their four successive defeats in the league, West Ham have conceded 14 goals and have fallen to 18th.

Southampton, meanwhile, have won four matches in a row in all competitions and are up to eighth.

Having selected a midfield comprising Oriol Romeu, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Steven Davis, Southampton’s primary aim was to contain while looking to utilise the pace and skill of Nathan Redmond and Tadic on the counter-attack.

Such a tactic is dependent on the presence of an efficient striker capable of capitalising on relatively few chances, and in Austin the Saints have just that.

The 27-year-old’s strike – a well-taken first-time shot from inside the box that found the bottom corner – was the first shot on goal by either team and continued his superb recent form in front of goal.

Since making his Premier League debut in August 2014, Austin has scored 21 goals – the same number as Wayne Rooney, despite playing 20 games fewer than the Manchester United and England forward.

Austin turned provider for the second goal, flicking the ball into the path of Tadic, who made up for wasting two earlier chances by skipping past the onrushing Adrian to wrap up the points.

Substitute Ward-Prowse added gloss to the display with a neat finish following Davis’ driving run and cutback.

At the other end, Southampton had an equally effective protagonist in Virgil van Dijk, who made 15 clearances, including one on the line to prevent Simone Zaza giving the home side hope.

Source: BBC

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