West Ham seal Europa League qualification
West Ham - Southampton was a straightforward home win for the Hammers, as they secured sixth-place in the table and qualification for the Europa League.
What a season for David Moyes and West Ham.
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Despite a good start from Saints, two Pablo Fornals goals in the first half did the damage as David Moyes’ men have 65 points which is their best-ever tally in Premier League history.
This is only the second time in Premier League history that West Ham have finished in the top six, while Southampton finish the season in 15th on 43 points.
Three things we learned
1. Amazing season ends in European adventure: Get your passports out, West Ham fans. This was a truly superb season, as Moyes’ boys finished sixth and comfortably so. With so many attacking players standing tall at different times, this was a total team effort. The Hammers could go far in the Europa League next season.
2. Story of Saints’ season: They huffed and puffed, pressed high and had plenty of chances, but couldn’t take them and then gave away three poor goals. Hasenhuttl looked upset on the sidelines but it was a familiar sight in the second half of the season. Saints are spiralling and will be one of the favorites to go down next season. They are heading in the wrong direction. Fast.
3. What next for Rice, Ings: Two England internationals may have played their last games for these clubs. Rice is wanted by plenty of PL giants, and so too is Ings. Both would be great additions and although Rice would cost a lot, Ings will be a bargain buy for someone as he has one year left on his contract. Both West Ham and Saints will do everything to keep them this summer.
Man of the Match: Pablo Fornals - Two lovely goals in the first half and never stopped working hard.
Southampton started the brighter of the two teams and should have taken the lead.
A rapid Saints counter attack saw Ings set up Minamino and the Japanese international dinked the ball over Fabianski but it squirmed just wide.
After Mohammed Salisu cleared off his own line amid a goalmouth scramble, Saints went up the other end and Minamino, again, was denied, while Kyle Walker-Peters then had a shot saved by Fabianski.
The Hammers took the lead as Bowen’s shot was parried by Alex McCarthy and Spanish playmaker Fornals was on hand to smash home.
It was 2-0 before half time as Coufal crossed for Fornals and doubled the Hammers’ lead.
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Minamino almost snuck a shot home at the near post as Saints played well at the start of the second half.
Jan Bednarek had a header well-saved by Fabianski, Ings flicked one wide and at the other end somehow Soucek didn’t finish.
Nathan Tella and Nathan Redmond both went close for Saints, as Tella had a goal chalked out for being offside.
But West Ham made it three late on as Fornals set up Rice and he scored to cap off a fine season.