LONDON (Reuters) - West Ham United produced an excellent performance to beat Southampton 3-1 on Saturday and climb out of the Premier League relegation zone as they ended an eight-match winless streak in all competitions.
The result lifted the Hammers two places up to 16th on 27 points from 28 games, one more than Bournemouth and Aston Villa, with the latter having a game in hand as they meet Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday.
Southampton, who have been in good form recently as they surged from the bottom three into mid-table, dropped one place down to 13th on 34 points from 28 games.
The outcome delighted West Ham manager David Moyes and it also featured a fine full debut for midfielder Jarrod Bowen, who scored his first goal for the club since his January move from Championship side Hull City.
“I think that’s the way it went in my dreams last night,” the 23-year old forward told the BBC.
“Hard work is a given. I think (in the 3-2 defeat at Liverpool on Monday) we performed well, the work rate was there, but when you’re at home you want to get the three points and build on it.”
Sebastian Haller and Michail Antonio were also on target for West Ham after Michael Obafemi had equalised for Southampton.
Bowen fired the home side ahead in the 15th minute with a clinical finish after a through ball by Pablo Fornals before Obafemi levelled in the 31st, sweeping the ball in from a James Ward-Prowse cross.
Haller restored the home team’s advantage shortly before halftime as he beat Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to a looping cross from the left and slid in to prod the ball home from a tight angle.
Antonio put the game beyond Southampton’s reach when he steered the ball past McCarthy after another superb assist by Fornals, who released the midfielder with a defence-splitting pass through the middle.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was livid with his team’s poor defending.
“I think we conceded goals that were an absolute joke,” he said. “For me it’s simply not enough. Not aggressive enough, not committed enough.
“Play like this against a team in a relegation battle, then you may also be in a relegation battle again.”
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond and Tony Lawrence