A hapless West Ham United succumbed to a heavy defeat against Southampton and crashed out of the FA Cup on Wednesday.
West Ham United’s FA Cup journey ended at St. Mary’s as Southampton secured a comfortable passage to the quarter-finals. The Hammers could be best described as hapless as they played woefully, especially when they needed a game-changing equaliser. Instead of applying pressure, West Ham sailed along without creating any meaningful chances in the last quarter of the game.
Romain Perraud opened the scoring in scintillating fashion, as his effort gave Alphonse Areola no chance of saving it. The opener came after the Hammers were the brighter of the two sides in the early exchanges. In the second period, it took a goal by Michail Antonio in the second period to restore parity, and much of the fortune came after Willy Caballero’s glaring mistake.
Instead of taking a cue from the equaliser and building momentum, West Ham conceded a penalty not long after their fortuitous equaliser. Craig Dawson was the villain on this occasion after the centre-back brought down Armando Broja in the box. VAR confirmed their fate, and James Ward-Prowse made no mistake from 12 yards.
Only Dawson had a meaningful chance between that goal and the full-time whistle, but the English defender could only place his header straight at Caballero. In injury time, Broja added a third, easily getting past the West Ham defenders and then wrong-footing Kurt Zouma before placing a fantastic strike past Areola.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) March 2, 2022
The result certainly dents West Ham’s confidence heading into a crucial period of their season. They still have the Europa League and a top-four race to look forward to, although they would be disappointed by the manner of their ouster from the FA Cup. Here’s how the West Ham players fared during their abysmal showing against Southampton.
Alphonse Areola: 4/10
Areola had a terrible night, as he could not stop any of the three goal that Southampton scored past him. Otherwise, he had little else to do and would have been disappointed with his outing.
? Romain Perraud with an absolute ROCKET v West Ham United! ?
— SPORF (@Sporf) March 2, 2022
Craig Dawson: 3/10
Dawson had a poor night in a back three system, as he could not cope with the pressure from Armando Broja on his side. His error in conceding the penalty could have been anticipated till that point. Later, Broja again went past him with ease to score the third Southampton goal.
Kurt Zouma: 3/10
Zouma will have nightmares over how Broja wrong-footed him for the third goal. He missed a brilliant headed chance to give his side hope and otherwise looked a bit out of pace overall in the game.
Armando Broja dropped the shoulder on Kurt Zouma ? pic.twitter.com/QlA7IZMDgb
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 2, 2022
Issa Diop: 5.5/10
The best of the three West Ham centre-halves on the evening, Diop was busy making important tackles and interventions. The French defender held his ground well and did not look shaky like his partners at the back.
Ben Johnson: 5/10
It is unclear why David Moyes opted to play this system, but Johnson was good. He defended well and tried his best to influence proceedings further. His lack of ideas to play in a wing-back role were clear, and if this shape continues, Johnson will need to be better.
Tomas Soucek: 4.5/10
Soucek had a disappointing evening as he failed to influence the proceedings from midfield. He was subbed off early in the second half after suffering a cut to his head.
Declan Rice: 5/10
Rice was not at his influential best as the entire team struggled around him. For the midfielder to get a grip, there needs to be some control over the area, which he could not achieve.
Pablo Fornals: 6/10
Fornals thrived in an unusual position at left wing-back. He was one of the brightest West Ham players in the first period from an attacking perspective. He faded away a bit in the second half, while his defensive contribution was a bit on the lower side, although this was expected.
Jarrod Bowen: 4/10
A quiet game by Bowen’s standards, and the Englishman will be remembered for missing the best possible chance on the evening. Despite being in such a hot streak of form, he did not have any say in the final third.
Michail Antonio: 6/10
West Ham fans will be relieved at seeing him score. Like everyone else on his team, Antonio never got a strong foothold of the game and overall struggled to get things going. His scrappy goal gets him a decent rating, and he was probably the best among other West Ham players.
Michail Antonio has now scored ?+ goals for West Ham in each of the last three seasons ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/ym289Vz8gu
— LiveScore (@livescore) March 2, 2022
Manuel Lanzini: 5/10
There is no doubting his work ethic, as Lanzini was always trying to keep things ticking in the final third. As others around him had a terrible game, there were no clear-cut chances created by the Argentine to have any influence in the attack.
Said Benrahma: 4.5/10
Benrahma’s worrying form in recent weeks continued, as he failed to have any impact after coming on.
Nikola Vlasic: 5.5/10
Vlasic was the better of the West Ham substitutes as he slotted in an unusual left wing-back role, where he was good nonetheless.