Morgan Schneiderlin inspires Southampton comeback
London: Unsettled midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin scored twice to give Ronald Koeman his first win as Southampton coach with a 3-1 success at West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.
Schneiderlin hit out at Southampton after being denied a move to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month, but the 24-year-old France international showed his worth with a brace of goals at Upton Park.
Southampton had fallen behind to a deflected Mark Noble strike in the 27th minute, but Schneiderlin scored either side of half-time before Graziano Pelle claimed his first league goal for the south-coast club with seven minutes to play.
It was Southampton`s first away win over West Ham since December 2002 and prevented the east London side from bouncing back after their mid-week loss on penalties to third-tier Sheffield United in the League Cup.
While West Ham were unchanged from the team that won 3-1 at Crystal Palace last weekend, there was a new face on the pitch shortly before kick-off as Alex Song, who has signed on loan from Barcelona, was introduced to the crowd.
Koeman made three changes to the team that had overcome Millwall 2-0 in the League Cup, with Schneiderlin and new signings Dusan Tadic and Ryan Bertrand coming into the starting line-up.
West Ham took the lead with a goal that Koeman will not enjoy watching again.
After Schneiderlin was dispossessed in his own half, Noble surged forward and dispatched a shot that took a deflection off Maya Yoshida and visiting goalkeeper Fraser Forster could not react quickly enough.
To Schneiderlin`s credit, it did not take him long to make amends.
With half-time approaching, Tadic swept a free-kick into the West Ham penalty area and although Schneiderlin`s initial effort was well blocked by Stewart Downing, the Frenchman slammed home at the second attempt.
Southampton started the second half with intent, Shane Long working West Ham goalkeeper Adrian from range and Schneiderlin scooping over after a corner was not cleared.
Italian striker Pelle thought he had opened his league account for Southampton when he turned in a free-kick from James Ward-Prowse, but his celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee`s flag.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce responded by introducing Mohamed Diame and Ravel Morrison, but Southampton went in front in the 68th minute when Schneiderlin exploited slack marking to stab home a Ward-Prowse corner at the near post.
Pelle got on the score-sheet in the 83rd minute, lashing the ball into the roof of the net after Adrian could only parry a cross from visiting right-back Nathaniel Clyne.