By Josh Fordham
14th December 2019,
Updated: 14th December 2019,
West Ham moved four points clear of the relegation places as they beat Southampton 1-0 at the St Mary’s Stadium.
Sebastien Haller scored his first goal in nine games for the Hammers on their way to a much-needed three points.
It was Haller who made the breakthrough in the late-kick off as West Ham took a 37th-minute lead at Southampton.
The Hammers had looked the more likely scorers in the opening exchanges and were rewarded when Haller fired a low shot in off the post for his fifth goal of the season.
Haller’s first goal in nine games was enough to give Pellegrini’s men the half-time advantage at St Mary’s.
West Ham came close to doubling their lead at the start of the second half when Pablo Fornals fired in a thunderous effort that Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy superbly tipped over.
The visitors thought they had made it 2-0 soon after when the impressive Michail Antonio powered his way through the heart of the home defence before drilling an unstoppable shot past McCarthy.
However, the incident was reviewed by VAR and the goal was disallowed for handball against Antonio.
Danny Ings was denied by the crossbar, with Shane Long firing the follow-up wide from close range, and the striker then fired a low drive against the base of the right-hand upright as Southampton sensed they could take something from the game.
Ings then lashed a stunning strike into the top corner, only to discover the whistle had already gone for a foul by Moussa Djenepo.
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The Hammers held on for all three points to see them move up to 15th while Southampton remain in 18th place.