Southampton were held to a frustrating draw against 10-men West Ham at St. Mary’s as their grip on a Champions League spot loosened.
The Hammers had goalkeeper Adrian sent off for handling the ball outside the area with half an hour to play, but the Saints failed to capitalise and were unable to break through.
Maya Yoshida put a free header over the bar and replacement goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen kept out both Jose Fonte and Dusan Tadic as the visitors stood firm and kept Southampton at bay.
One way traffic
The home side dominated the first half and went closest as Sadio Mane’s run and shot saw Carl Jenkinson clear the ball off the line before a corner was also hacked away from Adrian’s goal by a stout West Ham backline.
As the second half began, Sam Allardyce introduced Matt Jarvis and Andy Carroll as the away side looked to hit the Saints on the break but the red card changed their tactics dramatically.
Spanish goalkeeper Adrian took one touch too many before being robbed by Mane outside the area only for the goalkeeper to fall on the ball and receive a straight red for deliberate handball denying a goal scoring opportunity.
That saw the West Ham shape change and they effectively played out the last half an hour with nine men behind the ball after an injury to Andy Carroll saw him immobilised.
Jose Fonte saw a curling effort tipped round the post by replacement goalkeeper Jaaskelinan and the resultant James Ward-Prowse corner found Maya Yoshida who headed over from six yards.
Dusan Tadic wriggled free to squeeze in a shot but he again found the Finnish stopper in good form as he pushed the ball away.
Unable to break through
With five minutes added time Ronald Koeman’s side threw everything forward in search of a second dramatic winner in as many games.
Nathaniel Clyne broke free down the right and was found by new boy Filip Djuricic however his fizzed cross which missed Graziano Pelle by inches and the Saints’ last chance went begging.
The home side have now failed to win in five of their last seven league games and a victory over Liverpool next weekend is now vital if they want to maintain their push for a Champions League spot.
Southampton player ratings
Forster – 6
Clyne – 7
Fonte – 7
Gardos – 7
Yoshida – 7
Reed – 8
Wanyama – 8
Davis – 8
Elia – 6
Mane – 7
Pelle – 6
Ward-Prowse – 6
Tadic – 6
Djuricic - 6