Match report as James Ward-Prowse and Armando Broja strike in the second half to send Southampton through to the FA Cup quarter-finals; Saints made nine changes and still progressed; Romain Perraud scored a brilliant opener but Michail Antonio equalised for West Ham after half-time
Wednesday 2 March 2022 23:13, UK
A wonderful solo goal from Armando Broja and a nerveless James Ward-Prowse penalty sent Southampton through to the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 3-1 victory over West Ham.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's side are now unbeaten in their last 12 home matches and, despite the Saints boss making nine changes to his team, they produced a fine performance to progress.
Impressive left-back Romain Perraud struck a superb opener from 25 yards that found the top corner, but Michail Antonio equalised in the second half after a Willy Caballero mistake.
However, the veteran goalkeeper, 40, made up for his error with a crucial save late on from a Craig Dawson header. It came after captain Ward-Prowse had regained the lead for Southampton from the penalty spot. Broja - a second-half substitute - was brought down in the area by Dawson with a penalty awarded after VAR instructed referee Andre Marriner to watch the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Broja then made sure Southampton would be heading to the last eight in injury-time by driving at the West Ham defence, beating Kurt Zouma and slotting past Alphonse Areola into the bottom corner.
Southampton: Caballero (7), Walker-Peters (7), Stephens (7), Valery (7), Perraud (8), Diallo (7), Ward-Prowse (8), Smallbone (7), Djenepo (6), Long (6), A. Armstrong (6).
Subs: Livramento (6), Romeu (6), S. Armstrong (6), Redmond (6), Broja (8)
West Ham: Areola (6), Johnson (5), Dawson (5), Zouma (5), Diop (5), Rice (6), Soucek (6), Fornals (5), Lanzini (6), Bowen (6), Antonio (6)
Subs: Benrahma (6), Vlasic (6)
Man of the match: Romain Perraud
Hasenhuttl's team selection, in which he benched regular first-teamers Oriol Romeu, Che Adams, Nathan Redmond, Stuart Armstrong, Broja and Tino Livramento, could have easily backfired.
In contrast, West Ham boss David Moyes made just two alterations from their 1-0 win over Wolves in a bid to lift some silverware this season.
The visitors started well as Jarred Bowen almost raced through on goal but was stopped by a good tackle from Jack Stephens.
It set the tone for the opening 20 minutes and West Ham's first chance came soon after from a lovely move involving Manuel Lanzini and Pablo Fornals, the ball eventually falling kindly for Tomas Soucek, but he shot wide from inside the area.
Then their best opportunity came the way of Bowen, who headed over from inside the six-yard box from Antonio's left-wing cross.
Southampton had barely been able to enter West Ham's final third although, when they did, Will Smallbone centred the ball and Shane Long blazed over with a first-time effort.
It took left-back Perraud to light up what had been a lacklustre tie. The Southampton defender picked up the ball 30 yards from goal on the left side before driving an unstoppable shot into the far top corner.
Hassenhuttl brought on two of his regular first-teamers at half-time in Stuart Armstrong and Broja for Long and Moussa Djenepo to try and put the tie beyond West Ham.
Ward-Prowse almost did so with a dipping long-range shot which just went wide before Soucek was replaced by Said Benrahma after receiving a blow to the head that left him bleeding heavily.
But the injury did not faze West Ham and they equalised just before the hour mark. The warning signs were there for Southampton when Zouma headed a corner over from close range and then, from another, Antonio scrambled the ball home after Caballero failed to punch the delivery clear.
However, the visitors were level for just nine minutes before Southampton regained the lead. A long ball from Stephens was latched onto by Broja, and he was brought down in the area by Dawson with a penalty eventually awarded, which Ward-Prowse expertly hammered down the middle.
Areola saved excellently from substitute Redmond's long-range drive in the final 10 minutes before Caballero kept out Dawson when he powered a header at goal from Bowen's in-swinging corner.
Broja then had his moment in the fourth of seven added minutes, powering past the West Ham defence and finishing calmly.
Hasenhuttl revealed Perraud's goal was helped in part by the FA Cup match balls being lighter than the usual Premier League footballs.
"It was an amazing goal," he told the BBC. "The ball in the cup is lighter and that's why you can shoot outside the box. We have a few good guys who can score goals from them."
Hasenhuttl also explained his decision to make nine changes from their 2-0 win over Norwich, with only Kyle Walker-Peters and James Ward-Prowse retaining their places.
"You can't speak about having a big squad and trusting everyone and not show the right signals," he said.
"It was hard for them in the beginning with no rhythm playing in front of 28,000 fans. It was clear with five subs you can decide the game in the second half with subs.
"Armando Broja had a good impact in the game. He is a threat with speed. We have quality and created some good parts in our game.
"Making nine changes doesn't mean that we're not looking for this cup. It's a super opportunity for us. But we shouldn't forget these players have brought us here.
"We should give them a chance to play again. It's tough but as soon as you saw players struggling after the Norwich game we knew we should make changes."
Moyes admitted his West Ham side did not do enough to get through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
"We probably didn't deserve it," he told the BBC. "We went behind to a worldie and we fought back.
"I thought we were probably the better team at those stages of the game. We gave away a terrible second goal and the third didn't matter. We didn't do well enough to get through.
"Congratulations to Southampton. I thought in the first half we had a lot of the ball but not the quality in the final third. We didn't take our half-chances. In the second half after we got the goal back and it looked like if any team was going on to win, it was us."
Southampton's opening goalscorer Perraud told the BBC after the game: "I think it's a great goal for us. We did a very good performance with some players who don't play every game against a good team.
"Congratulations to the team and the club. Now we wait for the next round. West Ham played with their best team so it was difficult for us but after 15 or 20 minutes we began our game and we deserved this win.
"We are ninth in the Premier League and in the last eight of the FA Cup. We can dream. We'll wait for the next round but it's important for our confidence. Game after game we're in a good moment and we have to work on this."
Southampton will next face Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm.
West Ham will travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in the Premier League on the same day at 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports.