West Ham, Saints Tug-of-War Rewards Clean Sheet; Player Ratings

Said Benrahma of West Ham United. (Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool/Getty Images)
Said Benrahma of West Ham United. (Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool/Getty Images) /

Another jumbled starting XI saw West Ham start the match on the back foot. The watchability picked up and player ratings were boosted in the second half.

Since when is a clean sheet away from home a bad thing? Well, when the effort was as poor as it was in the first half, West Ham supporters are justified in complaining about the result. Furthermore, the injection of pace on the wings transformed the match suggesting the manager got his team selection wrong again. Here are the player ratings from the match.

Lukasz Fabianski – 8/10: He wasn’t tested much, but came off his line quicker in this match and made a few great saves in close and one terrific diving save with no rebound from Theo Walcott. Solid performance but delivery can continue to improve.

Ryan Fredericks – 7/10: A surprising return to the starting XI for Fredericks saw an overall solid performance from the Englishman. He was a fullback, not wingback, in this match so had to stay back further than he would normally like, but was solid. He did squander two good chances with inexplicable headers, though.

Craig Dawson – 8.5/10: Speaking of surprises, Craig Dawson started at centre-back for his West Ham debut and nabbed man-of-the-match honours! He made one poor pass but was solid everywhere else, he also nearly decapitated Che Adams on a set-piece that fell to him! Welcome, aboard!

Angelo Ogbonna – 8/10: More routine than ever for Angelo Ogbonna. Another strong performance with little to no complaints to be had. Our rock at the back and the heart of our defensive backline, the ageless wonder and Italian Stallion showed up yet again.

Aaron Cresswell – 5/10: All five points come from his corner kick deliveries which were as perfect as ever, but man oh man is he no longer a fullback! Stuck between marking Ogbonna and the opposing winger, Cresswell is lost when he’s not at centre-back and it’s glaringly obvious to the opposition. Ben Johnson needs to assume this position.

Declan Rice – 8/10: A strong defensive midfield game today from Rice who prioritized fullback coverage and possession flipping interceptions and tackles over much in the way of linking the attack. He brought a presence that isolated James Ward-Prowse out of the game completely. Another great showing.

Tomas Soucek 8/10: Usually is Soucek isn’t on the scoresheet these ratings can be a bit harsh on him, however a truly gritty and grinding performance from Soucek mimicked Rice today and saw the Czech robot bring some physicality to the midfield.

Andriy Yarmolenko – 5/10: Arguably West Ham’s best player in the first half, Yarmolenko didn’t bring enough pace on the wing to outwork Ryan Bertrand or Moussa Djenepo and faded to their speed in the second half. He could be relegated to late-game sub from here on out.

Manuel Lanzini – 6/10: This rating would be higher if he stayed on the pitch long enough, but David Moyes pulled him (instead of Haller or Yarmolenko) for Said Benrahma in the 60th minute. Lanzini was the best attacker out of the original crew and deserves more of a look. 60 minutes wasn’t enough.

Pablo Fornals – 7/10: Creative once he had support up top and impressive defensively, Fornals had a strong showing after his benching (as we all assumed he likely would). He also made a hugely important tackle on a counterattack to steal back possession and a lunging interception on a ball that would have played Walcott in. Effort above all else from Fornals.

Sebastien Haller – 3/10: Call it a lack of support or just lack of desire to make anything himself, but Sebastien Haller didn’t do enough to warrant a positive rating in this match. He would have been more effective if Benrahma and Bowen started but that excuse isn’t good enough. With Antonio coming back to fitness, Haller’s time could be up.


To David Moyes’ credit, he used all three of his substitutions with a solid amount of time left on the clock. As mentioned, his first came in the 60th minute with Benrahma replacing Lanzini followed by Bowen for Yarmolenko in the 70th minute, and lastly Antonio for Haller in the 77th minute.

Next. Michail Antonio Makes Return In West Ham Draw. dark

All three subs made an instant impact, encouraging the Hammers to their closest chance with Benrahma’s chance in close miraculously being saved by Alex McCarthy. The front three, all subs, supported by Fornals, was quick and threatening and a sign of what should be used moving forward. There were positives from this match, but Everton pose a bigger threat looming ahead.