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West Ham United: Pablo Zabaleta lauds display from Hammers in success over Southampton

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 April 2018

Southampton's Nathan Redmond (left) and West Ham United's Pablo Zabaleta (pic: Victoria Jones/PA)

Southampton's Nathan Redmond (left) and West Ham United's Pablo Zabaleta (pic: Victoria Jones/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Argentina international labelled display against Saints as one of best this season from east Londoners

West Ham United's Marko Arnautovic (second right) scores his side's third goal against Southampton (pic: Victoria Jones/PA)West Ham United's Marko Arnautovic (second right) scores his side's third goal against Southampton (pic: Victoria Jones/PA)

Pablo Zabaleta believes West Ham United turned in one of their best displays of the season so far to beat Southampton 3-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

With the Hammers and the Saints positioned at the wrong end of the table so late in the season, the match was billed as a relegation six-pointer.

The first goal was always likely to be crucial and David Moyes’ men took a deserved lead in the 13th minute through Joao Mario after a bright start.

Four minutes later, West Ham doubled their lead when the talismanic Marko Arnautovic found the net from close range.

And deep into first-half stoppage time, Arnautovic nabbed his second of the afternoon when converting a sublime cross from Arthur Masuaku.

Having built such a commanding lead by the break, the Hammers saw the second half out without much incident, keeping a first clean sheet in four games in the process.

It was a near-perfect afternoon for the east Londoners, and Zabaleta hailed it as one of the best performances from the team since joining the club from Manchester City last summer.

“I’m very pleased for everyone. It was a great performance from the whole team,” said the 33-year-old.

“Defensively, we kept a clean sheet, which we’ve been missing for a long period and we also scored three goals.

“The performance in the first half was really good and probably one of our best this season.

“In the second half, we managed to keep the ball and keep the clean sheet. We had a few more chances and probably could have scored some more goals, but overall I think we were the better team.”

The win was no doubt a vital one for West Ham as they moved five points clear of the relegation zone.

And Zabaleta knows at this stage of the season, every point counts for the Hammers as they bid to avoid the drop and retain their place in the Premier League.

“Every game is massive, you need to try to pick up points because only a few points separates every team in the bottom half of the table,” added the Argentina international.

“Everything is so close, so tight, so the Southampton game was massive, a good three points and now it’s time to move on.”

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