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Hammers stage terrific comeback but then dramatically let it slip as Southampton take thriller

Chicharito grabbed a brace for West Ham but it still wasn’t enough.

Image: Adam Davy

PABLO ZABALETA CONCEDED a last-gasp penalty which Charlie Austin converted to give Southampton a 3-2 victory over a West Ham side that had earlier mounted a superb comeback.

The Hammers were 2-0 down and a player down after just 38 minutes of the game. Manolo Gabbiadini opened the scoring for the Saints early on before the guests had Marko Arnautovic sent-off for elbowing Jack Stephens.

It got worse for Slaven Bilic’s side when Dusan Tadic tucked away a penalty after ex-Southampton captain Jose Fonte fouled Steven Davis.

Javier Hernandez pulled one back right on the stroke of half-time to give the hosts some hope and, when Bilic made some changes in the second period, West Ham – who gave 18-year-old Irish underage international Declan Rice a first start in midfield – started to prosper.

With 16 minutes left, substitute Diafra Sakho saw his powerful header pushed onto the bar by Fraser Forster but Hernandez was quick to react to the rebound and pounced to level affairs.

Stung by the collapse, Southampton brought on Austin and Shane Long to try and rescue the three points.

Southampton v West Ham United - Premier League - St Marys Javier Hernandez reacts as Southampton are awarded a last-gasp penalty. Source: Adam Davy

And when Zabaleta – a summer signing from Manchester City – was adjudged to have taken down Maya Yoshida in the area – it was Austin who stepped up to send Joe Hart the wrong way and ensure a first win for boss Mauricio Pellegrino.

Elsewhere, Watford were 2-0 winners at Bournemouth thanks to goals late in the second-half from Brazilian attacker Richarlison and Etienne Capoue.

Eddie Howe’s side have – like West Ham – now lost their first two games, while Chris Hughton’s new-boys Brighton are having similar problems.

At the King Power Stadium, they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Leicester who were a goal-up inside the opening minute thanks to Shinji Okazaki. Defender Harry Maguire doubled their advantage early in the second half.

Meanwhile, at Turf Moor, Burnley went down to a solitary 71st-minute goal from substitute Hal Robson-Kanu, who came off the bench just eight minutes earlier. But, after catching Matt Lowton with an elbow, the striker was later sent-off.

A pretty dramatic 20-minute cameo from the Welsh international.

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