Anybody who feared there would be crowd trouble here on Saturday need not have worried. Everybody inside the London Stadium was too spellbound by Marko Arnautovic’s swashbuckling performance to think of anything else.
As a result the atmosphere was unrecognisable from the defeat by Burnley three weeks ago. Gone was the discontent for the directors, replaced by a unified crowd simply desperate for their team to perform and get a result — and boy, did West Ham, and one player in particular, deliver.
Arnautovic bullied the away side from the off. His two first-half goals were brilliantly taken and justified the swaggering arrogance he exuded throughout the game.
Marko Arnautovic was the star man as West Ham demolished Southampton on Saturday
David Moyes heaped such praise on him. He knew that his unstoppable Austrian had possibly just turned West Ham’s season around, while also landing another blow on his former manager, Mark Hughes.
Moyes said: ‘Marko is outstanding. Sometimes these games change clubs, but it isn’t just the Marko Arnautovic show!’
Joao Mario opened the scoring after 13 minutes, smashing the ball home from the edge of the area after some great work by Cheikhou Kouyate. Just four minutes later Arnautovic had his first — finishing off Mario’s cross. His second, just before