Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu has earned praise from former Arsenal and West Ham striker Ian Wright for how he handled the threat of Michail Antonio at St Mary’s.
The Jamaican international came into the game on the south coast as the Premier League’s top goalscorer after four goals in three games so far this season, earning him the player of the month award for August.
But he barely had a chance against Saints and was sent off in injury time after being frustrated as Salisu and his central defensive partner Jack Stephens put in superb displays to keep West Ham at bay.
Indeed, BBC pundit Ian Wright was impressed by Southampton’s approach to the game – and by Salisu and Stephens in particular.
“They played a little bit differently,” he said, speaking on BBC programme Match of the Day.
“We know that West Ham came into it with seven points from three games, but I thought Southampton played brilliantly, [Mohammed] Salisu and [Jack] Stephens in particular, they totally nullified [Michail] Antonio.
“They restricted West Ham a bit and they were at them, they didn’t give them time, and Salisu and Stephens really had it locked off with the way they were defending.
“West Ham were just crowded out and I like the way that Southampton did it, because it was a different way of playing.
“Antonio, we have seen all season so far, he has been roughing people up, but on this occasion, I thought they both dealt with him very well, they were just very good, very solid, in the right place and making clearances.
“In the end, they had good chances and they could have nicked it in the end, but it was brilliant from Southampton.”