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Southampton earned their fourth win in five matches with Maya Yoshida's early strike enough to earn a 1-0 win over West Ham at St. Mary's, despite a third red card of the season for Victor Wanyama.
The hosts were quicker out of the blocks and took the lead on nine minutes when Maya Yoshida buried Sadio Mane's centre past Adrian.
Wanyama received a straight red from referee Mark Clattenburg on 54 minutes for a rash lunge on Dimitri Payet.
The hosts were under constant pressure as the Hammers pumped ball after ball into their box and they survived a late scare when defender Cedric almost sliced an attempted clearance into his own net.
Emmanuel Emenike - who arrived on loan from Turkish side Fenerbahce in the January transfer window - made his bow for Slaven Bilic's side but his contribution will be remembered for missed a great chance to earn a point, heading wide from Enner Valencia's cross late on.
The three points see Southampton move back above Everton into seventh place in the Premier League table with West Ham now just one place and two points above them in sixth spot.
West Ham will be disappointed not to earn at least a point after playing over half an hour against 10 men with Wanyama's careless tackle, although perhaps not making significant contact with Payet, giving Clattenburg the opportunity to send the midfielder off.
The Saints' defence was superb in the latter stages in particular, captain Jose Fonte expertly marshalling his colleagues and Fraser Forster solid in goal.
Indeed since returning from injury last month, the England international has now kept five clean sheets on-the-spin.
Manager Ronald Koeman was desperately urging the final whistle to be blown as the game entered its sixth minute of added time and the celebrations from him and the home support when Clattenburg finally ended the contest, showed how important the three points were as Southampton chase qualification for European football.