Carroll scores winner for West Ham vs Southampton in EPL
LONDON (AP) England striker Andy Carroll marked his return from injury with a close-range header that gave West Ham a 2-1 win against Southampton in the Premier League on Monday.
The Hammers turned the game around at Upton Park after trailing 1-0, with halftime substitutes Carroll and midfielder Manuel Lanzini key to an unlikely victory after a poor first half.
''I only asked them to go out and give Southampton a game, because it was really poor,'' West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said. ''At halftime we made some changes but it was a change of character, of approach, of determination and will. They did try in the first half, but this was a different West Ham.''
Carl Jenkinson scored an own goal in the 13th minute after Southampton's Dusan Tadic latched on to a low cross from Shane Long and the ball went in off the defender's leg.
West Ham resorted to hopeful passes upfield while the Saints attacked with confidence, after destroying Arsenal 4-0 on Saturday.
But with the halftime introduction of a target man in Carroll, along with the return of Lanzini with his silky passing skills following a four-match absence, West Ham started the second half on the front foot.
James Collins forced a goal line clearance in the 48th and Carroll fired over the bar from the resulting corner.
The hosts' luck changed when Michail Antonio scored an unusual equalizer in the 69th after a clearance hit him on the head, with the ball looping over Maarten Stekelenburg in the Southampton goal.
It was the former Nottingham Forest midfielder's first goal for the Hammers since a summer transfer.
Carroll headed the winner 10 minutes later for West Ham's first victory in nine matches, having drawn its previous 5 matches.
''With Carroll on the pitch, there was a more aggressive, more direct football, and that was more difficult for us,'' Southampton manager Ronald Koeman said. ''If you play as good as you do in the first 45 minutes and you don't score 2 or 3 goals, you don't kill the game, then you can expect this to happen.''
The result lifts West Ham provisionally into 7th place in the league, while Southampton is 12th.