West Ham's bright Futre

West Ham United 2 Hughes 73, Dicks 81 (pen) Southampton 1 Heaney 19 Attendance: 21,227
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The Independent Online
The good times are back at Upton Park and this time it is hard to believe they are not here to stay. In a marvellous match Harry Redknapp's cosmopolitan assortment eventually prevailed, albeit thanks to a disputed penalty, but only Southampton fans would have begrudged them the victory.

All eyes may have been on England new boy Matt Le Tissier at the start but it was the Portuguese international Paulo Futre who stole this show from a below-par Le Tissier.

Futre was clearly determined to show the home supporters what they had missed in the first half against Coventry on Wednesday night. The former Milan and Benfica player's first touch was greeted by a huge roar and for a quarter of an hour it seemed that West Ham, inspired by Futre, would tear their visitors apart.

But having threatened without creating a clear-cut chance, West Ham fell behind after 17 minutes when Julian Dicks failed to control a simple pass from Slaven Bilic and Neil Heaney nipped in to chip Ludek Miklosko with ease. West Ham slowly regained their composure and only a fine double save by Dave Beasant from Stan Lazaridis and Michael Hughes preserved Southampton's lead until the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Futre turned on the magic again, this time twisting and turning in the penalty area to set up Lazaridis for a shot that was parried as far as Hughes, whose effort from the edge of the area was cleared off the line by Richard Dryden.

Beasant then pulled off a great save to deny Florin Raducioiu, before Futre created a chance for himself on 70 minutes. But he could not crown his performance with the equaliser, scooping the ball over the bar. Two minutes later though West Ham were finally level, Hughes' speculative effort from the left dropping tantalisingly over Beasant into the far corner.

Redknapp then brought on his second Romanian, Ilie Dumitrescu, and it was the former Spurs man who went down in the penalty area 10 minutes from time, claiming a trip by Jason Dodd. Referee David Elleray agreed and Dicks thumped in the winner from the spot.

There was just time for Francis Benali to be sent off for clattering Futre near the halfway line but Southampton, despite the nature of the goals, could have had few complaints on any count.

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