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West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has gotten tongues wagging with a top class performance in the 3-1 defeat against Southampton in the FA Cup 5th round.

 

Former Arsenal legend Martin Keown, who was a pundit for BBC Sport, has praised Rice despite his team faltering in their loss in England’s Premier Cup competition.

Southampton began the game well, taking the lead through a rocket from Romain Perraud. The Hammers equalised though, with Michail Antonio finally overcoming recent nerves with an easy finish.

The Saints went again in the second half when Armando Broja was brought down by repeat offender Craig Dawson. James Ward-Prowse, a spot kick expert, soon converted from the spot.

Broja secured the victory late in the game with a solo goal late on, as he glided through the Hammers defence to finish expertly.

Keown commented, as recorded on the BBC Sport website:

 

Declan Rice has improved. He’s got really good pace and drives forward. People are comparing him to Steven Gerrard. He’s calm with his passing. He’s growing in stature.”

 

 

Rice A Bright Spot In A Faltering Campaign

 

Even though Declan Rice has been a revelation for the Hammers this year, the team has started to fall away, losing in the cup now, and with their Champions League position attempt looking far from secure.

In the first half, he made an excellent run to track, and intercept a pass, which prevented the Saints scoring through Adam Armstrong.

Later on, he surged ahead himself, which nearly resulted in a goal for Antonio, who didn’t quite come to the expected finish. But, how did Rice do statistically during the game?

 

Rice made a telling 65 passes during the game, per Who scored. He also played around 14 long balls, proving that Keown’s claims as to his improvement were correct. Certainly, this is an area where Rice has improved, much to the delight of West Ham fans. Even though Rice is only 23, his performance was way above the general team effort, stringing together 1 tackle and 3 clearances.

 

 

# Team MP W D L F A G P
1 AFC Bournemouth 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
2 Arsenal 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
3 Aston Villa 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
4 Brentford 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
5 Brighton & Hov… 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
6 Chelsea 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
7 Crystal Palace 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
8 Everton 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
9 Fulham 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
10 Leeds United 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
11 Leicester City 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
12 Liverpool 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
13 Manchester City 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
14 Manchester United 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
15 Newcastle United 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
16 Nottingham Forest 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
17 Southampton 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
18 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
19 West Ham United 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
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