A long-awaited goal by close-season signing Sebastien Haller earned West Ham United a crucial 1-0 win in a Premier League basement battle at Southampton to ease the pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Haller's well-taken goal in the 37th minute ended a 636-minute lean spell for the Frenchman and it proved enough for the Hammers to claim only their second league win since September and ease them up to 15th, four points above the drop zone.

West Ham also had a Michail Antonio effort ruled out by VAR for handball in the build-up shortly after halftime and rode their luck thereafter as Southampton finally began to threaten.

Danny Ings rattled a shot against the underside of the crossbar in the 70th minute.

Ings struck the woodwork again shotly after but had already been flagged offside while Jack Stephens sliced a good chance horribly wide as Southampton pressed.

A draw would have lifted Southampton out of the relegation zone but they they remain third from bottom with 15 points from 17 games, behind Aston Villa on goal difference.