March 31st 2018 West Ham United 3 Southampton 0.
It was West Ham’s first home game since fan protests spilled onto the pitch during a 3-0 defeat to Burnley.
That day against the Saints West Ham simply had to win to take a big step towards securing their Premier League survival.
That day fans protested outside the London Stadium once again.
Saints await West Ham two years since defining win
But after a 3-0 victory, a triumphant David Moyes emerged beaming, praising supporters for getting behind the team and the players for their performance under pressure.
Moyes said the fans’ support “inspired” his players as they thrashed then relegation rivals Southampton at London Stadium to move clear of the relegation zone.
The game was the Hammers’ first since fans invaded the pitch during their 3-0 home defeat by Burnley but they produced a brilliant performance to overcome their recent troubles and end a run of three consecutive heavy defeats.
“The supporters were great – they have been great here bar a few,” Moyes said.
“The players gave them something to shout about today.”
Stirring sense of deja vu
One month shy of two years on here Moyes is again. Here West Ham are again.
There is a stirring sense of deja vu.
Disaffected West Ham fans will protest again tomorrow before the game against Southampton.
But they will once again get behind their team unconditionally.
Moyes too needs something to breathe new life and belief in his managerial credentials.
Two years ago that win galvanised West Ham.
Moyes can earn validation with survival
Moyes privately believed it had set him on the way to a long-term deal.
That was not to be though as the more glamorous name of Manuel Pellegrini was waiting in the wings.
Moyes was not the most popular choice when he returned. And results since have not helped.
But this time around if lightning does strike twice and a win over Southampton fires a West Ham survival revival which keeps them up then Moyes will get another year at least as per his 18-month contract.
This time around, from this position, he will truly have earned it.