Soccer-West Ham boost survival hopes with 3-1 win over Southampton

LONDON, Feb 29 (Reuters) - West Ham United produced an excellent performance to beat Southampton 3-1 on Saturday and provisionally climb out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The result lifted the Hammers one place to 17th on 27 points from 28 games, one more than 18th-placed Aston Villa who have a game in hand as they meet Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday.

Jarrod Bowen fired West ham ahead with his first goal for the club since his January move from Championship side Hull City, with Sebastian Haller and Michail Antonio sealing the win after Michael Obafemi had equalised for Southampton.

Bowen struck in the 15th minute with a clinical finish before Obafemi levelled in the 31st, sweeping the ball in with a first-time shot after James Ward-Prowse delivered a low cross from the right.

Haller restored the home team's advantage shortly before halftime as he beat Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy to a looping cross from the left and slid in to prod the ball home from a tight angle.

Antonio put the game beyond Southampton's reach when he steered the ball past McCarthy after another superb assist by Pablo Fornals, who released the midfielder with a defence-splitting pass through the middle.

(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond)