Brighton 3-1 West Ham: Superb strikes help Seagulls complete double over tame Hammers
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 03/02/18 5:54pm
Brighton boosted their Premier League survival bid by completing the double over West Ham with a 3-1 victory at the Amex Stadium.
Sensational second-half goals from Jose Izquierdo (59) and Pascal Gross (75) clinched a vital three points for Chris Hughton's men after Javier Hernandez (30) cancelled out Glenn Murray's (7) opener.
The result lifts Brighton up to 13th in the table, level on points and goal difference with 12th-placed West Ham, who they trail only by goals scored.
Brighton: Ryan (7), Schelotto (7), Dunk (7), Duffy (7), Bong (7), Knockaert (7), Stephens (7), Propper (7), Izquierdo (8), Gross (8), Murray (8).
Subs: March (6), Kayal (6), Ulloa (6).
West Ham: Adrian (6), Collins (6), Ogbonna (5), Rice (5), Bryam (5), Zabaleta (5), Noble (6), Kouyate (5), Cresswell (6), Mario (5), Hernandez (6).
Subs: Hugill (5), Antonio (5).
Man of the Match: Jose Izquierdo.
After a bruising opening few minutes, during which Gaetan Bong and Aaron Cresswell were injured in aerial duels, Brighton capped their positive start with the opening goal.
Referee Roger East played a brilliant advantage after Cresswell scythed Knockaert down, and Pascal Gross released Murray who slotted his 10th goal of the season.
Having dusted himself down, Knockaert nearly doubled Brighton's lead on the quarter-hour mark but he sliced wide from Bong's cross. It took West Ham until the 25th minute to register their first attempt on goal as Sam Byram's header was scrambled off the line by Shane Duffy.
Brighton's appeal for a penalty fell on deaf two minutes later despite Knockaert's goal-bound shot striking Angelo Ogbonna's arm - and, to add insult to injury, West Ham were soon level.
Having started the attack, Hernandez skipped around three Brighton defenders and rifled an unstoppable drive into the top corner to haul the Hammers level on the half-hour mark.
Knockaert failed to convert two chances to restore Brighton's lead before Byram headed over as the Hammers ended the half strongly.
Chris Hughton made one change from Brighton's 1-1 draw at Southampton as Anthony Knockaert replaced Solly March. David Moyes, meanwhile, named an unchanged side but there were spots on the bench for Deadline Day signing Jordan Hugill and Michail Antonio, who returned from an internal disciplinary.
West Ham started the second period as tamely as they had the first, though, and it wasn't long until Brighton converted their dominance through Izquierdo's unstoppable drive - his third Premier League goal of the season.
And there was to be no way back for the Hammers this time as Brighton added a crucial third in similarly spectacular fashion, Gross jinking inside Ogbonna to seal the victory with a rasping drive.
- Brighton registered their first win in their last seven Premier League games (D3 L3), with their three-goal haul as many as they managed in their previous six top-flight games combined.
- West Ham have lost four Premier League games against newly-promoted sides in a single season for only the second time (twice v Brighton twice v Newcastle), after also doing so in 2006/07.
- Glenn Murray has netted five goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions for Brighton, as many as he managed in his previous 19 games for the Seagulls this season.
- Pascal Groß has been directly involved in 11 Premier League goals this season (5 goals, 6 assists), more than any other Brighton player.
- Javier Hernandez netted his 43rd Premier League goals, all of which have come from inside the box. Only Tim Cahill has scored more with 100% of them coming from inside the box (56).
Chris Hughton: "In terms of end product, that was the most satisfying performance we've had at home this season. It was maybe as good as we've been with regards to threatening and looking like we could get more goals."
David Moyes: "We never got to the pitch of the game, Brighton were right at it from that start, started much better than us. We grew into the game, had a few chances before half-time but we never got to the level of the game all day."
Man of the Match - Jose Izquierdo
On an afternoon when Brighton's attacking players proved too hot to handle for West Ham, it was the Colombia international's stunning second-half strike which will live long in the memory.
With just two league goals to his name beforehand, the Hammers will have been forgiven for affording Izquierdo so much space midway through the second half, but he punished them with a clinical finish. West Ham were on the ropes when the strike flashed into the top corner, and it ensured there was no way back for the visitors.
Brighton travel to relegation rivals Stoke and West Ham host Watford next Saturday.