West Ham United vs Brighton and Hove Albion. Premier League.
Free highlights and report as West Ham and Brighton play out sixth straight draw in this fixture; Tomas Soucek headed Hammers in front; Michail Antonio had an effort ruled out for a tight offside call; with Brighton down to 10 men after Adam Lallana limped off, Neal Maupay struck
Thursday 2 December 2021 06:05, UK
Neal Maupay's overhead kick late on earned Brighton an unlikely 1-1 draw with West Ham despite the Seagulls being down to 10 men after injuries had taken their toll.
Tomas Soucek headed home for West Ham after just five minutes following a dangerously whipped-in corner that left Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez stranded.
The Seagulls had their chances but Maupay, Jakub Moder and Lewis Dunk all spurned openings before West Ham thought they had doubled their lead on 49 minutes when Michail Antonio poked the ball over the line from close range after another error from Sanchez, but VAR chalked it off for offside.
Brighton dominated the ball but created little as the time ticked on and their chances looked over when Adam Lallana limped off with six minutes to go - their third injury of the night and one that left Graham Potter with no substitutions to make. However, Tariq Lamptey's cross was met in emphatic style by Maupay on 89 minutes to rescue an unlikely point.
The evening did not start well for Maupay. After missing a hatful of chances in the 0-0 draw with Leeds at the weekend, his confidence would have been further dented when firing wide from close range after a defensive mix-up allowed the brilliant Yves Bissouma to stroll into the penalty area.
West Ham took the lead two minutes later via a familiar route.
West Ham: Fabianski (7), Johnson (7), Zouma (7), Dawson (6), Coufal (7), Soucek (7), Rice (7), Fornals (7), Bowen (7), Benrahma (6), Antonio (7)
Subs: Lanzini (6), Masuaku (6)
Brighton: Sanchez (5), Webster (6), Veltman (6), Dunk (6), Lallana (7), Bissouma (8), Moder (7), Cucurella (6), Trossard (6), Maupay (7), Sarmiento (6)
Subs: Lamptey (8), Duffy (8), March (6)
Man of the match: Yves Bissouma
Seagulls boss Potter admitted beforehand that he was wary of West Ham's threat from set-pieces, yet, from the first corner of the match, Pablo Fornals crossed to the near post where Soucek was allowed to leap unchallenged and glance the ball into the net.
The lead was nearly doubled when Antonio headed Vladimir Coufal's cross back across goal to Fornals, whose volley crashed against the underside of the crossbar.
Brighton remained bright in possession despite their rhythm being disrupted by injuries to Jeremy Sarmiento and Adam Webster.
But one of their substitutes, Solly March, almost created an equaliser when he played in Maupay, who in turn fed Moder in front of goal, but his shot was well saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
After the break March had a cross deflected over and Dunk headed the corner straight at Fabianski, before West Ham were denied a second by a lengthy VAR check.
At first it seemed the review was regarding whether Craig Dawson had fouled Lallana but it was soon clear that offside was the reason. After a bundle in the six-yard box the replays showed the ball had brushed the ankle of the offside Antonio as it was bundled in from a corner and the goal was eventually ruled out.
West Ham had chances to wrap up the points but Jarrod Bowen wasted an opportunity from a tight angle when his shot rolled past the far post and late Sanchez saves kept Declan Rice and Antonio at bay. When Lallana became the third Brighton player to limp off the game looked over.
However, Brighton sub Lamptey stood up a cross which Maupay expertly hooked home to stun the London Stadium and silence some of his critics.
Brighton enjoyed almost 67 per cent of the ball at the London Stadium. Yes, West Ham were happy to sit off and soak up pressure but the main reason for that control was the skilful performance of Bissouma in the engine room. He made the game look so simple at times, zinging passes about the pitch that laid the platform for Brighton to build so many attacks in and around the West Ham box. His pass completion of 95.2 per cent was the highest of any player. After a troublesome couple of months, Bissouma is back to his best.
West Ham boss David Moyes said: "I didn't think we played well but we made enough chances to probably nick the game, but a draw was a fair result.
"Obviously it was a big call for VAR which you would probably expect me not to agree with, but I've got real reasons not to agree with it.
"It's nearly impossible to rule that goal out. The ref couldn't do much, he didn't see it. The only people who can make the call is the VAR.
"Whoever the VAR has to decide why we can chalk that off. I hope someone comes out and tells us. For me the last touch came off Shane Duffy's legs.
"I think it's so hard to call that not a goal. You have to have something much clearer to identify why that goal can't stand.
"I'm hoping to be showed a real reason why it wasn't given. And the time it took suggests it was a difficult call."
Brighton boss Graham Potter said: "We suffered early on tonight in terms of the scoreline which made us feel a bit vulnerable, but I thought we performed well. We kept pushing in the second half, we probably rode our luck with the goal they had disallowed, but I felt we deserved something from the game.
"Neal had a difficult game against Leeds, even though his performance was good. If you miss a chance and it's 0-0 the environment is tough.
"But he was always going to stay on today and it's really good for him to get the goal. It shows how you can go from villain to hero."
West Ham now host Chelsea at 12.30pm on Saturday in the Premier League, while Brighton are at Southampton at 3pm on Saturday.