Neal Maupay’s spectacular late overhead kick earned Brighton a 1-1 draw at West Ham in a closely contested game at London Stadium.
The Frenchman had missed a glorious chance early on for the Seagulls, but made amends with just a minute of regular time remaining, hooking Tariq Lamptey’s cross home acrobatically to leave Lukasz Fabianski stranded in the West Ham goal.
The Hammers had taken the lead after Maupay’s early miss when Tomas Soucek rose highest at the near post to glance home Pablo Fornals’ superb set piece, ending a run of 18 games without a goal.
West Ham‘s advantage could have been doubled before the half-hour mark, but Vladimir Coufal’s shot from outside the box was dealt with well by Robert Sanchez. Fornals then crashed a rasping volley against the crossbar, with the Spanish goalkeeper a mere spectator.
Brighton were very much in the game though and had a great chance to equalise just before half-time. Neat interplay eventually opened up a glorious chance for Jakub Moder, but his fierce drive from close range was superbly turned away by Fabianski’s feet.
From the resulting corner, Brighton captain Lewis Dunk planted a free header wide of the post – when he really should have troubled Fabianski at the very least.
The second half saw Brighton begin to dominate the ball and territory, but Graham Potter’s side – in a tale that is becoming too familiar – failed to fashion any real clear-cut chances.
Instead, it was West Ham who could have doubled their advantage, with another goal from a corner chalked off by VAR because of an offside. Sanchez then did well to deny efforts from Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen, and those saves proved to be crucial.
With just a minute left on the clock, substitute Lamptey found space on the right side and his precise cross was hooked superbly into the top corner by Maupay – who had looked bereft of confidence in front of goal earlier in the piece.
West Ham pushed for a winner in six minutes of added time, but Brighton held on to register a sixth successive draw between the two teams.
Here’s how both sets of players rated…
GK: Lukasz Fabianski – 7/10 – Terrific reflex save to deny Moder towards the end of the first half. Back at the top of his game.
RB: Vladimir Coufal – 7/10 – Looked like he’d never been away. A constant outlet going forward on the overlap and intelligent with his defensive positioning.
CB: Craig Dawson – 6/10 – Decision making at the back can be questionable but was well disciplined on the whole. Had to concentrate for large periods as West Ham dropped deep.
CB: Kurt Zouma – 7/10 – The deepest of West Ham’s defenders, trying to match any run that Maupay looked to make. Commanding with a number of tackles and clearances.
LB: Ben Johnson – 6/10 – Shoved over to the left to cover for the injured Aaron Cresswell. Not as effective but still a decent outing.
CM: Declan Rice – 7/10 – Didn’t see as much of the ball as he would have liked, but was elegant and purposeful when he strode forward. Clocked up the miles as usual.
CM: Tomas Soucek – 7/10 – Confidence boosting goal early doors, flicking in the excellent Fornals’ corner at the near post. Resolute in midfield as Brighton dominated possession.
CM: Pablo Fornals – 8/10 – A real bright spark in the first 45 minutes, curling a superb set-piece onto Soucek’s head before smashing the crossbar with a rocket of a volley. Maintained his intensity throughout.
RW: Jarrod Bowen – 6/10 – A threat on the counter, both cutting inside and darting to the byline. Fired just wide with his weak foot midway through the second half.
ST: Michail Antonio – 6/10 – West Ham’s physicality unsettled Brighton’s backline, yet Antonio’s contribution was actually fairly minimal compared to what we’re used to.
LW: Said Benrahma – 5/10 – It just isn’t really happening for Benrahma at the moment in an attacking sense. Stuck to his task though and worked extremely hard – something Moyes has recently praised him for.
Arthur Masuaku (76′) – 6/10 – A bright cameo.
Manuel Lanzini (76′) – 6/10 – Looked lively and may earn a start ahead of Benrahma next time out.
GK: Robert Sanchez – 7/10 – Made a couple of superb saves late on, which turned out to be crucial.
RB: Joel Veltman (RB) – 6/10 – Saw plenty of the ball as Brighton tried to get back into the game. Subbed for Lamptey who ended up making the difference.
CB: Adam Webster (CB) – 6/10 – Lasted just over half an hour before succumbing to a calf injury.
CB: Lewis Dunk (CB) – 7/10 – Should have troubled Fabianski with a free header, but couldn’t fault his application in defence. A real leader.
LB: Marc Cucurella (LB) – 6/10 – Smart in possession and kept Bowen quiet for the most part.
Jakub Moder (CM) – 7/10 – A really promising performance from Moder. Can play a number of positions well and did himself justice in the centre of the park against a dynamic duo in Soucek and Rice.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – 6/10 – A decent showing from Bissouma ahead of the January transfer window. Will anyone take a punt on him? Perhaps not because of this performance but he’s a real talent…
Adam Lallana (CM) – 6/10 – Showed his experience to break up play and help Brighton break through the lines. Off injured again late on.
Jeremy Sarmiento (RW) – N/A – Had tears in his eyes after his first Premier League start was cut short by an injury in the opening 10 minutes.
Neal Maupay (ST) – 6/10 – Missed a glorious chance just a couple of minutes in, which he would undoubtedly have been rueing as West Ham then immediately scored. Then, out of nothing, fashioned a terrific equaliser.
Leandro Trossard (LW) – 6/10 – Brighton’s most creative player saw plenty of the ball, yeh he rarely troubled West Ham’s defence.
Solly March (13′) – 6/10 – Introduced early doors as Sarmiento hobbled off injured. Did well as Brighton dominated the ball.
Shane Duffy (36′) – 6/10 – Puffed his cheeks out with a huge sigh of relief after his own goal from a set piece was scrubbed for offside.
Tariq Lamptey (70′) – 7/10 – Came on to inject more life into Brighton for the final 20 minutes and did just that. Precise cross led to Maupay’s goal.