Seagulls Grab Point From Hammers Grasp
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 02 Feb 2020 19:35:00
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It looked for so long as if West Ham United were going to claim a vital three points in Stratford on Saturday afternoon. Brighton and Hove Albion's comeback in a 3-3 draw means that the Hammers have now dropped into the relegation zone, meaning their record without a win against the Seagulls stretches back to a 6-0 thrashing of the same opponents at Upton Park in April 2012.

David Moyes made three changes from the team that lost 2-0 to Liverpool in their last home encounter four days ago. Ryan Fredericks went straight back into the starting line-up after a hamstring injury. Tomáš Souček took the place of Manuel Lanzini, while Michail Antonio didn't feature on Wednesday night but was back involved here; Pablo Zabaleta and Pablo Fornals took their places amongst the substitutes.

Coming off the back of the defeat to Jürgen Klopp's men, the home side were given a huge let off, as Aaron Mooy nearly found a way past Łukasz Fabiański inside the opening minute but the Australian headed wide after being set up by Martin Montoya.

Souček wanted to make an impression on his debut and he certainly did that when he forced Mathew Ryan into a good save after the Czech was on the end of a free-kick from Captain Mark Noble.

Leandro Trossard scored when the two sides met back in August but he couldn't repeat the trick here and instead, his tame shot was easy for Fabiański to save.

The visitors were to rue that missed opportunity when Issa Diop added to his goal against Everton on 18 January when he put the hosts in front. A free-kick was given for a foul by Montoya on Antonio which Robert Snodgrass took and Diop applied the final touch to beat a helpless Ryan.

West Ham continued to foray forward and managed to stretch their lead further just before the break when Snodgrass combined well with Fredericks on the overlap. Although Graham Potter's men dealt with the cross from the former Fulham defender, the ball found its way back to Snodgrass, whose volley beat Ryan via a deflection off Adam Webster.

Things were looking good for Moyes and his team at half-time as keeping the scoreline as it was meant that he would not only get his second win since rejoining the club but it would culminate in only a fourth home win for the team.

West Ham had never beaten Brighton in the top-flight going into this match and the travelling support were given something to cheer about just two minutes into the second-half when the ball found the back of the net after Fabianski came out to punch clear from a corner but only found the head of Angelo Ogbonna. The Italian could do little to prevent it from crossing the line.

The game swung back in favour of the Hammers again as they made it 3-1 through Snodgrass when the ball fell to him after Aaron Cresswell's corner had been cleared from danger. The Scotsman's superb control allowed him to shoot from 25-yards giving Ryan no chance.

A minute after Moyes had introduced Arthur Masuaku into the action for Antonio, Potter's men started to dominate and Pascal Groß pounced on a real mixup between Ogbonna and Diop. Gross applied the final touch for the easiest of finishes past Fabianski, as the Pole was unable to prevent the ball from trickling over the line.

With his side now only one goal in front, Moyes decided to make use of his final two substitutions, as Fornals and Lanzini came on for Souček and Snodgrass.

After those changes were made, West Ham suffered more disappointment.

With only four minutes of normal time to play, Glenn Murray equalised after a VAR check had allowed the goal to stand despite referee Michael Oliver originally disallowing the goal for handball. The crowd were dismayed by the decision as they thought that Oliver's first call was correct before VAR played its part.

Six minutes of stoppage time were signalled and if a winner was going to be found, then Brighton looked the most likely to claim it but thankfully there was no change in the scoreline when the final whistle was blown. There were boos from the home fans as they couldn't believe that their team had surrendered another winning position.

The games don't get any easier for Moyes as trips to Manchester City and Liverpool are next up on the fixture list.

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