Two top-half sides clashed in the Premier League on Tuesday evening at the London Stadium. West Ham pulled off a shock 2-0 victory at Arsenal last time out via goals from Tomas Soucek and former Gunner Konstantinos Mavropanos. Brighton, however got the better of the Gunners’ North London rivals Tottenham at the AMEX Stadium five days ago; seeing off Spurs by 4-2.
WHU: Areola; Johnson, Mavropanos, Ogbonna, Emerson; Soucek, Alvarez; Ward-Prowse, Fornals, Benrahma; Bowen
BHA: Steele; Hinshelwood, van Hecke, Webster, Estupinan; Milner, Gilmour, Gross; Buonanotte; Pedro, Welbeck
A relatively quiet start at the London Stadium came to life when the Hammers crafted the first half-chance of the contest, with Jarrod Bowen sending in a cross towards James Ward-Prowse in the box, but Jason Steele collected the ball comfortably.
Roberto de Zerbi’s visitors recorded 70% of the ball in the opening stages, and they were almost rewarded for their dominance when Facundo Buonanotte fired towards goal; only to see Alphonse Areola in the West Ham goal calmly receive the ball.
Up the other end, David Moyes’ hosts almost took the lead themselves when Jarrod Bowen was played through on goal by James Ward-Prowse. The England international then fired an effort towards goal; an effort that had Jason Steele directing the ball off the post. Any goal wouldn’t have counted, however, as the flag was already up for offside.
Ward-Prowse was unlucky not to find the back of the net, as a brilliant block from Jan Paul van Hecke saw the former Southampton skipper’s shot drift behind for a corner; which nothing came to fruition from.
The game had come to life at this point, with Jack Hinshelwood unlucky to see his close-range strike come back off Alphonse Areola, and before the Brighton teenager could tuck away the rebound, the ball was cleared by Edson Alvarez.Embed from Getty Images
Said Benrahma was next to test his luck against Seagulls stopper Jason Steele after evading challenges from Jan Paul van Hecke and Adam Webster. However, the Moroccan saw his effort drift just wide of the far post.
James Milner’s ball in from the left up the other end saw Pascal Gross head towards goal, but Areola was there once again to prevent the deadlock from being broken.
The first clear-cut chance of the second half fell Brighton’s way, with Danny Welbeck latching onto a ball in from the right hand side and seeing his shot saved comfortably by Alphonse Areola. After an excellent run forward, Joao Pedro was unlucky not to cap off a superb solo goal with his shot saved once again by the French goalkeeper.
Tomas Soucek could also count himself unlucky not to be on the scoresheet, as Jarrod Bowen’s flick on in the box up the other end saw the Czech Republic international somehow steer the ball just wide of the far post.
Roberto de Zerbi opted to send on Evan Ferguson in place of Danny Welbeck at the midway point of the second half, and the Italian’s substitution almost paid off, as the young Irishman steered his close-range effort just wide of the bottom corner.
Adam Lallana’s introduction into the game for Facundo Buonanotte seemed to give Brighton’s attacking a new dimension and the former Liverpool man almost ended up on the scoresheet himself; only for Alphonse Areola to make the save yet again.
Both sides are in FA Cup action next time out, with West Ham hosting Championship side Bristol City on Sunday at 2pm, while Brighton visit Stefan Schumacher’s Stoke City the day before – with kick-off at 3pm.