The final game of this season’s Premier League festive period saw West Ham and Brighton share a goalless draw.
Nothing could separate both sides at the London Stadium, with Hammers goalkeeper Alphonse Areola making no fewer than eight saves — a third consecutive shutout for the Frenchman who could only muster one in 26 previous league appearances.
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His stellar performance and a toothless West Ham attack resulted in a rare occurrence: this campaign’s fifth Premier League goalless draw. To put this in perspective, across the opening 20 matchdays last term, England’s top division witnessed 14 such results.
In terms of other important numbers ( seeing as the scoreline didn’t give us any), James Milner made his 632nd competition appearance in this match — tying Ryan Giggs in second for most games in the competition, with only Gareth Barry playing more (653).
Milner attempted one of Brighton’s 22 shots in this match, the most West Ham have faced in a Premier League home game without conceding since December 2017 (also 22 against Arsenal).
21 years in the Premier League 😤
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 2, 2024
Perhaps most alarmingly, the result is the first clean sheet for Roberto De Zerbi’s across the whole of the 2023/24 season. It is only the second time a BTTS tip would not have come in.
It also proved to be West Ham’s first 0-0 draw at home in the Premier League since September 2018 against Chelsea, ending a run of 101 games at the London Stadium without one. Overall, it was their first goalless draw in 80 games in the competition since December 2021 at Burnley.
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The absence of Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus proved significant though David Moyes can point to a recent uptick in the team’s defensive form. West Ham have now kept four consecutive Premier League clean sheets, a run they last managed in February 2014, before compiling this streak the Hammers had only produced one shutout in their first 16 league games this term.