Football Features

West Ham move one step closer to relegation by blowing two-goal lead v Brighton

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 17:27, 1 February 2020

West Ham twice blew a two-goal lead at home to Brighton as their relegation fears grow stronger.

The Hammers raced into a 2-0 lead before half-time, but an Angelo Ogbonna own-goal put the away side right back in the game before Robert Snodgrass seemingly sealed the points with his second and West Ham’s third.

However, some more dreadful defending from the home side allowed Pascal Gross to give the Seagulls hope before Glenn Murray levelled with ten minutes to go after a lengthy VAR check.

Today’s result leave West Ham in the bottom three, while Brighton sit just two points above them.

West Ham continue Brighton hoodoo: Key stats from West Ham 3-3 Brighton

  • Brighton are one of just two teams that West Ham have played but never beaten in the Premier League – Swindon Town are the other.
  • Each of Robert Snodgrass’ last eight assists has come at the London Stadium.
  • Snodgrass scored and assisted in the same game for the first time since 2016, when he did so against Brighton’s rivals, Crystal Palace.
  • Only Neil Maupay (nine) has been directly involved in more goals for Brighton this season than Pascal Gross (six).
  • The Seagulls have won twice away from home this season; only Norwich have won fewer games on the road.
  • Glenn Murray has now scored eight goals in his last seven starts against West Ham.

Murray is West Ham’s scourge… again

West Ham must be sick to death of the sight of Glenn Murray.

Before today, Murray hadn’t started a game since September and was a surprise inclusion, given the form of Neil Maupay since his move in the summer. Clearly, Graham Potter had done his homework. Murray had scored four goals in his previous three trips to West Ham and the decision paid dividends again.

It was a typical Glenn Murray goal, somewhat scrappy but very important. It was not just in this sense he impressed, however. Murray held the ball up effectively and brought others into the game as any good target man should.

At the ripe old age of 36, it’s unlikely that Murray will be getting an extended run in the side anytime soon, particularly given the brand of football that Potter likes to play. However, his performance today showed two things: Murray can play in any system and a goalscoring instinct doesn’t fade with age.

Same old problems for West Ham

What’s going on in East London?

The full-time whistle was met with boos in Stratford and unsurprisingly so. Once again, West Ham showed a concerning vulnerability at the back and ended up drawing a game in which they twice had a two-goal cushion.

The worst part is that they only have themselves to blame. Lukas Fabianski reverted to his ‘Flappianski’ Arsenal roots as he punched the ball straight into Angelo Ogbonna for Brighton’s first goal, before the Italian defender and his partner Issa Diop totally butchered dealing with a high ball to gift Brighton a route back into the game once again.

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While David Moyes could do nothing about that, his substitutions were questionable at best. Why he decided to take off Antonio (who was, alongside Snodgrass, running the game) for Masuaku and invite Brighton onto them at 3-1 was bizarre and the introductions of Fornals and Lanzini were simply too little, too late.

The club splashed £20 million on yet another attacker yesterday in Jarrod Bowen. It’s all well and good having Fornals, Bowen, Antonio, Anderson, Snodgrass and Lanzini at your disposal, but if you can’t defend, you’re going to struggle to win games and, dare we say it, stay up.

The rest of the day’s action

  • Leicester 2-2 Chelsea: An Antonio Rudiger double salvaged a point for Chelsea after the Foxes missed some golden chances to win the game.
  • AFC Bournemouth 2-1 Aston Villa: Eddie Howe’s side picked up a vital three points thanks to goals from Nathan Ake and Phillip Billing, despite Jefferson Lerma’s second-half sending off.
  • Crystal Palace 0-1 Sheffield United: The Blades’ sparkling away form continued after a calamitous Vicente Guaita mistake sent them into fifth.
  • Liverpool 4-0 Southampton: A Mo Salah brace sealed yet another win for Liverpool, who are now 22 (TWENTY TWO) points clear at the top.
  • Newcastle United 0-0 Norwich City: Despite managing 35 shots between them, the deadlock wasn’t broken as Norwich picked up a rare result on the road.
  • Watford 2-3 Everton: Watford blew a 2-0 lead as a last-minute Theo Walcott winner secured a memorable comeback win for Carlo Ancelotti.

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