From the Vaults West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion 1st February 2020

West Ham had let a 2 goal lead slip into a draw dragging them into the relegation zone with Manchester City and Liverpool to look forward to in the coming games ahead. Since returning to the managers post in December, Moyes had not been able to lift the teams form with only 1 league win in 6 and being dumped out of the FA Cup by then Championship side West Brom.

Issa Diop and Robert Snodgrass – who provided and then delivered – gave the Hammers a two goal lead just before half time. Diop headed in from a Snodgrass free kick, who then doubled the lead with a powerful strike from inside the area. It seems that the players had managed to turn their poor form around and the crowd were bouyant going in to the break.

Then came the second half, with alarm bells ringing as Fabianski punched Gross’s corner at Ogbonna who managed to head the ball into his own net. Snodgrass capped his man of the match performance with a second goal that left Brighton struggling for answers leading up to the final quarter hour of the match. But Brighton did not give up.

Shocking defending left Moyes angry that the team were unable to see out the win to continue a trend where the Hammers have yet to beat Brighton the the Premier League with the most recent victory in April 2012 when both team were in the Championship.

Substitute Arthus Masuaku’s poor pass infield was intercepted by Leandro Trossard sending the ball towards the box. Diop and Ogbonna hesitated under little pressure and as Ogbonna tried to head the ball back towards the keeper Fabianski, Pascal Gross nipped the ball into the net.

Fabianksi was arguably at fault for Brighton’s third and even Ryan Fredericks should have prevented the Davy Propper’s cross from being delivered to Glenn Murray, who scored to the exasperation of Moyes and the home crowd. After a lengthy VAR review the goal stood, reversing Michael Oliver’s origins decision to disallow the goal for hand ball.

Moyes said “I’m more disappointed at what my defender did; VAR should never have been close to being involved with it.”

It could be argued that both teams could not continue to survive the drop playing like this, with Brighton soft under pressure and West Ham making such defensive mistakes and not being able to see out the match to secure all three points. 

“I’m angry and the players know I’m disappointed,” Moyes said.

“In the main we were very good but for a couple of really silly mistakes. We offered a threat, as did they. The performance was good but it’s tarnished by a couple of mistakes.”

After this match West Ham sat 18th in the table on 24 points, with Villa in 17th on 25 points and Bournemouth 16th on 26 points. Brighton remained in 15th on goal difference on 26 points. 

Hope everyone is safe and well

Published by dawudmarsh

Photographer based in London.

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