Saturday, 21 October 2017

Brighton pick up three points at the London Stadium as West Ham outfought and outthought

West Ham 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
Brighton and Hove Albion's first visit to the London stadium saw them out think and out fight their hosts.
West Ham huffed and puffed for 90 minutes but failed to force a serious save out of Brighton stopper Mathew Ryan.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic admitted as much, when he conceded his side "dominated, without creating many chances."
It was a worrying result for the West Ham manager, who arguably put out his strongest team, with players returning from injuries. There seemed,though, to be a lack of tactical nous, with Brighton pressing the West Ham rearguard, which looked even more ponderous than usual. At the other end, no one seemed to work out Andy Carroll wasn't on the pitch, as a succession of high balls were hit over for the diminutive Chicarito, then Andre Ayew, to battle forlornly against the big Brighton defenders.
Bilic admitted there had been "a lot of high balls in and it would have been an ideal game for Andy (Carroll)."
The visitors took the led in the ninth minute, after West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang gave away a needless free kick 25 yards out. Pascal Gross clipped the resulting free kick into the area, where a virtually unchallenged Glenn Murray headed home.
The home side then dominated, with some nice possession, without any end product. Ryan was called on once to collect an Obiang shot into his midriff.
Then on the stroke of half time Jose Izquierdo got away down the left, cut inside, before striking a curling shot that Joe Hart could only palm into the net.
West Ham began the second half with some industry but the game was effectively ended as a contest when Pablo Zabaleta hauled down Murray, who then converted the resulting penalty. 
The third goal was the queue for the home fans to stream for the exits, whilst the delirious  Seagulls fans sung their hearts out.
Brighton manager, Chris Hughton, thought this game was possibly their best 90 minutes of the season.
He agreed the two first half goals lifted confidence, forcing West Ham to open up a bit in the second half.

*published Morning Star - 21/10/2017

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