Tomas Soucek rescues point for West Ham at home to Brighton in the Premier League
Premier League, London Stadium - West Ham 2 (Johnson 60, Soucek 82) Brighton and Hove Albion 2 (Maupay 44, Dunk 70)
West Ham United's Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek (2nd L) celebrates with West Ham United's Ukrainian striker Andriy Yarmolenko after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Brighton
Published 27/12/2020 at 13:33 GMT | Updated 27/12/2020 at 16:38 GMT
West Ham twice fought back from behind to steal a 2-2 draw against Brighton at the London Stadium.
The Hammers were utterly uninspiring during a first 45 minutes in which they were dominated by the Seagulls all over the pitch. Danny Welbeck and Solly March could only hit the side-netting but Brighton took a deserved lead and punished their hosts’ lacklustre display just before half-time as top goalscorer Neal Maupay poked home after pinball football inside the box as Declan Rice failed to clear his lines.
Two substitutes made all the difference for West Ham in the second half as Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini finally injected life into David Moyes’ side. And it was Yarmolenko’s dangerous ball in that caused chaos at the back for Brighton before the ball broke free for 20-year-old Ben Johnson to stroke home from close range on his first Premier League start for the club.
Brighton landed a sucker punch shortly after as Lewis Dunk smashed home following a corner to hand his side the lead once more, but Tomas Soucek scored his fourth goal in eight games to send the Hammers level ten minutes from time.
A point apiece sees Brighton stay dangerously close to the relegation zone with just one win in their last 13 games, while David Moyes’ men - with just the one win in their last five – stay tenth.
TALKING POINT - Brighton squander three points
You'd be hard pressed to find a more pathetic performance from a home side than West Ham in the first half against Brighton today.
Yet Brighton take just a point home after they once again failed to score the goals that their display deserved. It's performance over points right now for the Seagulls, and they really need points.
Blunt upfront and twice unable to hold on to a lead, these are all the ingredients for a relegation battle and a long, hard second half to the season
MAN OF THE MATCH - Neal Maupay (Brighton)
His attitude has often been criticised but he worked tirelessly all afternoon. Put his side in front went it looked as though nothing would happen for them despite all the possession, and was a constant thorn in West Ham's side.
44’ - GOAL! WEST HAM 0 BRIGHTON 1 (Maupay, 44'). That is a victory for football because West Ham have done nothing and they deserved to be punished. It's pinball football in the box and Rice fails to clear before Maupay rifles home on the turn. Their top scorer puts them ahead. Instinctual.
60’ - GOAL! WEST HAM 1 BRIGHTON 1 (Johnson, 60). West Ham are back in it! Rice plays Yarmolenko down the left-hand side and his brilliant ball in causes chaos inside the box. It breaks free to Johnson of all people who caresses the ball into the top corner. The former academy lad sends the Hammers level.
70’ - GOAL! WEST HAM 1 BRIGHTON 2 (Dunk, 70). Brighton are back in front! Dunk chests down a Trossard corner and smashes into the roof of the net. VAR are having a look but it looks good to me. It stands!
82' - GOAL! WEST HAM 2 BRIGHTON 2 (Soucek, 82). It's dreadful defending from Brighton but West Ham won't care! They're back level! Ben White fails to keep track of Soucek at the corner and it's straight off the training ground as the midfielder heads past Sanchez. Too easy.