Declan Rice returned and West Ham showed a lot of life but may have seen their top-four hopes crushed by one of David Moyes’ former players
Danny Welbeck’s late goal from a Percy Tau feed gave Brighton and Hove Albion a lead that West Ham United could only answer once in a 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
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Welbeck’s goal was his sixth of the season and 50th in the Premier League, nine of which came when Moyes was his boss at Manchester United.
Brighton — already-safe — gets its 38th point, 11 clear of the bottom three.
But Said Benrahma finally got his first West Ham goal to claim a point for the Irons, whose 59 points are good for sixth place with two matches left on the docket.
The Irons should be very concerned about what’s behind them, as Tottenham and Everton can join them on points with wins this weekend.
Three things we learned from Brighton – West Ham
1. Late fireworks reward patience: Both Brighton and West Ham delivered the promise of goals over 80 minutes and the Seagulls’ Alireza Jahanbakhsh and West Ham’s Said Benrahma were very good. But it was South Africa’s Percy Tau who helped Brighton break through first with an incisive through ball to Welbeck for a calm, veteran finish. Then it was Benrahma, unlucky all year, who plucked two points from the Seagulls to put one in the Irons’ column with an 87th-minute finish. Worth the wait? Maybe!
2. West Ham waves goodbye to Champions League, now about that Europa League and about Declan Rice? West Ham needed to win because Sunday home wins for Tottenham and Everton over Wolves and Sheffield United, respectively, would put all three teams on 59 points with two left each. West Ham has West Brom and Southampton, Spurs have Villa and Leicester City, and Everton gets Wolves and Man City.
What do you think, Declan Rice, the Irons best player and a possible transfer target for some of the biggest clubs in the world?
“It’s obviously horrible because we had Champions League in our sights,” Rice said. “And we can’t look to other teams, it’s on us. If you want to be competing for the Champions League, you’ve gotta win. Thought we dominated the game to be honest with you, but we missed so many chances.”
3. Benrahma finding his footing: He hasn’t found his role as a focal point for Moyes, but Said Benrahma has been increasingly effective in search of his first PL goal. He got one and could’ve had an assist (or two, given his two key passes) earlier in the match on a day he did more in 26 minutes than most did over 90. He’s much more comfortable late in the season. Will it preface a breakout sophomore season in the Premier League?