Brighton and Hove Albion may struggle to score, but their Wednesday equalizer at West Ham was one of the best you’ll see this year.
Neal Maupay’s overhead kick of a brilliant Tariq Lamptey cross finally gave Brighton the goal it was seeking since Tomas Soucek put the Irons ahead after five minutes in the Seagulls 1-1 draw in London on Wednesday.
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West Ham stays fourth with 24 points, a point better than Arsenal. The Gunners face Manchester United on Thursday.
Brighton’s up to seventh with 19 points, five back of the Irons.
West Ham vs Brighton final score, stats
Final score: West Ham 1, Brighton 1
Goals scored: Soucek (5′), Maupay (89′)
Shots: West Ham, 14-9
Shots on target: West Ham, 6-3
Possession: Brighton, 66%
Three things we learned from West Ham vs Brighton
1. Brighton doesn’t always score, but when they do… Maupay’s goal was absolutely electric and came off of a tremendous Tariq Lamptey cross. The ex-Chelsea man stood up a cross into the heart of the 18 and Maupay measured his overhead kick effort with a laser-guide, and that’s what it was going to take to beat Lukasz Fabianski.
2. Sanchez, Fabianski show off goalkeeping chops: Fabianski made a terrific save to deny Maupay an assist and Moder a goal in the first half, but Robert Sanchez was the story of this match. The Seagulls keeper was asked to do plenty even before West Ham snapped to life. He won’t love the opening goal, obviously, but he more than atoned for it.
3. Sad debut: Ecuadorian national teamer Jeremy Sarmiento, 19, made his first Premier League start for Brighton and it lasted all of 11 minutes. His injury meant the start was actually his second-shortest senior appearances for Brighton; Two of Sarmiento’s cup appearances went 21 and 69 minutes.
Man of the Match: Declan Rice
Every passing week shows that Declan Rice is just so good and so young. The energy never comes out of his legs and he’s come more and more assured in the final third, too. Rice had four interceptions, two clearances, and two tackles, and deserved an assist for a crafted run around the left side.
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West Ham vs Brighton recap
Set piece kings deliver over poor defending
The Irons went ahead on a corner kick that Brighton appeared to neglect almost entirely, Soucek nodding inside the frame.
Brighton’s men moved toward the ball but Robert Sanchez couldn’t get to the slight headed flick from Soucek and Graham Potter will be furious with his team.
What were they doing?
West Ham joins Brighton in missed finishes
Brighton, otherwise, was the superior team in the first half and was denied by Lukasz Fabianski before halftime when Neal Maupay’s incisive through ball picked out Jakub Moder at the back post.
The Irons had their fair share of near-misses, too, and Jarrod Bowen dragged a shot across the box and wide of the far post in the 64th minute.
Brighton’s finishing is the reason it could fail to finish as high as advanced stats indicate, the Seagulls left shoulder-shrugging despite plenty of the ball and smart organization and movement.