West Ham came back from behind twice to recover a point against Brighton on Sunday, with the visitors registering their seventh draw of the season.
The Hammers started off with an exceptionally conservative lineup and immediately looked at the second best team as a result. Brighton dominated possession against a lethargic Irons, who struggled for any real creativity or desire to attack in a lifeless first half.
Despite a few moments of Solly March, the visitors could barely create a clear chance and appeared to have ruined their dominance in the opening 45 minutes. That was until Neil Maupay struck from close range just before the end of the half.
As expected, David Moyes switched sides before the second half and it paid off. West Ham looked more urgent and had a head start, Brighton defending well until 20-year-old Ben Johnson finished smartly on time.
Brighton woke up after the equalizer, however, and restored their lead on a corner when Lewis Dunk was the quickest to react into the box and shoot at home. The game opened up somewhat in the final 15 minutes and the hosts pulled it out of a corner again, when Tomas Soucek caught Ben White on his heels to finish.
With the all-square game entering the final stages, there was a realization that a point was not a bad result for either side. West Ham and Brighton shyly pushed for a winner, but a largely lackluster affair ended in a stalemate.
This is how the players fared.
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 5/10 – Couldn’t do anything to stop either of Brighton’s two goals and was confident between the two. Frustrating afternoon for the keeper.
Vladimir Coufal (RWB) – 5/10 – Fairly decent defensive display and tried to advance, but lacked creative support – which was the story of most West Ham players in the first half.
Fabian Balbuena (CB) – 5/10 – Made some solid clearances and used his body well at times, winning four tackles. Also dominated in the air, winning five aerial duels.
Angelo Ogbonna (CB) – 6/10 – Led the charge for West Ham from the back and was their best player in a bad half. Made life difficult for Danny Welbeck and couldn’t be blamed for the goal.
Aaron Cresswell (CB) – 6/10 – Keeped Leandro Trossard somewhat calm and looked comfortable in a back three. Reliable pair of hands for the Hammers, as always, allowing Johnson to move forward with freedom.
Ben Johnson (LWB) – 7/10 – Could have been hooked at halftime to attack options, but he was held up and repaid the faith shown by putting the equalizer; his first goal for West Ham.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – 6/10 – Struggled to make an impact in the first half, but seemed to have improved a lot as the game progressed. Well linked with his fellow attackers and moved well to grab his team’s second goal.
Declan Rice (CM) – 4/10 – Rice suffered from a negative XI who looked distraught from the start and failed to clear his lines, which made Maupay jump to score in the 44th minute.
Mark Noble (CM) – 3/10 – Seemed completely lost in an advanced role again and was hooked at halftime for more exciting options.
Sébastien Haller (ST) – 6/10 – Barely saw the ball in the first half but used his body well every time he approached him. Improved after the break with players flair around playing.
Jarrod Bowen (ST) -3/10 – Bad day at the office for Bowen who struggled to get involved and watched the pace when he did. Drawn at halftime with Noble as a result.
Manuel Lanzini – 6/10 – Injected some much-needed urgency during his second-half introduction and cleverly handed it over to Johnson for the equalizer. Thrived in the role in which Bowen suffered.
Andriy Yarmolenko – 6/10 – Similar impact to Lanzini; Yarmolenko was a nuisance and used his physique to reach the Brighton defense which resulted in their goal.
Robert Sanchez (GK) – 5/10 – Rather calm play for Sanchez who did not come close to Johnson’s strike, but he beat a cross that did not help his defenders.
Lewis Dunk (CB) – 7/10 – Comfortable in possession as always and could not do much to stop West Ham’s equalizer. Was pointed from the short corner to restore his team’s lead.
Adam Webster (CB) – 6/10 – Barely challenged by West Ham forwards in the first half but managed possession, bringing the ball to Brighton and pulverizing clean passes.
Dan Burn (CB) – 5/10 – Did not offend on return to XI but struggled to contain Yarmolenko in the second half.
Ben White (RWB) – 5/10 – The Brighton Utilities man was deployed in a large role but seemed uncomfortable at times when trying to advance, and was in charge of West Ham’s second by not going with Soucek.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – 7/10 – Easy performance in the first half that took off after the break. Key to retrieve the ball for Brighton and redistribute it to advance his team.
Adam Lallana (CM) – 5/10 – Lallana didn’t quite grab the game as much as he would have liked and was substituted after 45 minutes, meaning he couldn’t take it up a notch. Frustrating.
Solly March (LWB) – 7/10 – March’s tireless performance that has always been lively. The 26-year-old moved up and down the left flank and provided precise crosses but also vital tackles in his own half, stretching the game from the left with Tariq Lamptey missing on the right flank.
Leandro Trossard (RW) – 5/10 – Disappointing afternoon for Trossard who was unusually calm and barely saw the ball, which was not helped by Brighton slowing the pace after the break. Failed to hit clean and gave the ball cheap.
Danny Welbeck (ST) – 6/10 – Bonded well to Maupay and used his body well at times, but lacked urgency and didn’t cause enough headaches for defenders.
Neil Maupay (LW) – 7/10 – Perhaps too passive at times in the first half, but showed up just before the break to put his side ahead, recovering from a period of total domination.
Steven Alzate – 6/10 – Was keen to catch the ball and chase down West Ham forwards, but that wasn’t a significant improvement over Lallana, frankly.
Pascal Gross – 5/10
Alireza Jahanbakhsh – N / A