|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Glenn Murray secures draw for Brighton as West Ham throw away two-goal lead
Nick Ames at the London Stadium
datePublished Sat 1 Feb 2020 17.25 GMT
Beyond this being, from start to finish, tremendous entertainment there is a salient point for the killjoys. Quite simply, neither West Ham nor Brighton will be long for the Premier League if they carry on like this.
At least the away side could travel home feeling relatively buoyant, their unwavering devotion to constructive approach play bearing fruit with two goals in the final 15 minutes; but this result has the potential to be disastrous for West Ham. They are back in the relegation zone and face a fiendish run of fixtures, with visits to Manchester City and Liverpool up next. Further gifts of the kind they offered Brighton will wreak havoc upon their goal difference, not to mention a points tally that needs augmenting in short order.
“We’re gutted, because we’ve given away two points,” said David Moyes, who admitted he had expressed his disappointment to the dressing room in no uncertain terms. “We did an awful lot of good things and it’s been tarnished by a couple of mistakes. At 3-1 we gave them a massive leg-up.”
That is as good a place as any to start, given West Ham had looked uncharacteristically serene after restoring a two-goal cushion through Robert Snodgrass’s second deflected volley.
They were playing with something approaching control when Arthur Masuaku, who had come on as a substitute, attempted a pass infield and saw Leandro Trossard anticipate his intention. The ball spun towards the box and its flight appeared to baffle the centre-backs, Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna, who hesitated under little pressure. Ogbonna attempted a header back towards Lukasz Fabianski but Pascal Gross, quite decisive by contrast, nipped in to prod a slow-motion finish.
It was knockabout stuff and Moyes was equally exasperated by what happened four minutes later. VAR initially seemed to have offered a lightning rod for West Ham’s fury when, after a lengthy delay, it ruled Glenn Murray had not handled before drilling Davy Propper’s cross past Fabianski. The home crowd were incensed but the decision, which reversed Michael Oliver’s original decision to disallow the goal, was correct.
Moyes felt, as did most onlookers, that Ryan Fredericks should have prevented the delivery from reaching Murray. “I’m more disappointed at what my defender did; VAR should never have been close to being involved with it,” he said. But West Ham’s capacity to complicate a favourable situation pre-dated these mistakes.
They had taken the lead when Brighton dealt with a set-piece lamentably and Diop jabbed Snodgrass’s free-kick into an unguarded net ahead of Mathew Ryan.
When Snodgrass, smashing home on the run via a decisive snick off Adam Webster, made it two as half-time approached there was even a case for lauding their efficiency: Brighton had missed two presentable openings at the other end while the hosts had made their own incursions count.
Alarm bells rang immediately after the restart when Fabianski punched Gross’s corner straight on to the head of Ogbonna and in. It was a gift, a contender in a stiff contest for the game’s biggest blooper, but West Ham dusted themselves down with rare character. Aaron Cresswell’s corner was headed out beyond the edge of the area and Snodgrass, again meeting a dropping ball perfectly, earned the slice of luck brought by an inadvertent touch by Bernardo.
Fortune had exposed itself in broad daylight to West Ham, but it would soon squirrel itself out of view once again. A defeat would have been unfair on Brighton, though, and there may not have been too much argument if Trossard or Solly March had won it at the very end.
Graham Potter, who oversaw the game despite the death of his father on Thursday, was pleased with the “good quality, good personality, good character” shown by his players. The selection of Murray, who had not started in the league since 14 September, paid dividends.
Potter said the pair had “lots of honest conversations” during the transfer window about the 36-year-old’s wish for regular football and will surely use him more as Brighton look to escape the mire.
West Ham, who at least saw a good debut in midfield from Tomas Soucek and have Jarrod Bowen waiting in the wings, could do with nous like Murray’s. “I’m angry‚“ Moyes concluded.
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS AND PLAYER RATINGS
WEST HAM (4-1-4-1): Fabianski 6; Fredericks 7, Diop 7, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6.5; Rice 6.5; Snodgrass 8 (Lanzini 85), Noble 7, Soucek 7.5 (Fornals 85), Antonio 8.5 (Masuaku 75, 4); Haller 6.
Subs not used: Randolph, Balbuena, Zabaleta, Ajeti.
Goals: Diop 30, Snodgrass 45, 57
Manager: David Moyes 5
BRIGHTON (4-2-3-1): Ryan 6; Montoya 6.5 (Schelotto 72, 5), Dunk 7, Webster 7, Bernardo 6; Propper 6, Stephens 7; Gross 6, Mooy 6.5 (March 72, 5), Trossard 6.5; Murray 6.
Subs not used: Button, Maupay, Jahanbakhsh, Connolly, Alzate.
Goals: Ogbonna (og) 47, Gross 75, Murray 79
Manager: Graham Potter 8
Referee: Michael Oliver 7
Man of the match: Michail Antonio