David Moyes felt missed chances and a failure to keep the ball for long periods cost West Ham United victory in Wednesday’s 1-1 home draw with Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Hammers set the perfect foundation for what would have been a first-ever Premier League win over the Seagulls when Tomáš Souček headed in Pablo Fornals’ corner for his first goal since the opening day of the season.
But the home side could not turn their early advantage into full control as Graham Potter’s well-drilled side made better use of the ball when they had it.
That said, West Ham retained a threat on the counter and both teams created and missed chances before half-time, with goalkeepers Łukasz Fabiański and Robert Sánchez both making vital saves to prevent further additions to the score.
When Sánchez was beaten for a second time three minutes after the break, VAR Jarrod Gillett ruled Michail Antonio was in an offside position as the ball bounced into the net via Craig Dawson’s chest and the heel of Brighton substitute Shane Duffy.
Manager Moyes was unhappy with the decision, with took more than four minutes to be confirmed, and unhappier still when the visitors snatched a point in the 89th minute.
Another substitute, Tariq Lamptey, got past Arthur Masuaku and crossed at head height, enabling Neal Maupay to get between the centre-backs and fire an overhead kick past Fabiański, denying the Hammers a victory that would have guaranteed they remained in the top four going into Saturday’s derby with Chelsea at London Stadium.
It wasn’t great and maybe a draw was the right result in the end, but I’m more disappointed we lost the game late on.
We had chances to show some quality ourselves to win the game and make a difference, but we didn’t do so, so we’ve only got ourselves to blame for that.
Overall, it was a tight game. Brighton played very well at times and we had to work hard to be in it, but I think we certainly created enough chances to get more than one goal tonight.
We’re always looking for positives and we’re creating opportunities, but we’ve got to start taking them.
I don’t think we draw many positives as I don’t think we played particularly well with the ball tonight.
We turned it over and gave it away too often, so that meant we didn’t an awful lot of fluid attacks or keep attacks on but, as I said, I have to credit Brighton as they did a good job.
We’ve had a chance to look and the ball doesn’t touch Michail Antonio [for the goal we had disallowed for offside against him in the second half].
I think the VAR is really good and the refereeing this season has been really good, but I think we don’t want to get rid of the goals and I can see no reason why somebody shades for a ‘no goal’ rather than a ‘goal’.
I actually feel personally it comes off [Shane] Duffy last to go in the net and because I think that, it means that the VAR official has to think it’s something completely different from that, and I don’t see it being different from that on my viewings. Maybe he has got something more special than me.
But to rule it out and choose not to give a goal, well we’re in a business where we are tryhing to score goals and that’s what people pay to see.
Tonight, I didn’t think it was clear – and I’m not using ‘clear and obvious’ because offside is not ‘clear and obvious’ – but to make a decision, I think it was very difficult for anybody to do that and, for that reason, I would say the goal has to stand.
It was good to see Tomáš Souček get back on the scoresheet and from a set piece.
He got us off to a great start but, to be honest, we didn’t capitalise and build on it.
We just didn’t have quite the cohesion we’ve had in other games this season.
We’re just trying to dust ourselves down from this one now as it was a really tough challenge, then we’ll start thinking about Chelsea.
We’ll get back in on Thursday and get on it and get ready for Saturday’s game against Chelsea now.
I’m thrilled overall, as we’ve won 13 games in all competitions so far this season.
We’re in a bit of a sticky patch at the moment, but all clubs are going to do that, especially when you’re a team trying to compete at the top and learning to win regularly.
We’ve not played quite as well in a couple of the games recently and we’ve got to try and pick that up again.