Brighton & Hove Albion 4-0 West Ham United
Premier League, American Express Community Stadium, Saturday 4 March 2023, 3pm GMT
West Ham United fell to a 4-0 defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon.
Goals on either side of the break from Alexis Mac Allister and Joël Veltman saw the Seagulls move two in front, while there were chances for the Hammers to net an equaliser at Amex Stadium.
Jarrod Bowen and Tomáš Souček both tested Brighton stopper Jason Steele before the break, but Kaoru Mitoma and Danny Welbeck made sure of the points for Roberto de Zerbi’s team by adding a third and then a fourth in the second half.
The Irons’ winless run in the Premier League against the Seagulls stretched to 12 games as a result.
From the off, Brighton dominated the ball, although the Hammers threatened when they caught the Sussex side in possession. Early on, that press almost brought the opener as Souček won the ball high and tried to find Danny Ings. The No18, buoyed by two goals on his home debut last weekend, was unable to grab his third in Claret and Blue, with Steele quickly off his line to scoop up the danger.
The pattern of possession continued though and saw Brighton eventually threaten the Hammers’ net. Found after a flowing move from defence to attack, Solly March drifted inside, weaving far too easily between the Claret and Blue shirts, although Alphonse Areola saved his teammates’ blushes. The French stopper, on his first Premier League start since January 2022, palmed March’s shot wide. It was only a short relief though – because the next time the No7 found space David Moyes’ men were behind.
March again picked up the ball wide right, and drilled a cross-field pass towards Mitoma, which was misjudged by Ben Johnson, allowing the No22 to dart into the area and be tripped by Bowen, who was caught out trying to cover for his full-back. As he did in the reverse fixture then, Mac Allister stepped up to put his side ahead. The Argentine found the top left corner from the spot with 18 minutes played.
With the task set in Sussex, only an inspired sequence of saves from Steele kept the Hammers behind shortly afterwards. First, a bursting run from Saïd Benrahma almost brought an equaliser. The Algerian forward was tackled, but the ball spun into the path of Bowen, who raced through on goal but could only see his effort kept out by an outstretched leg. Souček was next to test the Brighton stopper. But his strike, after a neat pass from Paquetá, was saved, as, while the Hammers pressed to pull the score level, Brighton led at the break.
And it was a case of rinse and repeat in the second half. The Hammers sat deep, and Brighton controlled the ball. Mac Allister fired the first and second warning signs. He struck over and then later – after Brighton played through a West Ham press with ease – the No10’s flick almost found a way past Areola, although a second for the Seagulls arrived from the resulting corner. An inswinging delivery from the right was flicked on by Mac Allister and tapped home by substitute Veltman.
And the Brighton pressure continued too. March struck over from inside the area, before a third goal for the hosts arrived with just over 20 minutes to go. Again, the Irons were sliced open far too easily, as Mitoma tucked home a cross from Pascal Groß to see the points settled and staying in Sussex.
A fourth followed with little time to play as Welbeck fired home from 16 yards to ensure it was another afternoon to forget for the Hammers in Brighton.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Steele, Lamptey (Veltman 16), Dunk ©, Webster, Estupinan (Buonanotte 77), Caicedo, Groß, March (Welbeck 77), Mac Allister, Mitoma (Sarmiento 83), Ferguson (Enciso 83)
Subs not used: Sánchez (GK), Undav, Gilmour, van Hecke
Goals: Mac Allister 18 Veltman 51 Mitoma 69 Welbeck 89
West Ham United: Areola, Johnson, Aguerd, Ogbonna (Zouma 68), Emerson, Rice ©, Souček (Downes 76), Paquetá (Lanzini 76), Bowen, Ings, Benrahma (Fornals 46)
Subs not used: Anang (GK), Hegyi (GK), Cresswell, Scamacca
Booked: Souček, Bowen, Rice
Referee: Stuart Attwell