West Ham’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League are hanging by a thread after they drew 1-1 with Brighton at the Amex on Saturday.
David Moyes’ side are now five points behind fourth-place Chelsea with just two games remaining after Danny Welbeck and Said Benrahma each grabbed late goals.
The Hammers came close to taking the lead midway through the first half when Michail Antonio got the deftest of touches on Aaron Cresswell’s cross, but it wasn’t enough to direct it towards goal.
While Brighton dominated the ball, West Ham continued to get it into better areas, with Antonio continually lurking in the Seagulls’ box. They also had several appeals for handball turned down by referee Andre Marriner as the hosts clung on.
Brighton showed more fight after the break, and Alireza Jahanbakhsh was inches away from giving them the lead after beating Lukasz Fabianski to a long ball over the top, but his effort sailed just wide.
With time running out, Craig Dawson rose highest in the Brighton box, but his free header went just wide.
And Brighton went straight down the other end and made them pay, as substitute Percy Tau played in Welbeck to dink over Fabianski with little over five minutes remaining.
Said Benrahma gave West Ham a bit of hope when he fired in his first goal for the club from range moments later to equalise, but they had to settle for a draw.
Robert Sanchez (GK) – 6/10 – Had a couple of nervy moments but always compensated immediately with big saves or claims for the ball.
Ben White (CB) – 7/10 – A few crucial blocks, particularly in the first half.
Adam Webster (CB) – 6/10 – Brought the ball out from the back as usual but to little effect.
Dan Burn (CB) – 7/10 – Surprisingly decent on the ball and was imperious in the air.
Pascal Gross (RWB) – 6/10 – Didn’t really look natural out of position but put in a good shift anyway.
Steven Alzate (CM) – 5/10 – Kept the ball moving but that was about it.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – 6/10 – Combative when he needed to be and was well-disciplined after an early yellow card.
Jakub Moder (LWB) – 6/10 – Tidy on the ball but lacked a cutting edge.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh (RW) – 6/10 – Made Brighton’s most dangerous openings in the first hour, but they weren’t that clear-cut.
Danny Welbeck (CF) – 7/10 – Dropped deeper and deeper as the game went on in hope of actually seeing the ball. Finally got a chance with just over five minutes remaining and took it.
Leandro Trossard (LW) – 5/10 – Very quiet performance from the Belgium international.
Adam Lallana (CM) – 6/10
Percy Tau (RW) – 7/10 – Huge assist, much to the joy of Brighton’s newfound South African followship.
Andi Zaqiri (LW) – N/A
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 6/10 – Had little to do aside from a couple of duels with Jahanbakhsh in the second half.
Vladimir Coufal (RB) – 7/10 – Excellent at both ends of the pitch. Looks more like Pablo Zabaleta than the Pablo Zabaleta that actually played for West Ham.
Craig Dawson (CB) – 6/10 – Dealt with everything thrown at him, not that there was much of it. Missed a free header late on with the scores level.
Angelo Ogbonna (CB) – 6/10 – Ditto. Brighton scarcely threatened through the middle (until the 84th minute).
Aaron Cresswell (LB) – 7/10 – Like Coufal, was menacing going forward and tough to beat defensively.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – 6/10 – One of the Czech’s quieter evenings this season.
Declan Rice (CM) – 7/10 – Looked sharp on his return from injury, was crucial in locking Brighton down.
Jesse Lingard (AM) – 7/10 – Tried to make things happen, but against a side as good defensively as Brighton that was a tough ask.
Jarrod Bowen (RW) – 5/10 – Nothing of note. Hooked early in the second half.
Michail Antonio (CF) – 7/10 – Had the best openings of the game, but failed to follow up on a lively first half.
Pablo Fornals (LW) – 6/10 – Nearly opened Brighton up with a lovely turn in the first 45, but was unable to get a shot away.
Said Benrahma (RW) – 7/10 – Scored his first goal for West Ham and it was a big one.