Tomas Soucek and Pablo Fornals were among the brightest performers for West Ham United as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday.
The game was off to a bright start as Brighton & Hove Albion came close to opening the scoring early on through Neal Maupay, but the Frenchman failed to make his chance count. Soon after, West Ham United were in front on their home turf as Tomas Soucek headed the ball into the back of the net from Pablo Fornals’ corner in the fifth minute.
The Hammers could have made it 2-0 around the half-hour mark, but Fornals’ thumping effort struck the woodwork. Brighton came close to equalising near half-time, but Jakub Moder saw his strike get saved by Lukasz Fabianski. Three minutes into the second period, West Ham had thought they had doubled their lead, only for a lengthy VAR check to chalk out the goal for offside.
The Seagulls could have levelled things up around the 70th-minute mark, but Adam Lallana fired his shot wide off the target from a promising position. At the other end, Robert Sanchez made a couple of important stops to deny Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen, which proved extremely crucial when Maupay found the equaliser late in the game, turning home Tariq Lamptey’s cross in acrobatic fashion.
The Frenchman’s late goal meant that David Moyes & co. had to share the spoils with their visitors and are now three games without a win in the Premier League. While they held on to the fourth spot in the table, Arsenal could overtake them on Thursday when they face Manchester United. Here are our player ratings for the West Ham stars after the 1-1 draw against Brighton.
West Ham United Player Ratings
Lukasz Fabianski: 6.5/10
The Polish shot-stopper made a fine stop in the first half to deny Jakub Moder. However, there wasn’t much he could do to stop Maupay’s equaliser late on in the contest.
Vladimir Coufal: 6.5/10
The West Ham defender made his first Premier League start in nearly two months and looked in good touch. Coufal got up and down the flank with good energy and even delivered a few dangerous crosses into the box.
Craig Dawson: 5.5/10
While the towering centre-back dealt with any aerial threat with comfort, he was guilty of sloppy defending on occasions, one such moment leading to Lallana’s chance. He was then easily held off by Maupay for the equalising goal.
Kurt Zouma: 6.5/10
The ex-Chelsea man looked solid and assured for the most part on Wednesday night, executing several tackles and interceptions to keep his team’s narrow lead intact for a majority of the game.
Ben Johnson: 6/10
The youngster was shifted out to left-back in the absence of Aaron Cresswell. Given that it is not his natural side, Johnson’s attacking forays were limited on the night. However, he did hold down the fort at the back and did not give much away.
Declan Rice: 7/10
Calm and composed in the middle of the park, as usual, Declan Rice hardly put a foot wrong on the night. The Englishman was at hand to make some key interventions in defence and looked purposeful when he was on the ball. He also drew a save from Sanchez in the second half.
Tomas Soucek: 7/10
Tomas Soucek has ended a run of 18 games without a goal for West Ham.
Back in form. ? pic.twitter.com/fAsL1KxVJY
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 1, 2021
The midfielder was backed to bring an end to his 18-game goal drought by manager Moyes ahead of the game, and that is exactly what he did, glancing home Fornals’ corner early in the contest. Soucek looked much more confident from that point on and kept things tight in the middle even as Brighton hogged possession and looked for an equaliser.
Jarrod Bowen: 6/10
The ex-Hull City ace posed a threat on the counter with his speed and directness and managed to get himself into decent positions on a few occasions. However, his finishing was not up to scratch, as he fired an effort wide and saw another being saved.
Pablo Fornals: 7/10
The Spaniard looked like a threat in the first half, especially causing problems with his set-piece delivery. He got the assist for the opening goal with a lovely corner and then came close to scoring one himself, only to see his effort bounce off the crossbar. Fornals continued to play with the same energy and intensity in the second half.
WHAT an effort ?
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 1, 2021
Said Benrahma: 5/10
The former Brentford star struggled to get going against Brighton on Wednesday, although it was not due to a lack of effort. Benrahma put the hard yards in off the ball and helped out defensively. But going forward, things just did not click for him, with his decision-making letting him down on occasions.
Michail Antonio: 5/10
It was a quiet night for West Ham’s main man up top. Antonio was guilty of giving away possession way too easily at times while he failed to muster up any real goal threat against the Seagulls. He will need to step up ahead of the busy festive schedule.
Manuel Lanzini: 6/10
He replaced Benrahma for the final 15 minutes and added a sense of urgency in attack.
Arthur Masuaku: 6/10
He replaced Fornals in the 76th minute. Masuaku showed good energy in his short time on the pitch.