Brighton 4 – 0 West Ham United. Brighton boosted their hopes of European qualification with a thumping Premier League victory over struggling West Ham that increases the pressure on Hammers boss David Moyes.
Alexis Mac Allister put Albion in front midway through the first half, converting from the spot after Jarrod Bowen bundled Kaoru Mitoma over in the area.
Substitute Joel Veltman doubled the hosts’ lead soon after half-time, chesting the ball in at the far post following a corner, before Mitoma slid in to make it 3-0.
Danny Welbeck added further gloss to the scoreline late on, drilling a right-footed shot into the bottom corner to condemn the Hammers to their biggest defeat of the season.
It was no more than Brighton deserved as they cut loose in the second half, producing a swaggering attacking display that could have seen them win by an even greater margin.
Moyes’ side went into the match having lost just one of their past five league games, including thrashing Nottingham Forest 4-0 in their previous fixture, but this result and performance provided a stark reality check.
Bowen and Tomas Soucek forced Jason Steele – making only his second top-flight appearance at the age of 32 – into smart saves when it was still 1-0, but they rarely threatened otherwise and remain just two points above the bottom three.
Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi was serving a one-game touchline ban after his red card at the end of the defeat by Fulham – but his absence did not appear to be felt.
Having controlled much of the first half without ever really clicking into gear, Veltman’s goal soon after the break appeared to spark Albion into life.
Mitoma was at the heart of nearly everything good going forward, while Solly March and Mac Allister also impressed as the hosts mustered 20 shots on goal compared to West Ham’s miserly three.
Alphonse Areola was frequently called upon in the Hammers’ goal, making good saves to deny both Evan Ferguson and March, in addition to tipping Julio Enciso’s fine long-range attempt on to the bar.
By contrast, West Ham completely subsided as the match wore on and many of their fans made their feelings about Moyes’ future known both during and after the game.
The Hammers have improved in recent weeks but a 14th league defeat in 25 games leaves them in deep relegation trouble.
source – BBC