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West Ham United 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion: Arnautovic double rescues hosts

Marko Arnautovic scored twice in two minutes
Marko Arnautovic scored twice in two minutes for his sixth and seventh Premier League goals of the season

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini said he was "absolutely frustrated" despite Marko Arnautovic scoring twice in two minutes to salvage a point against Brighton.

The Seagulls took a 2-0 lead, also within the space of two minutes, with their eighth and ninth goals from corners this season.

"The most important way that Brighton scores is from set-pieces, and we allowed them to score two goals this way," said Pellegrini, whose side ended a run of the three consecutive defeats against their opponents.

"I don't remember any other chances for them, but we didn't create in the first 45 minutes."

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West Ham 2-2 Brighton: Manuel Pellegrini 'frustrated' with not being able to steal win

Arnautovic, who has been linked with Chelsea, proved his value again for the Hammers by turning around a game which came to life after a drab first half where Andy Carroll made his first start in exactly a year.

After Carroll was hooked at half-time, Dale Stephens rifled the visitors ahead from the edge of the box with his first Premier League goal.

Shortly afterwards, the Seagulls doubled their advantage when Shane Duffy peeled to the back post and controlled the ball on his chest before cleverly poking home.

But two Pellegrini substitutions unleashed their star striker as Mark Noble chipped a lovely ball forward which the Austrian striker hammered home from close range.

Then Michail Antonio cut the ball back from as close to the byline as he could get for the 29-year-old to score his seventh goal of the season.

There were further chances for Antonio and Declan Rice to win it, but the point moved West Ham into the top half of the table.

When the disappointment of throwing away a two-goal lead subsides, Brighton will take solace in remaining unbeaten in three games over the festive period as they remain 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Andy Carroll was caught by a Lewis Dunk elbow which went unpunished
Andy Carroll was caught by a Lewis Dunk elbow which went unpunished

Arnautovic shines as Carroll disappoints

Much of the attention prior to the match centred on Carroll, who made his first start in a exactly a year - when he scored twice to help the Hammers beat West Brom 2-1 - to freshen up his team.

But after only six appearances off the bench this season, the former Liverpool and Newcastle striker looked rusty as he miscontrolled the ball on several occasions.

A poor half was made worse when he was caught by a flailing elbow from Lewis Dunk that left the 29-year-old with blood running down his head.

And there was little link-up play between Arnautovic and Carroll, perhaps contributing to the fact that the Englishman did not emerge for the second half.

His replacement Lucas Perez dropped shorter to offer West Ham a different option up front, but it was only after they conceded twice, and Noble and Antonio came on, that they really started to find their rhythm.

Immediately, they started to play the ball in behind the Brighton defence and it paid dividends.

There were chances in the first period as Arnautovic tested David Button in the Brighton goal and Felipe Anderson wasted a decent chance at the edge of the area.

But after seven games in December and four in the last 12 days, the hosts struggled as Brighton started faster and took advantage after the interval.

That was before Arnautovic ensured there was a positive start to the year after a poor 2-0 defeat at Burnley on 30 December.

Shane Duffy scores his first premier League goal
Shane Duffy scored his fourth Premier League goal this season with a well-worked set-piece

Brighton set-piece expertise pays off again

Chris Hughton's side can temper the disappointment of losing their lead with the fact that, until their quickfire double when Stephens scored a first Premier League goal, they did not create great deal.

They also continued their unbeaten run against West Ham over the last two seasons and have gained five points over the festive period after losing their previous three Premier League games.

The fact that both goals came from corners underlined the diligence and organisation that runs through this Hughton team, which looks more than capable of remaining in the top flight for a second successive season.

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West Ham 2-2 Brighton: Chris Hughton says 'draw is hard to take'

The first was fortunate given that neither Perez or Robert Snodgrass chose to pick up Stephens as he scored from the edge of the area with a well-taken strike.

But the second goal, when Duffy found space, looked like it was straight off the training ground as Brighton sent their travelling supporters wild.

Although Hughton will rue a chance to chalk up a third away win of the season, he will also be wise to the fact that West Ham had won five of their previous seven games prior to this contest.

Man of the match - Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic
In a drab first half, Marko Arnautovic was the only player who looked like scoring and he dragged West Ham back into the game once the substitutes played to his strengths. In short, talismanic.

'I don't remember any chances for them' - what they said

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini: "I'm absolutely frustrated. The most important way that Brighton scores is from set pieces, they had seven goals form corners. And we allowed them to score two goals this way. I don't remember any other chances for them, but we didn't create in first 45 minutes."

Brighton boss Chris Hughton: "When you are 2-0 up in any game, it's hard to take when the opposition get back to level terms. At that stage the momentum was with them, but to gather our composure was pleasing and away from home it was a good performance. I'm delighted with the goals we got."

On whether Antonio went out of play for Arnautovic's equaliser, he added: "I've seen one angle that looks like it might have gone out, but someone else has told me it was just in play.

"At the moment no complaints, we defended really well particularly in the first half, and there was probably only a handful of times where we didn't defend well and that's where they got their chances.

"Any point here is a good point, but today it's not because we were 2-0 up. It could have unravelled, but I thought we knuckled down and showed good composure."

West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic: "I can't be happy. Obviously we talked about the game we wanted to win at home. First half was a boring game from both sides, second half they had two set-pieces and after those we started to play football.

"With a bit of luck we can take a win away, but we didn't and it was a fair draw.

Raining goals - the best of the stats

  • West Ham have only won one of their eight top-flight matches against Brighton (D2 L5), winning 2-1 in March 1983.
  • There were just 125 seconds between Dale Stephen's opener for Brighton and Shane Duffy putting the Seagulls two goals in front, whilst there were 131 seconds between Marko Arnautovic's two strikes for West Ham.
  • Marko Arnautovic scored his first Premier League brace for West Ham since March 2018 against Southampton.
  • Brighton's Shane Duffy has scored four goals in 18 Premier League appearances this campaign - his joint-highest goal return in a single season across the top four tiers of English Football.
  • Stephens' opener for Brighton was his first league goal since December 2016 against Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.

What next?

West Ham host Birmingham in the FA Cup third round on 5 January (12:30 GMT) before hosting Arsenal in the Premier League the following Saturday. Brighton travel west along the south coast to face Bournemouth in the FA Cup on 5 January (12:30), ahead of hosting Premier League leaders Liverpool on 12 January.

Line-ups

West Ham

  • 1Fabianski
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 23Diop
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 11SnodgrassSubstituted forAntonioat 63'minutes
  • 14ObiangSubstituted forNobleat 63'minutes
  • 41Rice
  • 8Felipe Anderson
  • 9CarrollSubstituted forPérezat 45'minutes
  • 7Arnautovic

Substitutes

  • 13Adrián
  • 16Noble
  • 18Nasri
  • 26Masuaku
  • 27Pérez
  • 30Antonio
  • 45Diangana

Brighton

  • 27Button
  • 22Montoya
  • 4Duffy
  • 5Dunk
  • 30BernardoSubstituted forBongat 73'minutes
  • 20MarchBooked at 80mins
  • 13Groß
  • 6Stephens
  • 24Pröpper
  • 9Locadia
  • 17MurraySubstituted forAndoneat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bong
  • 7Kayal
  • 8Bissouma
  • 10Andone
  • 11Knockaert
  • 14Balogun
  • 23Steele
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
59,870

Match Stats

Home TeamWest HamAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home13
Away13
Shots on Target
Home6
Away6
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, West Ham United 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, West Ham United 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 2.

Foul by Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United).

Jürgen Locadia (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Florin Andone (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attempt saved. Michail Antonio (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pascal Groß with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Brighton and Hove Albion. Conceded by Pablo Zabaleta.

Attempt blocked. Florin Andone (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Solly March with a cross.

Issa Diop (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Florin Andone (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Florin Andone replaces Glenn Murray.

Attempt missed. Declan Rice (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lucas Pérez.

Booking

Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attempt missed. Michail Antonio (West Ham United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Mark Noble.

Foul by Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United).

Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Davy Pröpper tries a through ball, but Glenn Murray is caught offside.

Issa Diop (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Gaëtan Bong replaces Bernardo because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Bernardo (Brighton and Hove Albion) because of an injury.

Foul by Michail Antonio (West Ham United).

Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! West Ham United 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 2. Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Michail Antonio.

Goal!

Goal! West Ham United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 2. Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mark Noble with a through ball.

Attempt saved. Bernardo (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Davy Pröpper.

Foul by Lucas Pérez (West Ham United).

Glenn Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, West Ham United. Mark Noble replaces Pedro Obiang.

Substitution

Substitution, West Ham United. Michail Antonio replaces Robert Snodgrass.

Felipe Anderson (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Solly March (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Attempt blocked. Pedro Obiang (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Pérez.

Felipe Anderson (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Martín Montoya (Brighton and Hove Albion).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool2017304884054
2Tottenham21160546212548
3Man City20152354163847
4Chelsea21135338162244
5Arsenal21125446311541
6Man Utd21115543321138
7Leicester219482523231
8Watford218583031-129
9Wolves218582325-229
10West Ham218492932-328
11Everton217683131027
12Bournemouth2183103140-927
13Brighton217592429-526
14Crystal Palace2164111926-722
15Newcastle2146111529-1418
16Burnley2153132142-2118
17Cardiff2153131941-2218
18Southampton2137112138-1716
19Fulham2135131947-2814
20Huddersfield2124151337-2410
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