West Ham 0, Brighton 3: Murray brace produces a night of first as slick Albion win away

It was a night of firsts for Brighton & Hove Albion as they clinched their first Premier League away win - and first in the top flight for 34 years - at the expense of a sorry West Ham United.

Friday, 20th October 2017, 11:04 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 5:15 am
Brighton & Hove Albion celebrate Glenn Murray's opening goal against West Ham. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

Their first-ever visit to the London Stadium proved a satisfying one as Glenn Murray netted his maiden goals of the season and Jose Izquierdo struck his first for the Seagulls in the 3-0 success.

The result propelled Brighton into the top half of the table, sitting tenth after nine games ahead of the weekend's action, with matches to come that could see West Ham fall into the bottom three, adding more pressure on under fire Slaven Bilic.

A first away win will be welcomed by Albion boss Chris Hughton as Brighton had picked up just one point from four away games in the league this season, compared to seven from four at the Amex. And personally, Hughton's last Premier League win on the road had come with Norwich at West Brom in December 2013.

Glenn Murray heads Brighton & Hove Albion into a 1-0 lead. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

Hughton made two changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Everton last Sunday as Izquierdo and Gaetan Bong came into the starting XI in place of Solly March and Markus Suttner.A big plus was Shane Duffy, who had not trained until Thursday, was fit enough to start at centre-back alongside Lewis Dunk.

For West Ham, who went into the match having lost once in their last five games, Andy Carroll missed out after his red card at Turf Moor and was replaced by Pedro Obiang. Arthur Masuaku came in at left-back in place of Aaron Cresswell, who dropped to the bench.

The first chance fell the visitors' way in the fifth minute as a low corner was rolled into Izquierdo on the edge of the box by Pascal Gross, but he skied his effort well over the bar.

And an already quite London Stadium was silenced further in the tenth minute as Albion took the lead. A Gross free kick was floated into the box and an unmarked Murray glanced his downward header from the penalty spot off the turf and past Joe Hart.

Jose Izquierdo hits Brighton & Hove Albion's second goal. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

Dunk's body-on-the-line defending came to the fore in the 20th minute as Hammers captain Winston Reid took down a corner, but his effort was blocked wide by the Seagulls defender.

Having started so poorly, the home side snapped into life midway through the half. Albion managed to withstand and repel pressure from a number of corners while a neat ball to the far post by Pablo Zabaleta, saw Manuel Lanzini fire over the bar.

Back at the other end, Gross slid the ball in to Anthony Knockaert, who was tackled by Pedro Obiang as he looked to skip past the West Ham man in the penalty area.

Duffy put in a great block to deny Javier Hernández and the Mexican had then strayed offside as he received a defence-splitting pass, which had looked to put him through one on one.

Lewis Dunk in action. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

Hernández again scared the Albion defence on the stroke of half-time as he sent a low effort across goal and just yards wide and they were made to regret that in added time.

Izquierdo cut in from the left and rode a tackle, before firing into the top corner - Hart got a hand to it and probably should have done better, but having been under the cosh it was a perfectly-timed goal for Albion.

The Hammers started the second half by asking the questions as a couple of balls whistled across the Albion area and a crucial Duffy header cleared the ball when half-time substitute Andre Ayew was waiting the pounce. At the other end, a foul was given against Duffy, who headed Gross' free kick against a post.

Lanzini lined up a couple of free kicks, but sent one flying over and the other deflected wide as Albion sat back to happily defend their lead.

Shane Duffy in action. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

Albion then put the game to bed with 15 minutes remaining as Zabaleta fouled Murray in the box and referee Martin Atkinson pointed straight to the spot. Murray stepped up and coolly stroked down the middle past a diving Hart.

That sparked a mass exodus from the unhappy home supporters as manager Bilic looked a beaten man on the touchline, while Albion supporters raised the roof.

West Ham: Hart, Zabaleta, Fonte, Reid, Masuaku, Obiang, Kouyate (Ayew 46), Antonio, Lanzini, Arnautovic (Fernandes 73), Hernandez. Unused subs: Cresswell, Adrian, Noble, Ogbonna, Byram.

Albion: Ryan; Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Bong; Knockaert (Schelotto 83), Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo (March 68); Gross (Brown 75); Murray. Unused subs: Krul, Goldson, Suttner, Molumby.

Attendance: 56,977.