Brighton secure key victory to add to West Ham week of woe
Bournemouth and Southampton also secure wins on good day for south-coast sides
Brighton midfielder Jose Izquierdo celebrates scoring their second goal during the Premier League match against West Ham at the Amex Stadium. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
Brighton 3 West Ham 1
West Ham’s week of turmoil ended with a 3-1 defeat at Brighton to plunge them back into the relegation mix.
Javier Hernandez was on target for West Ham, but it was a miserable end to a turbulent few days for the east London club, who had to sack their head of recruitment Tony Henry after claims he told agents they did not want to sign any more African players.
Anger and frustration towards the West Ham board from supporters is at an all-time high following the scandal, as well as an underwhelming transfer window which saw a club linked with Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi and Daniel Sturridge end up with Jordan Hugill from Preston.
Indeed, the first chants of ‘sack the board’ were belted out from the away end even before Murray put Brighton ahead in only the eighth minute.
The striker, who scored twice in Brighton’s 3-0 dismantling of Slaven Bilic’s West Ham in October, strode forward and coolly sidefooted past Adrian for his 10th goal of the season.
Amid the off-field controversy West Ham boss David Moyes is also dealing with a spate of injuries and indiscipline – Arthur Masuaku is still serving a lengthy ban for spitting and Michail Antonio was dropped in midweek for being late to a meeting.
So it is to the Scot’s tremendous credit that he has, until now at least, been ekeing out the points which have been keeping West Ham at arm’s length from the relegation battle.
Moyes is also starting to get a tune out of Hernandez, and it was the Mexican who started and finished the move for West Ham’s equaliser, first laying the ball off to Mark Noble who in turn prodded it forward to Joao Mario just inside the area.
The Inter Milan loanee flicked the ball back to Hernandez, who brought it on to his right foot before sidestepping both Lewis Dunk and Gaeten Bong and burying a fierce drive into the top corner.
However, midway through the second half Brighton retook the lead with a bolt out of the blue from Izquierdo.
The Colombian winger collected the ball on the corner of the penalty area and, with everyone in the ground anticipating a cross, curled a stunning effort over the despairing dive of Adrian and into the top corner.
This time Moyes and West Ham had no answer and with 15 minutes left their misery was complete when Gross collected Davy Propper’s pass on the edge of the box and rifled a low shot across Adrian and into the far corner.
Bournemouth 2 Stoke City 1
Substitute Lys Mousset came off the bench to score his first Premier League goal for Bournemouth as they came back from a goal down to beat Stoke City 2-1 in a pulsating clash at the Vitality Stadium.
Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri, who had seen a shot cleared off the line by Steve Cook moments earlier, put visitors Stoke in front in the fifth minute, the diminutive winger heading home unmarked from Badou Ndiaye’s cross.
Bournemouth, who hammered Chelsea 3-0 on Wednesday, upped the tempo in the second half and had plenty of chances to score, but it took until the 70th minute for Joshua King to put them back on level terms with a thumping right-foot strike.
Sensing that Stoke’s resistance was wilting after King’s goal, Bournemouth continued to attack and nine minutes later Mousset nodded home Jordon Ibe’s free kick for the simplest of finishes to take all three points.
West Brom 2 Southampton 3
West Brom were left stuck at the bottom of the Premier League after losing 3-2 to Southampton, despite having made a fine start to the match.
It was an emotional day at the Hawthorns where there was a minute’s applause before the game for their former striker Cyrille Regis, who died last month.
Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazi headed Albion into an early lead from a corner by set-piece specialist Chris Brunt but Southampton hit back with two goals in three minutes before half-time. Gabon’s Mario Lemina drove in from 20 metres and defender Jack Stephens scored his third goal in three games.
A direct free kick by James Ward-Prowse made it 3-1 and Saints held on for a first League victory in 13 games despite Salomon Rondon’s 72nd-minute headed goal for the home side.
Leicester City 1 Swansea City 1
Swansea’s resurgence continued as they climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 1-1 draw at Leicester, who were again without wantaway midfielder Riyad Mahrez.
All the pre-match talk was about the Algerian, who has not been seen by the club since his proposed move to Manchester City collapsed on Wednesday.
Mahrez unexpectedly missed the defeat at Everton that night and has not been at training subsequently, although his absence on Saturday was anticipated as Leicester boss Claude Puel allowed the former PFA Player of the year time to “clear his head”.
It looked like he might not be missed as Leicester played some lovely football during the first half and took the lead after 17 minutes through Jamie Vardy.
However, after Federico Fernandez headed Swansea level early in the second half, Leicester lacked the guile and craft so often provided by Mahrez to respond and had to settle for a point.