Brighton 1-1 West Ham: Champions League dream in tatters for the Hammers

Danny Welback-Michail Antonio-West Ham-Brighton

West Ham United were held to a 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League earlier tonight.

The Hammers came into this game on the back of three defeats in four league games, and David Moyes would have expected a big performance from his players here.

The Londoners started the game brightly, and they could have easily taken the lead in the first half.

The likes of Pablo Fornals and Thomas Soucek came close for the visitors. However, Brighton have been impressive at home, and they managed to hold on.

Danny Welbeck gave the home side their lead on the 84th minute, and they seemed destined for all three points, but Said Benrahma saved the blushes for the Hammers with his 87th-minute equaliser.

Champions League hopes crushed

West Ham United needed to win tonight in order to keep their Champions League hopes alive, and the draw here will now force them to push for a place in the Europa League.

The Hammers are currently five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with two matches remaining. Although a top-four finish is still possible mathematically, it would be unrealistic to expect that all of their rivals will lose their remaining matches from this stage.

 Lack of a clinical finisher

West Ham have an excellent core at their disposal, but they continue to struggle without a recognised striker.

The Hammers have created quite a few opportunities in recent weeks, but they haven’t managed to convert those chances.

Signing a quality finisher should be a top priority for Moyes in the summer if he wants his side to continue to push for European football in the coming years.

Penalty incident and Brighton’s home form

The Hammers were adamant that they should have had a late penalty to win the game for handball, but the match officials turned down their claims after consulting with VAR.

Meanwhile, Brighton continue to put on impressive performances defensively at home. The Seagulls are now unbeaten in their last four home matches in the Premier League.

They will be disappointed to have dropped two points, having led the game with just six minutes remaining.