Brighton 3, West Ham 1: Izquierdo stunner helps Albion to crucial win against the Hammers

A Jose Izquierdo stunner helped secure Brighton & Hove Albion's first win of 2018 and produced just their second victory in 15 attempts to give them a boost in the relegation scrap.

Saturday, 3rd February 2018, 5:08 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:34 am
Brighton & Hove Albion winger Jose Izquerido netted a stunner against West Ham. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

A 3-1 success saw them complete a Premier League double over a West Ham side that were unbeaten in six ahead of their trip to the Amex.

Victory lifted the Seagulls up to 13th in a congested Premier League table, three points clear of the bottom three which Stoke and Huddersfield slipped into to accompany basement boys West Bromwich Albion.

Glenn Murray's third goal in as many matches got Albion underway as he raced away to coolly finish past Adrian after just eight minutes.

Jose Izquierdo's effort flies past West Ham goalkeeper Adian. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

The Seagulls did not let up and were unlucky not to extend their lead due to some wayward shooting as well as having solid penalty appeals waved away for a handball in the area.

The Hammers, though, leveled before half-time as Javier Hernandez showed some smart skill in the area and fired into the top corner.

But it was Albion that pushed on in the second half, first Izquierdo curling a beauty into the far top corner - similar to the wondergoal he scored against West Ham at the London Stadium - before Pascal Gross made the points safe with 15 minutes to play.

The Seagulls made one change from the team that drew 1-1 with Southampton midweek with Anthony Knockaert replacing Solly March in the starting XI. After missing three games with a back problem, captain Bruno returned to the bench, with Leonardo Ulloa also among the replacements.

Glenn Murray celebrates having given Brighton & Hove Albion the lead against West Ham. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

The match was barely a minute old when a lengthy stoppage ensued as Gaetan Bong landed awkwardly after a aerial challenge with Sam Byram, but despite concerns, the full-back was able to continue.

Similarly to the Saints match, Albion started well and led on eight minutes from a quick-flowing move. Knockaert was chopped down by Aaron Cresswell after playing the ball to Davy Propper and with the referee playing a great advantage, he slide in Murray. The striker drove towards goal and took his time to slot past Adrian for the opener.

Further chances came and went for the hosts as they did not let up and Murray put an ambitious overhead wide and Knockaert flashed over the bar from the edge of the area.

At the other end, the visitors would have leveled on 25 minutes if not for a goaline clearance from Shane Duffy to get away Byram's header from a Cresswell cross.

Glenn Murray celebrates having given Brighton & Hove Albion the lead against West Ham. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Albion fans and Knockaert then felt they should have had a penalty when the winger's goalbound shot struck Angelo Ogbonna's arm in the area. The effort struck him from very close range, but the defender's arm was up and while referee East was unmoved, on another day it could well have been given.

West Ham leveled on the half-hour mark as Hernandez raced onto a flick and skipped past two challenges into the box, before riffling into the top corner from 12 yards, giving Mathew Ryan no chances.

Albion again responded, but Knockaert blazed two chances over the bar, before five minutes before the break Joao Mario did not get enough on a Cresswell cross after getting past his man in the box.

The home side had the first chance of the second half when Murray raced away, but failed to pick out anyone with his cut-back, while West Ham's appeals for handball in the box were shortlived as East gave a free kick against them for a push.

Albion led again on the hour mark as the ball fell to Izquierdo on the edge of the box and he curled a stunning effort into the far top corner past a helpless Adrian.

And with 15 minutes to play, Albion gave themselves a two-goal cushion as Davy Propper was gifted the ball by his opponent and he supplied the pass for Gross to turn and fires past Adrian from 20 yards.

And it could have been more, substitute Ulloa going close to marking his return with a goal and Beram Kayal and March both going close to adding a fourth which would have seen Albion leapfrog West Ham in the table on goal difference.

Albion: Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert (March 76), Propper, Stephens, Izquierdo, Gross (Kayal 84), Murray (Ulloa 72). Unused subs: Krul, Bruno, Baldock, Goldson, March.

West Ham: Adrian, Rice (Antonio 65), Collins, Ogbonna, Byram (Hugill 80), Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Cresswell, Joao Mario, Hernandez. Unused subs: Hart, Reid, Fonte, Haksabanovic, Cullen.