Match report and free highlights as Jakob Moder, Pascal Cross and Jack Hinshelwood miss good Brighton chances as Seagulls earn first Premier League clean sheet of season but miss chance to win at West Ham in 0-0 stalemate; Tomas Soucek, James Ward-Prowse go close for hosts
Wednesday 3 January 2024 07:25, UK
Brighton earned a first Premier League clean sheet since May in a 0-0 draw at West Ham, but should have left with more from a wasteful attacking showing.
Pascal Gross glanced a free header straight at Alphonse Areola before half-time in the game's best chance to that point, while Jack Hinshelwood was denied a second goal in as many games by an instinctive stop.
Joao Pedro continued the theme of making life easy for the West Ham goalkeeper with a poor finish after a fine solo run, before Jakub Moder fired over the bar with the goal gaping five minutes from full-time.
The hosts had chances of their own in bright spells, with Tomas Soucek guilty of a glaring second-half miss and James Ward-Prowse kept out by Jason Steele, but were the happier of the two sides to begin 2024 with a point that kept them three points above their visitors in the table.
West Ham: Areola (8), Johnson (6), Ogbonna (7), Mavropanos (6), Emerson (6), Soucek (6), Alvarez (6), Fornals (5), Ward-Prowse (6), Benrahma (6), Bowen (6).
Subs: Mubama (6).
Brighton: Steele (6), Hinshelwood (8), Webster (7), Van Hecke (7), Estupinan (6), Gross (6), Gilmour (6), Milner (8), Buonanotte (7), Welbeck (6), Pedro (8).
Subs: Ferguson (6), Moder (5), Lallana (6).
Player of the match: Josh Hinshelwood
As the tempest of Storm Henk raged outside the London Stadium there was little tempo inside it with neither side able to summon up the conviction needed to earn back-to-back wins and start 2024 with three points.
It took 26 minutes for any real moment of note, when Ward-Prowse played through Bowen whose low effort was tipped onto the post - and even that was then pulled back for a narrow offside.
Ward-Prowse tried his luck moments later and was denied by Jason Steele, before Konstantinos Mavropanos lifted a free header over the bar as the hosts began to fire into life.
Finally, Brighton did likewise. A Gross free-kick saw Welbeck's glancing header kept out by Areola, who was then alert to deny Hinshelwood a second goal in as many games on the rebound.
He kept West Ham level with another instinctive save moments before the break when Gross was left unmarked from James Milner's cross, but should not have been given a chance to deny the German who had the goal at his mercy.
The second half failed to pick up where it left off. Pervis Estupinan pulled a full-length but routine stop from Areola 10 minutes after the break when he latched onto Facundo Buonanotte's miss-hit pass, before Pedro began to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
The Brazilian cut in from the left and left Edson Alvarez on the floor but shot straight at Areola, before Soucek side-footed Said Benrahma's deflected cross wide from barely six yards out.
Pedro found space again to pick out Hinshelwood for another weak header and Evan Ferguson fired wide with his first touch after coming on, but it was not until Moder's late miss that either side really threatened again.
With five minutes remaining the Polish substitute found himself unmarked to meet Gross' inadvertent flick on a cross, and leathered it over the bar with only Areola to beat.
"Brighton will see this as an opportunity missed," said Sky Sports' Alan Smith at the full-time whistle, as the Seagulls returned down the M23 with a welcome shut-out, but knowing they had left two obtainable points behind them in East London.
West Ham manager David Moyes on Sky Sports:
"I'm thrilled with the result and to get the point. I thought Brighton played very well and were the better team.
"They had a few chances and their goalkeeper made some good saves. I think we might have had the best chance of the game with Tomas Soucek but when it didn't go in, I said to myself 'we probably need to fight our way to a 0-0' and the players did a great job in getting that.
"When you are playing really good teams, which we have been especially in this Christmas period, we've had to be really compact defensively and as organised as we can be.
"Tonight we lacked the quality that might make the difference at the other end of the pitch when we have the ball. But we are playing with two centre-halves who haven't played that much recently and a full-back who is the same. I thought the boys at the back have done a brilliant job. They have done what they had to do and my goalkeeper played very well. We got a point from it."
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi told Sky Sports:
"I'm really pleased with the performance. We earned a clean sheet so you're happy because Brighton earned a clean sheet.
"We played a great game. We deserved to win. We played a very smart game because the best quality of West Ham is counter-attack and we played with a focus - don't concede a counter-attack.
"We created eight clear chances to score and I'm really pleased for the performance, the understanding of the play I want and demand.
"I'm very lucky because I have an incredible dressing room. We can play with so many injuries."
West Ham welcome Bristol City to the London Stadium in the FA Cup third round on Sunday January 7; kick-off 2pm.
Brighton travel to Stoke in the FA Cup third round on Saturday January 6; kick-off 3pm.