Michail Antonio woe as David Moyes makes wrong call over Manuel Lanzini in frustrating West Ham draw with Brighton at the London Stadium.
Nobody could argue Brighton did not deserve their annual point against the Hammers but the inevitability of Neal Maupay’s late equaliser – with the Seagulls down to 10 men through injuries – was difficult to take.
While it feels like two points dropped with West Ham’s eyes on challenging for the European spots, Brighton did more than enough to warrant the point.
Michail Antoni-woe as David Moyes makes wrong call over Manuel Lanzini in frustrating West Ham draw
The biggest disappointment of the night was the woeful performance of Antonio.
With each passing week West Ham’s inability to sign another striker in the summer appears more costly.
Antonio looked leggy and lacking in confidence as he failed to provide the usual focal point for West Ham’s attack.
Antonio has been taking the plaudits and praise for his swashbuckling all action displays.
But he has not looked the same player since travelling 17,000 miles around the world to play for Jamaica last month. He – like a few West Ham players – look in need of a spell out of the side. If only Moyes had that luxury.
Moyes has enough credit in the bank with Hammers fans of that there can be no doubt.
But while the Scot had no choice but to continue with Antonio up top given his lack of options, he made the wrong call with Said Benrahma and Manuel Lanzini too.
Of late Benrahma has been well below the high standards he has set for himself this season. Moyes has substituted the playmaker several times recently.
And Lanzini’s impressive performances as his replacement were expected to earn him a start against a Brighton side who like to keep possession of the ball.
But Benrahma was given the nod again and was poor yet again. Lanzini’s excellent performance as his replacement only served to add to the frustration. And Moyes dithered for too long before introducing the Argentine.
As usual the curse of the woe-begotten opposition striker struck West Ham too of course.
Maupay – the striker labelled Brighton’s Achilles heel such is his ineffectiveness in front of goal – scored with a wonderful finish in the 89th minute to catch absolutely nobody of a West Ham disposition by surprise.
West Ham had their chances. And a point is better than nothing.
It ensures West Ham went some way to getting back on track after consecutive defeats.
Chelsea next will be a different test altogether, though, and the Hammers will need to produce better than this.