West Ham's slim Champions League hopes are effectively over after they drew 1-1 at Brighton on Saturday night.
Danny Welbeck put the hosts in front six minutes from time dinking the ball over Łukasz Fabianski after a fine through-ball from Percy Tau.
Said Benrahma then scored his first goal for the Hammers with a curling right-footed effort from the edge of the box that squeezed inside the top corner.
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The result leaves the Hammers five points behind fourth place Chelsea with two games remaining and a 13-goal inferior goal difference.
Talking point – Why play a game after the FA Cup final?
Was it a coincidence that the match – at least for the first 83 minutes - lacked excitement starting under an hour after the dramatic events at Wembley Stadium? While the Cup final is not an event that makes a nation stop anymore, it still must carry a great deal of the player’s attention on the day of a game.
The 8pm Saturday kick-off can seem an anti-climax at the best of times but it proved even more so at the Amex Stadium. The Saturday lunchtime match has been taken away in the new television deal, but they may instead have looked at this time slot, or at least only put games on here that legitimately deserve top of the bill Saturday billing. This match did not, and it played out like that too.
Man of the match – Daniel Burn (Brighton)
In a match without a stand-out performer, credit must be given to Burn who ensured injured Lewis Dunk was not missed as he played a game worthy of the absent inspirational leader.
Playing in a back three with Adam Webster and Ben White, he closed down the right wing as an attacking area for most of the match – until Said Benrahma’s impressive last quarter cameo.
In most areas of the field West Ham were the more impressive and dynamic outfit but Burn ensured this was not the case in the last third as he produced a game-high six clearances and four interceptions
Brighton: Sanchez 6; White 7, Webster 7, Burn 8*; Gross 6, Bissouma 7, Jahanbakhsh 7, Alzate 6, Moder 6; Trossard 5; Welbeck 6. Subs: Lallana 6, Tau 7, Zeqiri 6.
West Ham: Fabianski 6; Coufal 6, Dawson 6, Ogbonna 7, Cresswell 7; Soucek 7, Rice 6, Lingard 6, Fornals 7, Bowen 5, Antonio 6. Sub: Benrahma 7.
42’ - WEST HAM CHANCE! - Cresswell gets to the by-line and pulls back for Lingard who shoots to the keeper's left but a block from White stops it reaching the goal.
56’ - BRIGHTON CHANCE! - So close from Jahanbakhsh, he nips a hopeful the ball ahead of Cresswell and then with Fabianski racing out of goal he clips the ball past the West Ham keeper but also past the far post.
84’ GOAL! - Brighton 1-0 West Ham! Out of nowhere Brighton are in front. Tau slid a wonderful ball through for Welbeck who dinked the ball over Fabianski with a top class finish.
87’ GOAL! - Brighton 1-1 West Ham. A fantastic curling finish from Benrahma on the edge of the penalty area has West Ham level. What a first goal for the club.
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