Brighton 0 West Ham 1
Watching Brighton under Poyet reminds me a lot of West Ham under Zola. Brighton like to play possession football and pass the ball out from defence. Most of the time this is very nice to watch but when it goes wrong it can be very ugly.
Brighton should have learnt in the first five minutes that sometimes you just have to hoof the ball clear after defenders were caught in possession by a pressing West Ham team more than once. Brighton however continued to try and play the ball out from the back and in the 17th minute Nolan caught Bridcutt in possession and ran through on goal, clear of the defence. Nolan shot from just outside the area and beat Harper to open the scoring.
After taking the lead West Ham did well to stifle Brighton's passing game for much of the rest of the half. However in the last five minutes before the break Brighton won a series of corners and came very close to equalising when Mackail-Smith's first time volley needed a superb save from Almunia.
Brighton continued in the second half as they ended the first. They dominated possession and forced a number of corners but never really looked like scoring.
West Ham seemed happy defending and never really pushed on to get a second. They had a couple of penalty shouts, when Faubert looked to have been hauled down in the box and then when Sears seemed to be pushed over. However highlights in the half were few and far between.
So a professional if uninspiring game from West Ham see the team pick up another 3 points on the road and send the side back into second place. It's Leicester next on Saturday at home, who today sacked Sven-Goran Eriksson.