Manuel Pellegrini was confined to his bed, so Jack Sullivan took over. He surprised everybody by selecting Ogbonna, Diop and Balbuena to play alongside each other at the back.
It became obvious fairly quickly that Brighton were finding it hard to achieve any level of penetration. The West ham players were quick to close down any move by the opposition.
The back three allowed Fredericks and Masuaku to display their talents, one with speed and the other with speed of foot. They were able to get to the byline and sure enough after fifteen minutes, a Fredericks cross found Haller’s head and West Ham were ahead. Their first goal of the Premiership season and the first for Haller in the Premier league.
The game continued as it had started. Wilshere was especially effective, given that he knew the was solid backup behind him and he found Antoniou who hassled and bustled his way through the defence, but his shot was well wide of the goal and he should probably have gone to Specsavers.
Brighton came out strongly in the second half, but West ham continued to press forward. Lanzini was combining with Haller and this eventually paid off when a beautiful pass found Haller in the penalty area and he slotted home giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Brighton were reduced to long balls into the West Ham area and this finally paid off when Murray ducked and the ball hit Ogbonna on the arm. The referee didn’t award a penalty but the game was stopped for VAR and the decision was reversed. Murray’s penalty found the top corner.
West Ham continued to play some beautiful football. Anderson and Fornals looked particularly dangerous. Finally, Anderson cut in from the right and found the net from just outside the penalty area.
With their new formation, West Ham look a very solid side with plenty of talent and should go far.