The Warm Down: Point away from home for Seagulls should be seen as a positive 
Dale Stephens and Aaron Cresswell fight for the ball. Photo - Getty Images

The Warm Down: Point away from home for Seagulls should be seen as a positive 

A double from West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic cancelled out two goals in two minutes from Dale Stephens and Shane Duffy to ensure the two sides had a share of the spoils at the London Stadium.

joeglayshier
Joe Glayshier

Brighton and Hove Albion were denied a second win in a row as a Marko Arnautovic brace rescued a point for West Ham. 

After a first half controlled by the Seagulls, who should have done more with their possession before the break, went ahead through Dale Stephens’ first Premier League goal from Pascal Gross’ corner. 

Shane Duffy’s fourth goal of the season two minutes later extended their lead to two goals, however, this wasn’t game over.

Arnautovic held off Duffy in the box to slot through David Button’s legs to halve the deficit, and two minutes later levelled the game with a finish in off the bar from Michail Antonio’s cross.

Generally, you would be disappointed at being pegged back from a two-nil lead, but the Seagulls should see this as a good point away from home.

As a team in only their second Premier League campaign, they will know that points away from home are hard to gain. Albion have seen an improvement in general performances since the switch to their 4-3-3 formation, which allows them to possess a greater attacking threat with the pace of the wingers Solly March and Jürgen Locadia

Goals from midfield are key

Stephens’ role in the midfield for the Seagulls isn’t to be a prolific goal scorer. However, when your defensive midfielder pops up with his first goal of the season, it is always easier to succeed in the toughest league when there are goals coming from all over the pitch.

The midfielder’s goal is the first goal that the partnership of Davy Propper and himself have scored in one and a half seasons together. 

Glenn Murray’s eight goals and Duffy’s four goals have proved to be very important for the Seagulls in their quest for survival, but goals from other players have been welcomed in recent weeks.

Rest for key players with FA Cup tie looming

Yves Bissouma, Jason Steele and Florin Andone are all expected to play in Brighton’s FA Cup tie away to AFC Bournemouth, demonstrating the depth available to Chris Hughton this season.

Gaëtan Bong, last season’s first choice left back, will also be expected to complete 90 minutes after replacing the impressive Bernardo against the Hammers, who left the field with a tight hamstring. 

The depth in the squad allows Hughton to use different players for different types of games, and players such as Bissouma emphasises this as he is a different player to the other midfielders in the squad.

The Seagulls would certainly love a cup run, but the focus has to be on securing a third season in the Premier League. 

Brighton sit 13th in the table after the draw with Manuel Pellegrini’s side with 26 points, ten points above the drop zone, which will please Brighton manager Hughton going into their next two games in the Premier League against league leaders Liverpool, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United. 

West Ham are 10th with two more points than the Seagulls, and face Arsenal in their next Premier League game, as they aim to return to winning ways. 

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