Ham had to pay once again for their floundering forwards as Neal Maupay’s late acrobatic goal saw the Hammers go three games without a win.
David Moyes demanded more from his attacking quartet after two tough games against Wolves and Manchester City, but didn’t get the response he wanted here.
One player was at least listening to his manager, Tomas Soucek capitalizing on Moyes’ display of faith this week by scoring his first goal since day one of the season.
Pablo Fornals hit an evil corner at the near post of Robert Sanchez’s goal where Soucek rose to pass the helpless keeper.
After a rolling start, the hosts should have started and taken control. West Ham have been deadly at times during the break this season, with their last game here being the main proof when they have torn Liverpool apart time and time again here. Brighton dominated possession but left acres of space on the break that West Ham couldn’t capitalize on.
Despite Brighton’s dominance, the hosts believed they had doubled the lead from a corner early in the second half but, after a long delay from VAR, the goal was scored.
“I don’t think we’re in the game to score goals,” Moyes said. “I understand it came from the back of Duffy’s leg which would be a goal. Clear picture. I found that decision very difficult.”
Michail Antonio, who has only one goal left in his last ten games at West Ham, transforms the way the Hammers play but is a drag when he plays like that, too slow and insecure.
The 31-year-old, West Ham’s only senior striker, was not helped by those behind him. Fornals, Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma weren’t clicking. Bowen found his way on one occasion, but a poor finish outside the far post let him down.
A three-game winless streak is disappointing for anyone, especially with Chelsea visiting on Sunday, although West Ham remains in the Premier League’s top four even after that streak.
If they are to stay there, however, East Londoners will need to improve their skills.