Six things we learned from Albion's win at West Ham

The perfect away performance! Here's six things we learned from Brighton's 3-0 victory at West Ham this evening.

Saturday, 21st October 2017, 12:07 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 5:15 am
Anthony Knockaert and Glenn Murray celebrate Albion's third goal. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Perfect away performance

Albion's first-ever Premier League away win - and first top flight victory on the road since March, 1983 - was a perfect away performance.

The Seagulls went ahead through Glenn Murray early on and then soaked up a lot of pressure throughout the rest of the first half until Jose Izquierdo's stunner made it 2-0 on the stroke of half-time.

Albion fans at the London Stadium. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

The defence stood firm - Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk especially - as they threw themselves in the way of several shots, while Brighton always looked a threat on the break.

Murray's second, from the penalty spot, put the icing on the cake for the Seagulls and the ecstatic away following.

West Ham put in a disappointing showing but that should not take anything away Albion's excellent performance, which lifts them up to tenth in the table.

Upcoming games against Southampton and Swansea give Brighton a chance to put a bit of breathing space between themselves and the bottom three.

Duffy boost

Shane Duffy's inclusion in the starting 11 was a huge boost to Albion fans.

The Ireland international limped off with a groin injury in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Everton but returned to training yesterday to continue his ever-present league record this season.

Duffy has formed a formidable partnership in central defence this season and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that both could be at next year's World Cup in Russia. Ireland need to progress past Denmark in the play-offs, while Dunk could be in with a shout of making the England squad if he continues his excellent form.

The duo again threw their bodies in the way of several shots as Albion returned home with a comfortable three points.

Back on the scoresheet

After a frustrating start to the season personally, Glenn Murray scored his first Premier League goals for Albion.

The striker's game time had been limited by an ankle injury sustained at Leicester in the second game of the season but he started last week's draw with Everton and said he felt he was back at full fitness in the build-up to the match.

Murray timed his run to perfection to meet Pascal Gross' free kick and head Brighton into the lead on ten minutes, before scoring his second from the penalty spot in the second half.

The 34-year-old has now scored in League One, the Championship and Premier League - and a total of 77 goals - for the Seagulls. He had previously netted in the top flight for Crystal Palace and Bournemouth.

Attacking force

It's been some start to life in the Premier League for Albion's attacking midfielder Pascal Gross.

The 26-year-old joined the Seagulls from Ingolstadt in the summer after creating the most chances in the Bundesliga in the previous two seasons.

He's played the 'number ten' position behind the lone striker in the majority of matches so far this season and has played a part in all seven of Albion's Premier League goals.

He scored twice in the 3-1 win against West Brom, has provided four assists and also delivered the free kick was headed down by Dale Stephens for Tomer Hemed to score the only goal in the victory against Newcastle.

If Gross continues this form for the rest of the season, it will give Brighton a great chance of staying in the top flight.

The first of many

Hopefully there will be many more to come after Jose Izquierdo scored his first Albion goal.

After taking a little while to hit his stride after joining from Club Brugge, Izquierdo showed positive signs in the 1-1 draw with Everton - twice cutting in from the left and firing right-footed efforts at goal.

You'd have thought West Ham would have done their homework on the pacy Columbian winger but seconds before the half-time whistle, they allowed Izquierdo to cut in from the left and fire a powerful right-footed shot at goal.

It found the top corner, via a strong hand from Hammer keeper Joe Hart. Should England's number one have done better? Probably. But Albion fans at the other end of the stadium did not care as they went for their half-time pie and pint two goals to the good.

"Hope you took your binoculors"

More than one person said this before the game to me - and again when I posted pictures of my seat from inside the London Stadium, sat in the top tier behind the dugouts.

Even in the front row, fans are a long way from the pitch with astroturf covering the running track.

It's an amazing stadium and facility but the atmosphere gets lost at times due to the sheer size of it. Upton Park was a cauldron of noise whenever you went there and the London Stadium is yet to be an intimidating fortress which the Boleyn Ground was.

'Just like the Emirates' and 'Is this a library' sang Albion fans midway through the first half as the home faithful began to get more and more disgruntled as the game went on, booing the team off at half-time.

The distance from the pitch for some fans would, of course, have brought back memories from when Albion played at the Withdean Stadium for 12 years. Although athletics takes place at both stadiums and there's a football pitch in the middle, that's pretty much where the similarities end!