Well, its finally happened!!! West Ham United fans no longer have to remember their days in the Championship when talking about winning at Brighton and Hove Albion, as they triumphed 3-1 at The American Express Stadium in Saturday’s late kick-off.
Angelo Ogbonna replaced the suspended Nayef Aguerd in the starting line-up, while Edson Álvarez was preferred to Saïd Benrahma. The Algerian dropped to the bench, as David Moyes made two changes to the side that managed the emphatic home win over Chelsea six days earlier.
The Seagulls had scored four goals in each of their opening two matches and pose a real threat on the counter-attack. That threat was in evidence at times but the Hammers had arrived in Sussex with a game plan to try and quell it.
Referee Antony Taylor blew the whistle for the action to get underway and within ninety seconds, Lucas Paquetá connected with a flick-on from Captain Kurt Zouma but unfortunately, the Brazilian was unable to steer it past home goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen.
Michail Antonio had a chance to give his side an early advantage but unfortunately, the former Nottingham Forest man fired the ball straight at him.
The East Londoners did go ahead with only nineteen minutes gone when Antonio forced defender Adam Webster into a mistake and then set up James Ward-Prowse to score his 50th career goal and his first for the Irons. The midfielder beat Verbruggen at the second attempt after his initial effort was blocked by Billy Gilmour.
Moyes was forced to make his first substitution on thirty nine minutes after Tomáš Souček had to be replaced, following a clash with Verbruggen. Benrahma took the Czech international’s place.
Alphonse Areola has been brilliant since replacing Łukasz Fabiański in goal at the start of the season and the Frenchman was at his best again throughout this encounter. He made a couple of superb saves from Evan Ferguson either side of the break to keep his clean sheet intact.
Kaoru Mitoma was a constant threat to Fabiański in the corresponding fixture last season but he failed to test Areola here. When he was presented with chances to shoot, the efforts were way off target.
The whole West Ham team that started the match took turns in thwarting Roberto De Zerbi’s side, as they were trying desperately to get on the scoresheet.
Rather than the home support see an equaliser from their side, they saw the visitors go further ahead.
Jarrod Bowen was on the end of a great pass from Benrahma and the former Hull City winger did the rest, as he sent the ball past a helpless Verbruggen on fifty nine minutes and the travelling contingent went ballistic once again.
Four minutes later, Antonio added a third to seemingly wrap up the points and claim consecutive victories for his side.
Moyes introduced Thilo Kehrer for Antonio on seventy nine minutes and while De Zerbi’s men continued to pile the pressure on, Areola and his teammates still kept them at bay.
With nine minutes of normal time to play, Areola’s clean sheet had disappeared, as Pascal Groß finally found the net for the home side.
Pablo Fornals and Danny Ings entered the fray for the final few minutes, as both Álvarez and Paquetá were withdrawn.
Before the end of the proceedings, Emmerson Palmieri hit the bar, before a cross from Ward-Prowse almost caused an own goal from the home side. Finally, Bowen was in on goal but he unfortunately couldn’t beat Verbruggen.
The away end was again celebrating when Taylor blew the final whistle. With that win, the Hammers rocketed to the top of the table before the rest of the weekend’s games take place. That said, there may well return there for a short period if they can get the better of newly-promoted Luton Town when Moyes takes his side to Kenilworth Road on Friday night.