West Ham hosted Brighton on Tuesday, but there were no fireworks in their draw to start the new year. It is the first time Brighton held a clean sheet this season, and it is a strong result to do so at West Ham. The London Stadium is not used to scoreless draws. For instance, the last time West Ham played a scoreless draw at home was in September 2018. Moreover, West Ham had been scoring goals with relative ease in the last several matchday. The last time the Hammers had a scoreless draw at all was in 2021.

David Moyes’ side entered the game on a three-match win streak. That includes wins over Manchester United and at Arsenal. This result is the fourth game in a row that West Ham held a clean sheet. Brighton, on the other hand, has struggled for consistent strong form this season. Fresh off ravaging Tottenham Hotspur last time out, Robert de Zerbi’s side failed to win back-to-back games. The last time the Seagulls won two games in a row was in mid-September.

Despite the nil-nil draw, the game was rife with chances for both teams. Most of those fell the way of Brighton. However, it was shooting at a brick wall in Alphonso Areola. The West Ham shot-stopper ended the day with eight saves in a man-of-the-match performance. Many of those were strong chances in front of the West Ham net. At the end of the contest. Brighton had an expected-goals statistic of 2.48. West Ham, on the other hand, was at 0.68.

Brighton goes close on several occasions at West Ham

In the first half, Brighton had key opportunities. The first of the real scoring chances came at the half-hour mark. Pascal Gross forced a fingertip save from Areola before the West Ham goalkeeper smothered a close-range attempt from Jack Hinshelwood.

Not long after, James Milner rolled down the left side uncontested before playing a dangerous cross into Gross. Gross’ glancing header yielded a reactionary save out of Areola, who was fortunate to have the ball headed right at him.

In the second half, Brighton turned up the pressure. Joao Pedro went on a mazy run down the left side, which he has been doing of late, before firing a shot directly at Areola. Second-half substitute Evan Ferguson had an immediate chance after coming on. A clever flick after receiving the ball just inside the box opened up the chance for a shot. Ferguson’s left-footed volley rolled narrowly wide of Areola’s post.

Brighton had several opportunities late on. Each time, though, Areola was equal to the visitors’ attempts.

Near misses at both ends

One of West Ham’s best opportunities, which were not as common as those for Brighton, came in the first half. Unfortunately for the Hammers, it would not have counted at all. Tomas Soucek played in Jarrod Bowen. The English forward forces Jason Steele into a save and the ball goes off the post. The official on the sideline did eventually raise his flag, but it showed West Ham’s ability on the counterattack.

It would have to wait until the second half for another strong scoring chance. Again, Tomas Soucek is involved, but this time it is at the other end of a key pass. Said Benrahma’s cross meets the chest of Jarrod Bowen. Bowen’s pass with his chest falls to Soucek. The defender failed to get any meaningful contact on the ball, and his attempt spewed wide of the net.