Glenn Murray’s double helped Brighton and Hove Albion clinch their first away victory in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over West Ham that piled the pressure back on Slaven Bilic.
Murray struck either side of an effort from club-record signing Jose Izquierdo as Brighton dampened the feeling of resurgence that their one defeat in five top-flight matches had given West Ham.
Bilic’s side produced an insipid display and could be in the relegation zone by the time they face fellow strugglers Crystal Palace next week, while Brighton moved into the top half, courtesy of the three points.
Murray got the Seagulls off to a great start by heading home his first Premier League goal since earning Bournemouth a shock victory at Chelsea in December 2015.
He exploited some shoddy defending from Pedro Obiang, and the midfielder, as well as goalkeeper Joe Hart should have done more to stop Izquierdo opening his Brighton account in first-half stoppage time.
West Ham have never overturned a two-goal half-time deficit in the Premier League, and after being booed off by unsatisfied supporters they did not look like ending that record at the 76th attempt, with Murray wrapping up the win from the penalty spot after Pablo Zabaleta’s clumsy challenge in the box.
Obiang started in place of the suspended Andy Carroll, and his loose marking enabled Murray to connect with Pascal Gross’ brilliant dead-ball delivery and head beyond Hart in the 10th minute.
West Ham gradually became more adventurous, but Lewis Dunk flung his body in the way of a shot from Winston Reid to deflect it out for a corner before a strike from Manuel Lanzini suffered the same fate leading up to the half-hour mark.
Javier Hernandez had a shot blocked by Shane Duffy before dragging an ambitious cross-goal effort wide as half-time approached, and it proved costly as Brighton doubled their lead in the second minute of stoppage time.
Hart did well to deny Murray a second, but when Izquierdo cut inside Obiang and curled a shot to the top-right corner, the goalkeeper’s touch was not enough to keep it out of the net.
Bilic sent Andre Ayew on for Cheikhou Kouyate in the second half, but West Ham struggled to break down a Brighton side intent to hold on to their advantage.
The hosts did not give Mat Ryan cause for concern until midway through the second half when Lanzini’s 25-yard free kick bent just outside the post after a touch off the wall.
Murray failed to beat Hart at his near post after Anthony Knockaert’s dazzling run down the right, but he had his second in the 75th minute.
Zabaleta’s lazy tackle on Murray led to a penalty, which the striker slid straight down the middle to clinch an impressive victory for Brighton that will result in questions resurfacing about Bilic’s future.
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