West Ham manager David Moyes held Declan Rice to an exceedingly high standard after the England midfielder’s classy display in his first match back in nearly two months.
West Ham spurned the chance to put pressure on those around them in the race for top four after dropping points at the AMEX. Neither side produced their best throughout much of the contest, with the scores remaining deadlocked entering the final 10 minutes.
A rare moment of quality in the final third saw Brighton take the lead through Danny Welbeck.
The Hammers hit back immediately with a delightful Said Benrahma effort, but further ground on the Champions League chasers would ultimately be dropped with the scores remaining level until the final whistle.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Moyes said: “I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t take more but when you go 1-0 down with six minutes left, it’s good to get a draw.
“I thought we played really well. In the final third it didn’t quite work.
“We brought Said Benrahma to get us goals and assists. It was good he got one tonight.
“I thought he [Declan Rice] did OK. Just OK for me because I know the standard he’s got and what a good player he is.”
⭐ Declan Rice – contribution for West Ham v Brighton, on return after 6 games out:
🥇 Most passes
🥇 Most successful passes
🥇 Highest passing accuracy opp. half
🥇 Most touches
🥇 Most duels won
🥇 Most times possession won pic.twitter.com/geoXWy62eT
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 15, 2021
Regarding their slim Champions League hopes, the Scot said: “I thought our chances had gone [on Saturday]. We’re aware of that. We’re trying to get a place in European football if we can. We’re still in a good place for that. It’s a great thing to say we’re in a good shout with two games to go.
“I said on Saturday when we lost to Everton we’d lost the opportunity [for top four]. I’m a winner. I want to win.”
Fading Champions League hopes “horrible” – Rice
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice also spoke to the press, and admitted to Sky Sports that their Champions League dream is all but over.
“Yeah… It’s obviously horrible because we had the Champions League in our sights,” said the England star. “We can’t be relying on other teams to lose. We have to go out and win. We’ve drawn too many and lost a few. To challenge you have to win the games we’ve lost.
“This season has been outstanding. We’ve given everything. We learned to win ugly this year. It’s been a rollercoaster. That was a bite in the teeth tonight but we can still finish on a high.
“Every West Ham fan I speak to is buzzing with how this season has gone. So am I.
“It’s still a point. I thought we dominated the game and missed so many chances. I think a draw is a fair result.”