Brighton and Hove Albion 1 West Ham 0: Murray downs resurgent Hammers
Brighton and Hove Albion recorded their first Premier League win since August 19 on Friday as they overcame West Ham 1-0 on Friday.
Glenn Murray's sixth goal in five appearances against the Hammers was enough to secure all three points for Chris Hughton's side and end a six-game run without a victory.
West Ham came into the game at the Amex Stadium on the back of an encouraging upturn in form, in which they have drawn with Chelsea, beaten Manchester United and put eight goals past Macclesfield Town in the EFL Cup.
However, Manuel Pellegrini's side could muster only four shots on target as they slipped to a fourth defeat in a row away to Brighton in England's top flight.
An even contest swung Brighton's way 25 minutes in, when Murray finished smartly first time from six yards out after Beram Kayal picked him out with a cross from the left.
Pedro Obiang bounced a shot over the bar after Bruno reacted well to deny Marko Arnautovic, but opportunities were scarce for the Hammers in a frustrating first half.
The visitors' pressure was ramped up after the break as Brighton struggled to get the ball out of their half, with Fabian Balbuena heading wide from scarcely five yards out in front of travelling fans who sensed an equaliser.
West Ham began to look exposed at the back in their pursuit of a leveller, though, with Murray missing two half-chances with his head in the space of two minutes, the latter coming after some fine play from Solly March.
The lively Arnautovic continued to threaten, but Brighton held firm for an important result that turns the heat back up on Pellegrini, despite substitute Jurgen Locadia seeing a late tap-in ruled out for offside.
12 - In 2018, the only Englishmen to score more Premier League goals than Glenn Murray (12) are Harry Kane (17) and Jamie Vardy (14). Clinical. pic.twitter.com/HrQgXWpsXD
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 5, 2018
What it means: Seagulls soar above West Ham into 12th
Brighton's poor run since that famous 3-2 win over Manchester United in August had left them only three points above the relegation zone, but this result has moved them onto eight points from as many matches and just two off the top 10 in the table.
West Ham, who stay on seven points after a fifth loss in eight matches, could drop as low as 17th heading into the international break if Fulham and Southampton claim unlikely wins over Arsenal and Chelsea this weekend.
Brighton announced only hours before kick-off that centre-back partners Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy had signed new five-year contracts.
Both repaid that faith with their performances on Friday, but it was Duffy who was especially imperious, making four clearances, two interceptions and two blocks to help stifle West Ham.
Yarmolenko adrift in West Ham's fluid attack
Pellegrini has done well to cultivate a lot of movement in his side's attacking play, but Andriy Yarmolenko looks to be floundering a little.
The 28-year-old had the lowest passing accuracy in the final third of any of the Hammers' starting forward line, while he regularly seemed to run into space in which Arnautovic was already trying to make things happen.
Brighton return from the international break to make the long trip to the north east to face Newcastle United on October 20. West Ham, meanwhile, face Tottenham in a London derby at home on the same day.