West Ham's Champions League bid suffers another setback in Brighton draw

West Ham United needed a late strike from Said Benrahma to draw at Brighton.

Said Benrahma celebrates after scoring for West Ham United. - REUTERS

West Ham's faint hope of scraping Champions League qualification was left hanging by a thread after it needed a late strike from Said Benrahma to draw at Brighton 1-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday.

MATCH CENTRE

Substitute Benrahma rifled home his first goal for the club with just three minutes to go, leaving the Hammers five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea with only two fixtures remaining.

Sixth-placed West Ham looked set for a damaging defeat at Amex Stadium after Danny Welbeck’s 50th Premier League goal broke the deadlock only three minutes earlier.

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David Moyes' men have games against West Brom and Southampton to ensure the minimum of a Europa League place does not slip through their grasp, with Tottenham and Everton each just three points behind and in hot pursuit.

Lowly Brighton remained 17th following its 14th draw of the campaign.

 

West Ham was seeking to breathe fresh life into its European push after suffering three defeats in its last four. It was to no avail, however, against a Brighton side severely disrupted by the suspensions of key duo Lewis Dunk and Neal Maupay following their red cards at Wolverhampton.

But Brighton did have back influential England midfielder Declan Rice from a six-week injury absence, with national coach Gareth Southgate watching from the stands.

Hasenhuettl praises 'biggest talent' Tella after Fulham win

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said midfielder Nathan Tella was the "biggest talent" at the south-coast club after he scored one goal and made another in Saturday's 3-1 home win over Fulham in the Premier League.

Tella notched his first senior goal when he scored within two minutes of coming off the bench in the second half to double Southampton's lead.

The 21-year-old, who suffered a serious knee injury when a teenager, also set up Theo Walcott with a pass for their third goal as Southampton moved up to 13th in the standings on 43 points, with two games left.

"He's the biggest talent we have at the moment," Hasenhuettl told BBC Sport. "He had a bad injury and when I see him performing like he does at the moment, I enjoy watching it.

"It's a special moment for a young striker. He's got a smile on his face always and this is what I really liked from him because he enjoys working for the team, he enjoys playing with us."

Tella said it was an "overwhelming feeling" to bring up his first senior goal.

"I'm just so happy, it's a dream for me," he said. "It's something I've wanted to do my whole life."

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