Marko Arnautovic brace rescues West Ham in 2-2 draw with Brighton

Getty Images

Getty Images

"We know that Brighton scores most of their goals from set pieces, especially corners - seven before tonight".

Manuel Pellegrini replaced Andy Carroll at half-time for "tactical and physical" reasons after a "disappointing" first half performance from West Ham.

The Hammers were staring at a fourth loss in four meetings with Brighton since they were promoted after goals from Dale Stephens and Shane Duffy, both from corners, put the visitors in charge.

"But fortunately we never gave up and the substitutes changed the face of the game".

Carroll was handed his first start of the season against Brighton by Pellegrini after a prolonged spell on the sidelines. West Ham lost 2-0 at Burnley on Sunday and Pellegrini said ahead of Wednesday's visit of Brighton: 'When you lose, you want to play immediately, but when you have played so many games with the same players, you have just in this case 15 players to choose from. "I thought our first half was very good so yes, the overriding feeling is one of disappointment". "I think we had some chances to win the game but we couldn't take them".

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Japan's first grand slam victor had enjoyed a stellar 2018, rising from world No.68 to earn a season-ending top five ranking. And it has all been a significant boost to her confidence ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on January 14.

Arnautović combined with substitutes Mark Noble and Michail Antonio to find the net on two separate occasions and ensure the Irons salvaged a point, but controversy marred the leveller, with suspicions the ball had gone out of play before the latter teed-up the Austrian.

Two minutes later Duffy doubled the lead, pouncing at the far post as West Ham's static defence waved another Pascal Gross corner through. He is coming back from injury so he is full of energy.

Duffy was helpless to prevent Arnautovic pulling one back with a neat finish soon after, however, and the comeback was complete two minutes later.

The Seagulls are 13th in the Premier League table, 10 points clear of the relegation zone after going three matches unbeaten.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton was the more satisfied of the two managers, and he praised his side's composure after Arnautovic's double. "I'm delighted with the goals we got".

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