Glenn Murray scored his 99th goal for Brighton as they won 1-0 at home to West Ham on Friday and climbed above the Hammers in the Premier League table.
Victory saw the Seagulls soar into 12th place ahead of the bulk of this weekend’s fixtures, with West Ham dropping down to 15th as a run of four games without defeat – including last week’s stunning 3-1 win over Manchester United – came to an end.
“The clean sheet’s really important for us,” said Brighton manager Chris Hughton.
“We were up against a really good West Ham side, and you can see them scoring a lot of goals this season. We did the defensive things well and had to ride our luck a bit, but the clean sheet was very pleasing.”
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini was heartened by the London club’s second-half rally, but frustrated by a failure to take their chances.
“We must continue working the same way because the way we played the last 45 minutes was encouraging,” he said.
“I’m more frustrated that we finished the game but lost 1-0 after creating three very clear chances, at least, to score. That’s why I cannot be happy.”
Brighton had already threatened a goal when they went ahead in the 25th minute.
West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko lost possession to Beram Kayal near the halfway line.
From there the Brighton midfielder played a quick one-two with Solly March before running unchallenged down the left wing and crossing to Murray who, given plenty of time and space by the Hammers defence, beat goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
West Ham did play better in the second half at the Amex Stadium, but Anderson wasted a promising chance when he curled a 25-yard free kick over the crossbar.
Murray nearly scored his 100th Brighton goal when he headed narrowly over the woodwork.
Brighton substitute Jurgen Locadia was unlucky when his finish, following a close-range rebound, was disallowed for a desperately tight offside call.
There was still time for Marko Arnautovic to miss again before Brighton recorded just their second league win – and first clean-sheet – of the season.