Brighton’s First Clean Sheet Since May: A 0-0 Draw at West Ham, James Milner Nears Gareth Barry’s Appearance Record, and Storm Henk Causes Fan Disruption

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A depleted West Ham played out a dour goalless draw with Brighton at the London Stadium while across town Luke Littler continued making history with another thunderous game of darts.

This match between two of the Premier League’s more aspirational sides was not exactly a thriller but it threw up enough talking points. 

James Milner, once a 16-year-old sensation himself, made his 632nd Premier League appearance. Will he catch Gareth Barry and beat his record?

Meanwhile, Brighton’s goalkeeper tussle finally delivered its first clean sheet since May, while fans were punished by Storm Henk’s machinations – before and during the game…

Here is Henry Clark’s notebook with all the themes and details you might have missed from the game.  

West Ham held Brighton to 0-0 despite having six shots to their 22 at the London Stadium

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For those keeping a tally of which Brighton goalkeeper makes the most Premier League appearances this season, the score currently stands at 11-9 in Jason Steele’s favour.

Steele kept his spot in goal from the victory over Tottenham, something that doesn’t happen very often under Roberto De Zerbi who prefers to chop and change between Steele and Bart Verbruggen.

The Italian was rewarded for sticking by his man, though, as Steele kept Brighton’s first clean sheet of the season.

They are the final Premier League side to achieve that feat this season and it brings to an end a remarkable run of 233 days without shutting out an opponent in a Premier League match.

Their previous clean sheet came just across the capital at the Emirates in a 3-0 win over Arsenal in May.

Jason Steele kept Brighton's first clean sheet with May after lots of rotation with Bart Verbruggen

Jason Steele kept Brighton’s first clean sheet with May after lots of rotation with Bart Verbruggen

 

There was a rare league start for Ben Johnson, who replaced Vladimir Coufal at right back in West Ham’s starting XI. Coufal had featured in every league game for West Ham until tonight. The Czech confirmed on his Instagram that he had become the latest victim of a sickness bug that has already torn through David Moyes’ squad once before this season.

 

As journeys to matches go, tonight’s trip to the London Stadium will rank as one of the more unpleasant for both sets of supporters.

Storm Henk had already caused severe disruption across the rail and tube network before its strong gusts battered fans as they ventured across the Olympic Park towards the ground. The pockets of empty seats around the ground suggested some had thought better than venturing out into the eye of the storm too. Things didn’t get much better for one Hammers supporter, who was overheard complaining to stadium staff that a leak in the roof was causing her to get wet.

James Milner made his 632nd Premier League appearance, drawing closer to Gareth Barry's record

James Milner made his 632nd Premier League appearance, drawing closer to Gareth Barry’s record

 

Thirty-seven-year-old James Milner made his 632nd Premier appearance, drawing level in second place on the all-time list with Ryan Giggs. Only Gareth Barry (653) has played more games in the competition.

 

A dazzling pre-match light show greeted the players onto the pitch but sadly that was to be the last real bright spark on an evening that sorely lacked star quality.

 

The sight of Brighton chairman Tony Bloom at away matches is not an uncommon one and he was in the stands once again at the London Stadium on Tuesday night.

He watched his team go seven matches without defeat at West Ham.

In fact, the Seagulls’ last defeat away at last night’s opponents came way back in March 1983, when goals from Tony Cottee and Alan Dickens secured a 2-1 win for the Hammers at Upton Park.

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