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Soucek filling 'Fellaini' role for Moyes with latest star show for Hammers

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West Ham’s Tomas Soucek celebrates his goal with Aaron Cresswell. Photo: Neil Hall/PA Wire

West Ham’s Tomas Soucek celebrates his goal with Aaron Cresswell. Photo: Neil Hall/PA Wire

West Ham’s Tomas Soucek celebrates his goal with Aaron Cresswell. Photo: Neil Hall/PA Wire

If David Moyes is trying to turn West Ham into an incarnation of his old Everton team, then there was further proof yesterday that he already has his claret-and-blue Marouane Fellaini.

Tomas Soucek has made a big impact at West Ham since joining from Slavia Prague almost a year ago and, just as Fellaini did for Moyes at Everton, the imposing midfielder knows how to use his head.

Soucek's equaliser against Brighton was his fourth headed Premier League goal since making his West Ham debut in February and during the same period only Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Harry Kane have managed to score as many headers.

"If Tomas has the same career as Marouane, then he will have an unreal career," said West Ham manager Moyes. "He's played for so many managers, including Jose Mourinho, who always chose him for big games. I'd certainly choose Tomas in big games because it's always possible he will score a goal."

Soucek's goal rescued a point for West Ham and perhaps got Moyes off the hook with the club's fans, who would have been unhappy with the Scotsman's conservative approach to this game, which he conceded afterwards was a mistake.

Critics of Moyes have often pointed to his perceived pragmatism and he almost paid the price for what appeared to be a negative starting line-up and formation, as Brighton twice took the lead through Neal Maupay and Lewis Dunk.

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Brighton's Leandro Trossard in action with West Ham's Declan Rice. Photo: Reuters

Brighton's Leandro Trossard in action with West Ham's Declan Rice. Photo: Reuters

Brighton's Leandro Trossard in action with West Ham's Declan Rice. Photo: Reuters

Dunk's goal might have been ruled out by VAR for handball and Moyes would like an explanation over why it wasn't overturned.

"I make loads of mistakes and I would like somebody (from Stockley Park) to come out and explain it because we are not getting any clarity," said Moyes.

"Can somebody tell me the rules because I thought that if the ball hits his arm and it leads to a goal, which it did, then it should be a handball."

A first Premier League goal for 20-year-old Ben Johnson and Soucek's header rescued a point for the Hammers and perhaps underlined the fact that captain Mark Noble's contribution might best be made at the training ground and from the substitutes' bench in future.

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When he was replaced at half-time, 33-year-old Noble left the pitch with the unenviable record of being 10-1 down in his four West Ham starts this season.

Noble was not to blame for Maupay's strike just before the break, which came courtesy of a Dan Burn cross and hesitant touch from Declan Rice, but his selection and deployment as an attacking midfielder summed up what had been a muddled first 45 minutes during which West Ham failed to manage a single shot on target.

Moyes acknowledged his selection error at the break by replacing Noble with Manuel Lanzini and Jarrod Bowen with Andriy Yarmolenko.

It was Yarmolenko's cross on the hour mark that West Ham levelled from, Johnson finding the net after a clever pass by Lanzini.

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Brighton's Neal Maupay ibattles for the ball with West Ham's Aaron Cresswell.

Brighton's Neal Maupay ibattles for the ball with West Ham's Aaron Cresswell.

Brighton's Neal Maupay ibattles for the ball with West Ham's Aaron Cresswell.

West Ham would have hoped to go on and take all three points after equalising, but they fell behind again 10 minutes later when a short corner was crossed into the box by Solly March and Soucek headed the ball straight into Dunk, who then smashed it into the net.

The goal was checked for a handball against Dunk and replays suggested that the ball had struck his arm, but the goal stood and West Ham needed to come from behind again.

Dunk and Soucek swapped roles for the home side's second equaliser with eight minutes remaining, as Dunk failed to get a firm head on Aaron Cresswell's corner, instead flicking the ball straight into the path of Soucek who headed the ball powerfully past Robert Sanchez. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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