A remarkably poor game between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton and Hove Albion finished 0-0 at Molineux this afternoon.
It was a resolute performance from both sides as neither had the cutting edge it would have taken to break through their respective defences.
Opportunities were limited though out the game and so each side will be pleased with the goalless draw.
Story of the game
The game got off to a sluggish start due to the two sides being able to pick up any form of intensity from kick off.
Chances came few and far between in the opening minutes. An amalgamation of wild efforts and skewed attempts trickling wide of the post were all either side could muster.
Ruben Neves’ strike in the opening ten minutes embodied just this.
The ball dropped to him on the edge of the box, so he unleashed a shot that fired straight into the South Bank.
The hosts managed to be able to dictate possession and play some patient, sensible football in the opening exchanges, giving Brighton no chance to break through.
That was until Martin Montoya was able to find space on the right-hand side. The Spaniard appeared as if he had picked out a perfect cross for Leandro Trossard in the middle, but the Belgian winger mistimed his jump and allowed Wolves to escape scot free.
Unfortunately for all those in the ground, the game then hit a pain staking ten-minute-long lull. The cloud boredom subsided when Raúl Jiménez brought down a deflected ball with his chest and unleashed a speculative volley on goal. The excitement ended there though as the ball flew yards over the bar.
Moments later, the Mexican number nine got the crowd going again as he took advantage of a Dan Burn mistake.
Brighton’s Burn made a poor decision to head the ball up straight up into the sky, allowing Jimenez to chase the loose ball.
It fell almost perfectly over his right shoulder and he appeared to have rattled Mat Ryan’s upright when he unwound a thunderous strike at goal. A post did strike but this time it was the supporting post behind the goal.
The flurry of chances continued when Neves found himself in ‘Neves territory’. We have all seen him score from that select area in and around the ‘D’, but this time he opened up his body and curled his effort way clear of the Brighton bar.
That was the final effort of a relatively dull, goalless first half.
The visitors came out from the changing rooms keen to put Wolves under pressure. Brighton’s usual catalyst, Aaron Mooy, slipped Trossard in behind the amber and black defence, but the winger’s searching ball across the area wasn’t able to be converted by an arriving Neal Maupay.
It became quite clear that the hosts were running out of ideas to stretch a very resolute Brighton defence. Nuno Espirito Santo’s reaction to this of course was to bring on Adama Traore in an attempt to inject some form of conviction in their offensive display.
As the game crawled on, there was a danger that not even Adama could manipulate this game into providing some entertainment.
The Spaniard did however manage to beat Trossard down the right-hand side and pick out Daniel Podence – who had only just recently entered the field. The ball bobbled and bumbled its way back to Jimenez who swung a hopeful boot at it.
Ryan, in the Brighton goal, took a breath and simply picked up the oncoming weak effort.
The most exciting thing in the few minutes following was the introduction of Argentinian Scotsman Alexis (Alex) Mac Allister.
Wolves found a new lease of life in the final five minutes of the match and were forcing Brighton further and further back.
A combination of build-up plays from Podence and Adama allowed the hosts to create space. Their only reward for their efforts however was a mere corner. Rúben Vinagre whipped the ball in from the left, and as the ball rose, so did the noise levels.
Dendoncker had a chance to be the hero of the afternoon just as added time was announced over the tannoy. The Belgian blazed his effort way over the bar from 12 yards.
That was the last of the chances for either side. Andre Marriner blew his whistle to bring an end to a spectacularly poor game of Premier League football.
Wolves wander into Champions League
Despite not winning this afternoon, today's point takes Wolves up into fifth spot, above Sheffield United.
With an impending Champions League ban for Manchester City that would open up Wolves' current position for qualification for the European competition - a feat that would have been sniggered at if mentioned just two years ago.
Brighton hovering over relegation
It could be argued that Graham Potter's men will be happy with a draw at Molineux.
However, only taking a point, and not being able to snatch all three, has left them scrambling just two points above the likes of Watford, West Ham, and AFC Bournemouth.
Three points would have given Albion some breathing room ahead of some very tough fixtures. The South coast side are still yet to play: Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City in their remaining nine games.