Brighton and HA 3-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Seagulls fight back in six-goal thriller
(Photo by GARETH FULLER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Brighton & Hove Albion showed great character as they came back from 3-1 down to earn a point against Wolves at the AMEX Stadium.

Aaron Connolly scored his first home goal since October 2019 to give the Seagulls an early lead, but by half-time Nuno Espirito Santo’s side led 3-1 thanks to goals from Romain Saiss, Dan Burn’s own goal and Ruben Neves’ penalty.

But Albion were awarded a penalty 11 seconds after the restart which Neal Maupay converted before skipper Lewis Dunk headed in the equaliser with twenty minutes to go.

Adam Webster then hit the bar and Leandro Trossard had a goal disallowed as the hosts dominated the second half, but they couldn’t find a fourth goal in an entertaining affair.

Ringing the changes

Graham Potter made five changes to the side which lost 1-0 to Arsenal, with Ben White, Maupay, Trossard, Connolly and Solly March all returning to the starting line up.

Wolves made two changes to the team that started against Manchester United last time out, with Fabio Silva and Nelson Semedo coming in for Max Kilman and Daniel Podence.

The visitors started on the front foot, as Joao Moutinho fired straight at Robert Sanchez whilst Pedro Neto shot wide after breaking from midfield, but it took just 11 minutes for the Seagulls to score their first goal of 2021.

Early strike

Webster’s lofted pass found Trossard on the right, and he got the better of Rayan Ait-Nouri before his low cross picked out Connolly, who got there before Rui Patricio to poke the ball home from close range.

However, the lead lasted all of seven minutes. Albion failed to clear a corner and Semedo kept the ball alive, chipping it back in from the right to Saiss who guided a looping header into the top corner.

Patricio had to dive full length to his left to keep out Connolly’s bicycle kick after the Ireland forward was picked out by Joel Veltman as Albion looked to regain their lead, but Wolves began to dominate as Neves swept a right footed strike just wide from 18 yards.

It certainly wasn’t the cagey affair predicted by many pre-kick off and it was Wolves who struck next just after the half hour mark. Neto let fly from the right of the penalty area and Sanchez did well to push his deflected effort away, but the ball bounced off Burn’s foot and rolled into an empty net.

Wolves in control

And Burn’s evening went from bad to worse a minute before the break when he tripped Adama Traore on the by-line for a penalty. Neves sent Sanchez the wrong way from the spot to make it 3-1 going into the break.

Albion made a double change at the break with Andi Zeqiri and Davy Propper replacing the injured Connolly and Bissouma, and Zeqiri made an immediate impact, cushioning a header into Maupay’s path. The Frenchman got into the box and was tripped by Moutinho for a penalty, which Maupay himself drilled down the middle as Patricio dived to his right.

2-3 and game on, and Burn had a great chance to redeem himself when March’s cross fizzed into his path, but he couldn’t get his shot away. White then picked out Veltman who headed the ball down to Trossard, but the Belgian’s goalbound volley was blocked by Conor Coady.

Hosts dominate

Albion went even closer midway through the second half when Webster headed March’s corner against the bar and Zeqiri somehow skewed the rebound over the bar from close range.

But within two minutes, the Seagulls were deservedly level when Trossard whipped in a corner from the right and Dunk’s downward header which deflected off Saiss went beyond the helpless Patricio.

The momentum was with the hosts. Referee Madley pulled up Trossard for a soft foul on Ait-Nouri before he smashed the ball past Patricio and much of the closing stages were played in Wolves’ territory, but it was the visitors who almost snatched all three points with the last kick off the game.

Late chance

Traore broke down the right on the counter attack, and he chipped the ball across to sub Owen Otasowie but from close range he sent a free header over the bar seconds before the final whistle.