Brighton and HA 0-1 Wolves: Saiss strikes sees Wolves return to winning ways
Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images

Romain Saiss’ strike just before half time proved the difference as Wolves registered their first win in four games at the AMEX Stadium.

It’s now eleven games without a win for Brighton, however, with the visitors’ resolute defending in the second half seeing out a 1-0 win.

But Albion weren’t without their chances – particularly in the first half – as their search for a win continues.

Team news

Brighton had reported several Covid-19 cases in the build up to the Premier League fixture, and were forced into three changes with Aaron Connolly, Jakub Moder and Solly March coming into the starting line-up.

Graham Potter was without the likes of Pascal Gross and Neal Maupay whilst Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Danny Welbeck and Shane Duffy were already known absentees prior to the team sheet exchange.

Wolves, meanwhile, started with four changes from the defeat against Manchester City last time with Daniel Podence, Francisco Trincao and Hwang Hee-Chan coming in for Adama Traore, Leander Dendoncker and the suspended Raul Jimenez. On top of that, Rayan Ait-Nouri pulled up injured in the warm up and was replaced by Marcal.

It was the hosts who started on the front foot, with Enock Mwepu firing a shot straight at Jose Sa from the corner of the penalty area before Wolves were dealt an early injury blow – Hwang limping off injured with Traore coming on in his place having been dropped from the starting XI for the Korean.

Albion kept pressing and had a good chance to break the deadlock after 20 minutes. Yves Bissouma did well to win possession and find Mwepu, who threaded the ball through to March in space inside the area but he skewed his shot wide of the near post when shooting across the keeper would surely have been a greater alternative.

But despite having large parts of the play, it was Brighton who nearly went behind through their own making. Dan Burn – skipper for the night – played a pass blindly back to Robert Sanchez and Podence nipped in, but his touch was too heavy and he couldn’t keep the ball in play.

Wolves strike

And it was Wolves who broke the deadlock as the game entered first half stoppage time. Marcal’s poor corner was cleared as far as Ruben Neves 20 yards out. He played a delightful chip back into the box and Saiss lost his marker before he fired a volley low across Sanchez and into the far corner.

However, Albion should have drawn level before half time. A free-kick in was headed away as far as Leandro Trossard, whose drive was parried by Sa but Mwepu could only scoop the loose ball over the bar from inside the six yard box.

It was Bruno Lage’s side who went on the front foot early into the second half, with Marcal’s looping cross clipping the top of the bar before Traore released Trincao in space inside the area but Sanchez did well to turn his low shot behind for a corner.

At that point it was the Molineux outfit in charge. Neves whipped in a great cross and picked out Saiss at the far post, but this time the centre back’s vigorous volley hit the inside of the near post, across the face of goal and away.

Sanchez was then the hero for Brighton – twice denying Podence in quick succession as Wolves broke forward, before the Seagulls looked to respond, but Mwepu couldn’t direct Jakub Moder’s free-kick goalwards after the hour mark.

Albion press late on

The hosts looked to respond, Mwepu sending a chance skywards rather than goalwards from Moder’s inswinging free-kick before sub Alexis Mac Allister fired a shot which whistled past the top corner.

But for all their pressure, they couldn’t break down a resilient Wolves defence. Even with eleven minutes of stoppage time after referee Tony Harrington suffered issues with his comms system, Albion failed to really test Sa as the visitors held on to win 1-0.

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