Wolves secured a narrow victory away at Brighton thanks to a single goal in first-half stoppage time from centre-back Romain Saiss, ending a run of four games without a win
Wolves hadn’t even scored in four consecutive Premier League games coming into this one but ended the night with maximum points.
Brighton asked most of the questions during the first period and there was a good chance for Solly March on the right-hand side of the box that he couldn’t find the target with.
Even after going a goal down, the Seagulls could have been instantly level when Jose Sa spilled an effort from Leandro Trossard – but Enock Mwepu was guilty of somehow putting the gilt-edged chance over the crossbar from close range.
Wolves’ goal was created by the genius of an inch-perfect pass from Ruben Neves in the second phase of play from a corner. The ball was only partially cleared and the Portuguese clipped the ball over the defence for Saiss to expertly turn into the net.
Wolves very nearly made it 2-0 immediately after the break when Marcal’s lofted cross eluded the grasp of Robert Sanchez and bounced off the top of the bar. Moments after that, Sanchez had to be alert to deny Francisco Trincao, while Daniel Podence also tested the giant Brighton goalkeeper.
But the visitors were frustrated several times as the game had to be paused more than once because of a technical fault with rookie referee Tony Harrington’s earpiece – there would eventually be 11 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game as a result.
Brighton tried to apply pressure to get back level but Wolves were so well organised and disciplined defensively that it was impossible to break the lines and get a sight at goal.
For Wolves, the result means climbing up to eighth and back within touching distance of the European places. Brighton, meanwhile, are now 11 games without a win.
Robert Sanchez (GK) – 7/10 – Made a string of decent saves early in the second half to keep Wolves from getting further ahead.
Tariq Lamptey (RB) – 6/10 – Good out ball on the right flank. Tenacious.
Joel Veltman (CB) – 6/10 – Generally stood up to what was thrown at him.
Dan Burn (CB) – 6/10 – Defended well enough in central areas but didn’t get the service he needed to be a threat at attacking set-pieces.
Marc Cucurella (LB) – 6/10 – Played with a lot of energy on that side. Played as a third centre-back in the final half hour after a tactical reshuffle.
Enock Mwepu (CM) – 6/10 – Really strong on the ball and always looking to burst forward from midfield – covered a lot of ground that way. Missed a glorious chance to equalise in first-half stoppage time.
Yves Bissouma (CM) – 5/10 – Could have done more to prevent Wolves’ breakthrough, both with his botched clearance and poor marking. Booked later on, leading to a suspension for the next match.
Jakub Moder (CM) – 5/10 – Passed the ball reasonably well but didn’t really stand out with obvious quality.
Solly March (RW) – 5/10 – Should have done better with a good first-half chance that missed the target. Later dropped into a wing-back role.
Aaron Connolly (ST) – 4/10 – Frustrating and ineffective evening for him. Subbed off after only an hour on the clock.
Leandro Trossard (LW) – 6/10 – Creative spark for the Seagulls initially but appeared to fade from the game as Wolves grew stronger.
Alexis Mac Allister (CM) – 6/10 – Gave Brighton a different kind of creativity and fresh impetus off the bench.
Taylor Richards (CM) – 6/10 – Looked at ease despite a lack of experience.
Adam Lallana (AM) – 6/10 – Instantly brought additional quality but it was too tough to break Wolves down.
Jose Sa (GK) – 6/10 – Got lucky when he failed to hold onto one shot but generally did what was needed from him.
Max Kilman (CB) – 7/10 – Well organised and disciplined.
Conor Coady (CB) – 7/10 – Limited Brighton’s impact through the middle.
Romain Saiss (CB) – 7/10 – Smart positioning and finish to score Wolves’ first goal in more than seven hours of football.
Nelson Semedo (RWB) – 6/10 – Overshadowed by his colleague on the other side but did well enough all the same.
Ruben Neves (CM) – 8/10 – Had the vision and ability to execute an inch-perfect pass for Saiss to score.
Joao Moutinho (CM) – 6/10 – Comfortable performance. Won the ball back a few times and passed it well.
Marcal (LWB) – 8/10 – Hit the bar soon after the interval and didn’t need an invitation to try and get forward. Strong in the tackle as well.
Francisco Trincao (RW) – 5/10 – Started the second half brightly after a fairly anonymous opening 45 minutes. That didn’t last.
Daniel Podence (ST) – 7/10 – Grew into the game much more after the interval and looked a threat.
Hwang Hee-chan (LW) – N/A – Forced off injured just ten minutes in.
Adama Traore (LW) – 7/10 – Early replacement for Hwang. Took a little while to get going but struck up a good understanding with Podence.
Leander Dendoncker (CM) – N/A – Fresh legs in stoppage time.
Fabio Silva (ST) – N/A – Arrived in the 101st minute.