25 min Webster moves forward again and chips a flat cross into the area, where Connolly produces a sizzling overhead kick that sadly goes straight at Rui Patricio. That came right off the sweet spot.
22 min March’s shot from the edge of the area hits Saiss and rebounds to safety. Wolves break and Bissouma is booked for a foul on Ait-Nouri.
21 min “Gorgeous photo, that, of Verona’s kit,” says Charles Antaki. “Brighton once had an appalling striped-shirt-and-shorts combo, and the internet reveals it in its full glory. I now remember Des Lynam (BHA fan) when describing the kits in a game, ending lugubriously with ‘and Brighton are in ….. the other kit’.”
When you sad, ‘Brighton once had an appalling…’, I assumed you meant the Chewits wrapper of 1991. If only all Chewits wrappers were worth £350.
GOAL! Brighton 1-1 Wolves (Saiss 19)
They avoided Adam Webster and scored! Moutinho drove the corner flat and hard beyond the far post to find the unmarked Semedo just inside the area. He made a mess of an attempted volley but retrieved the loose ball and stood up a nice cross to Saiss, who ran away from goal to meet the ball and looped a header back across Sanchez from 10 yards. He is such a threat at corners and that was another really good finish.
18 min Neves flicks the ball up, 25 yards from goal, and hits a volley that is deflected over the bar for another Wolves corner. They might as well just walk over and place it on Adam Webster’s head.
16 min Ait-Nouri’s low cross is put behind by Lewis Dunk. Moutinho strolls over to take the corner…
15 min Webster, who has had a storming start to the game, makes a good tackle on Pedro Neto just outside the area.
New year, new Brighton. Webster ran into space from the halfway line and found Trossard on the right wing. He twisted one way and then the other before curling a cross towards the near post, where Connolly got in front of the diving Rui Patricio to poke a volley into the net. That was a smartly taken goal.
GOAL! Brighton 1-0 Wolves (Connolly 13)
Brighton take the lead out of nothing!
10 min This is a very young Wolves front four – Traore, at 24, is comfortably the oldest – which probably explains their inconsistency from game to game and even within games. Individually they look very promising, Traore and Pedro Neto in particular.
9 min Neto’s second corner begets a third. Moutinho takes this one, and Webster heads away once again.
8 min Wolves win a corner on the right. Pedro Neto cracks it hard towards the near post, where Webster heads away. Semedo picks up the loose ball, plays a one-two and curls a good cross towards Saiss; Webster again gets in front of him to head behind for another corner.
4 min Wolves have made a lively start. Neto bets two players on the halfway line and runs into the space he created. He gets to the edge of the area, goes past Dunk on the outside and drives wide of the near post from a tight angle.
3 min Joao Moutinho has an early pop from 25 yards. Robert Sanchez makes a comfortable save.
Brighton (3-4-3) Sanchez; Webster, Dunk, Burn; Veltman, White, Bissouma, March; Trossard, Connolly, Maupay.
Substitutes: Steele, Bernardo, Mac Allister, Gross, Lallana, Propper, Molumby, Jahanbakhsh, Zeqiri.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-2-3-1) Rui Patricio; Semedo, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri; Neves, Moutinho; Traore, Vitinha, Pedro Neto; Fabio Silva.
Substitutes: Ruddy, Sondergaard, Hoever, Kilman, Richards, Perry, Otasowie, Cundle, Corbeanu.
Referee Andy Madley.
New year, new you, right? Yeah. Brighton and Wolves have similarly good intentions after a troubling end to 2020. Wolves’ resolution is to score more goals; Brighton’s is to win a lot more games, especially at home, primarily by scoring more goals). Wolves were struggling even before Raul Jimenez’s injury, and have scored only six in seven games since he fractured his skill at the Emirates.
Brighton won only one league game at home in 2020 and couldn’t even see off ten-man Sheffield United before Christmas. As a result they are in a relegation battle: two points above Fulham in 18th but already six points off Newcastle in 15th having played a game more. It’s hard to reconcile that with the progressive, classy football they have played under Graham Potter, but style will count for nothing if they don’t start winning games in 2021.
Kick off 5.30pm.