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Wolves 2-3 Brighton: Pascal Gross scores late winner

BY SKYSPORTS
11.05.2022
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Report and free match highlights as goals from Adam Lallana, Kaoru Mitoma and Pascal Gross continue Brighton’s good form; Roberto De Zerbi’s side move up to sixth; Wolves, who had Nelson Semedo sent off, miss the chance to move out of the drop zone

Pascal Gross’ late goal earned in-form Brighton a dramatic 3-2 win over 10-man Wolves in a thrilling game at Molineux.

Adam Lallana’s early goal put Brighton ahead early on but Goncalo Guedes soon levelled things up and Wolves actually led when Ruben Neves converted a penalty after Lewis Dunk’s handball. But the game turned late in the first half thanks to Kaoru Mitoma.

His headed equaliser was quickly followed by a red card for Nelson Semedo who was outmanoeuvred by Mitoma. Wolves, who confirmed Julen Lopetegui as their next manager before kick-off, battled hard in the second half, but their resistance was broken by Gross.

The three points lift Roberto De Zerbi’s side above Graham Potter’s Chelsea and into the top six. Lopetegui, who will take over at Molineux on November 14, will be in no doubt about the scale of his task. Wolves remain just one place off the bottom of the Premier League table.

Player ratings

Wolves: Wolves: Sa (7), Semedo (3), Collins (6), Kilman (5), Bueno (6), B Traore (7), Neves (7), Moutinho (5), Podence (6), Hwang (6), Guedes (7).

Subs: Jonny (5), Traore (6), Ait-Nouri (5), Ronan (n/a).

Brighton: Sanchez (7), Gross (8), Webster (6), Dunk (7), Estupinan (6), Caicedo (7), Mac Allister (7), March (6), Lallana (9), Mitoma (9), Trossard (7).

Subs: Welbeck (6), Gilmour (6), Undav (6), Veltman (n/a).

Player of the match: Adam Lallana.

How Brighton beat Wolves

Brighton came into the game in buoyant mood after thrashing Chelsea last time out and that was reflected by the confidence of their play. They carved Wolves apart for the opener when Leandro Trossard slipped the ball through for Lallana to finish past Jose Sa.

That might have seen Wolves wilt but they found the equaliser immediately when Guedes carried the ball all the way with a persistent run from the right before beating Robert Sanchez. It was his first goal for the club following his summer move from Valencia.

Team news

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brighton were unchanged following their impressive 4-1 win over Chelsea. Wolves made three changes, two of them enforced. Joao Moutinho came in for the injured Matheus Nunes, while Hwang Hee-chan replaced the suspended Diego Costa in attack. The other swap was Goncalo Guedes for Adama Traore.

Wolves looked a little disjointed but showed plenty of effort and were rewarded for their spirit when Lewis Dunk was adjudged to have committed a handball offence from deflecting Daniel Podence’s cross. Neves converted from the spot following a lengthy VAR review.

A lesser team might have been left in shock at how they found themselves behind. Instead, Brighton continued to play the superior football and equalised late in the first half when Mitoma outjumped Semedo after wonderful work from the evergreen Lallana.

Kaoru Mitoma heads Brighton level against Wolves

Kaoru Mitoma headed Brighton level against Wolves before his work saw Nelson Semedo sent off

That was his first goal for Brighton but not the best bit of play from the Japan international. That came immediately afterwards when his sublime first touch caught out Semedo and the full-back resorted to pulling him down just outside of the box. It was clumsy. It was red.

The Seagulls had to be patient in the second half as Wolves defended doggedly while posing a threat on the counter-attack through substitute Adama Traore who forced a fine save from Sanchez. But Gross finished high in the net to win it. Belief is powerful.

Davis: Lopetegui needs to add quality

Speaking after the game, Wolves interim boss Steve Davis was pleased that the team scored two goals in a game for the first time in the Premier League this season but was critical of the defensive frailty which undermined them yet again.

“Really disappointed by the three we conceded,” said Davis. “They could have been avoided really. Just soft. Really easy to score against. We should have won the game today.

“It was whether they could keep that concentration level [in the second half]. if you see the [winning] goal, we got pulled around, we just lacked that composure. You need composure. You make better decisions in that frame of mind. We get panicky when in the box.

“You can see that at any moment they might make a mistake.”

It raises the question of whether Lopetegui will be able to turn things around. “He is watching the games, watching training, he knows a lot of the players anyway,” added Davis.

“I know some of his coaches are coming on Tuesday to introduce themselves to the staff and watch the game on Wednesday. He is coming in on Friday. I think he wants to speak to myself and James [Collins] about players and get a feel for it.

“I think the club needs someone who can stamp their philosophy on it. I am looking forward to seeing how he wants to move these players around. There is quality here but maybe there is not the balance. If I was in his shoes, I would be looking to add quality.”

De Zerbi: My best game with Brighton

“I think if you want to speak about the style of play, this game was the best game in my experience here in Brighton,” said De Zerbi. Better than the 4-1 win over Chelsea? “In terms of quality of play, for sure,” added the Italian.

“In terms of quality of play, quality of build-up and to have many chances to score. I am lucky because I have very smart players, very good players, very good guys, because to understand my idea is not very simple in the first moment.”

With Brighton flying high in sixth, can they stay there? “I don’t know but for sure we have to try. For us, for our club and our fans. We must put our goals high and play with the attitude we can achieve these goals but I don’t know the future.”

The match in stats

  • Brighton have won consecutive away league games against Wolves for the first time since winning their first six visits to Molineux between 1979 and 1991.
  • Wolves have won just two of their last 21 Premier League games, although they scored two goals in a single Premier League game for the first time in 17 matches.
  • No Wolves player has scored more penalties in the Premier League than Ruben Neves, with the midfielder scoring all seven penalties that he has taken in the competition (Raul Jimenez has also scored seven out of seven).
  • Wolves’ Goncalo Guedes scored his first ever Premier League goal, in what was his 11th appearance. Indeed, Guedes became the 10th different Portuguese player to score for Wolves in the Premier League – twice as many any other side.
  • Adam Lallana netted just his second Premier League goal for Brighton and first since March 2021 versus Leicester City – one year and 244 days ago. Indeed, Lallana both scored and assisted in a single Premier League game for the first time since December 2016 versus Middlesbrough.

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