Wolves 2 (Traore 76, Gibbs-White 90) Brighton 1 (Dunk 13)
Morgan Gibbs-White’s first Premier League goal completed a fine comeback victory for Wolves against Brighton & Hove Albion. It’s been a long wait for the Wolves Academy graduate, but the youngster showed his quality when it mattered, curling a loose ball into the top corner to see his team return to winning ways.
Brighton had led at the break thanks to a towering Lewis Dunk header, but it was the defender’s red card for pulling back Fabio Silva which changed the game. Wolves dominated from that point and earned their deserved equaiser when Traore exchanged passes with Silva and fired home.
That leveller set up the grandstand finish Nuno Espirito Santo had been looking for and, after passing up a fine opportunity to win it, Gibbs-White made his own luck, pouncing on a ricochet and producing a sumptuous finish to earn all three points.
Youth was the order of the day once again for Nuno, who handed Vitinha a first Premier League start on home soil, and he was almost rewarded in the opening stages when the midfielder’s rolled effort needed tipping behind by Robert Sanchez.
However, it was Sanchez’s opposite number Rui Patricio who was picking the ball out of his net first, after Dunk’s towering header gave the goalkeeper no chance. That goal, from Pascal Gross’ corner, was a theme of the opening period, with Dunk again, and then Dan Burn finding too much space in the Wolves area and coming close with headers.
The goal knocked the stuffing out of Wolves, who enjoyed a flurry forward through Ki-Jana Hoever, but it came to nothing, as the Seagulls saw out the half impressively.
Half-time | Wolves 0-1 Brighton
Wolves were much improved after the interval and twice called Sanchez into action in the first five minutes. First, Maximilian Kilman’s effort from distance needed two attempts to smother by the goalkeeper, before the lively Morgan Gibbs-White fashioned himself an opening and saw his strike turned behind.
That promising start was rewarded in terms of numbers at least. When Vitinha sent Silva through, the youngster was pulled back by Dunk, referee Jon Moss had no option but to brandish a red card to the Seagulls captain and goal scorer.
A man to the good, Wolves naturally cranked up the pressure again. Patience was required, as Wolves kept the ball moving, waiting for an opening, and it came when Traore and Silva exchanged passes in the tightest of areas and, once given a sight of goal, Traore buried the chance, low beyond Sanchez.
With the hosts back level, with the momentum on their side, and Brighton down to ten, there was only going to be one winner. Nuno may have thought his side’s best chance had gone when Traore caught Sanchez in no man’s land and squared for Gibbs-White, who cleared the crossbar with the goal gaping.
Fortunately, the youngster would receive one final chance and his quality showed. Rayan Ait-Nouri created the opening down the left and forced the piece of luck, as the ball fell nicely for Gibbs-White, who spotted a gap and brilliantly picked out the top corner to secure the three points in the last minute.
Full-time | Wolves 2-1 Brighton
Wolves | Patricio, Hoever, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri, Neves (Traore 61), Moutinho, Vitinha (Dendoncker 77), Gibbs-White, Podence (Jose 69), Silva.
Unused subs | Ruddy, Richards, Semedo, Saiss, Cundle, Corbeanu.
Brighton | Sanchez, White, Webster, Dunk, Burn, Gross, Bissouma, Jahanbakhsh (Moder 57), Trossard (Mac Allister 57), Maupay, Welbeck (Zeqiri 78).
Unused subs | Steele, Connolly, Alzate, Izquierdo, Tau, Propper.