Brighton 0 Wolves 1 (Saiss 45)
Romain Saiss was the match winner down on the south coast for Wolves, earning his side a first win in five matches with a delightful strike against Brighton & Hove Albion. Without a goal or win in recent weeks, the old gold banished both unwanted runs with a professional display at the Amex on Wednesday evening.
Saiss was the scorer and Ruben Neves was the creator. A delightfully clipped ball by the Portuguese found his Moroccan team mate in space on the right of the area, and the defender guided home with his unfavoured foot to seal three big points on the road.
Chances to add gloss to the scoreline were passed up on the night, with Daniel Podence guilty of missing two presentable opportunities, while on another day Enock Mwepu would have earned Brighton a point, meaning Wolves returned buoyed with their much-needed points.
The first-half was an interesting one at the Amex. Losing Rayan Ait-Nouri in the warm-up and Hee Chan Hwang in the opening stages disrupted Wolves and Brighton had the better of things mostly, but didn’t profit from that possession, with both Solly March and Tariq Lamptey firing over at the near post.
Once Wolves had settled, they looked a treat. On 27 minutes things opening up for Neves, who tired his luck and called Robert Sanchez into action, while Podence curled a well-placed free-kick into the wall for the visitors.
Those chances represented Wolves getting into the game, and as the board went up for added time, they took the lead. Yves Bissouma didn’t properly clear Marcal’s corner, Neves gained control and clipped in a delightful ball for Saiss to cushion into the far corner with his unfavoured right foot.
However, still Albion should have been level at the break. Jose Sa did well to keep out Leandro Trossard’s powerful strike, before Dan Burn nudged the ball to Mwepu, who turned over from close range with the goal gaping.
Half-time | Brighton 0-1 Wolves
Straight after the interval, Wolves almost had their second. Podence clipped in Marcal down the left and his cross beat Sanchez, but not the crossbar, bouncing off the face of the bar. It wasn’t the first time the woodwork would save Brighton, as Saiss slammed another fine Neves cross onto the post soon after.
Then came two massive chances for Podence, neither of which brought the desired second. First, Moutinho slipped him in, and the Portuguese took the ball slightly wide on his left, allowing Sanchez to save, before Adama Traore sent him through on goal, but Podence shot straight at the Brighton stopper.
The narrative from there was set out. Brighton had a lot of the ball, but Wolves remained resolute to repel their hosts. In truth, Sa remained untested during the closing stages, while Wolves always remained a threat on the break and showed maturity to see out a big win in Sussex.
Full-time | Brighton 0 Wolves 1
Brighton | Sanchez, Lamptey, Cucurella, Connolly (Mac Allister 60), Bissouma (Richards 83), Trossard, Mwepu (Lallana 83), Moder, March, Burn, Veltman.
Subs | Scherpen, Alzate, Roberts, Leonard, Turns, Ferguson.
Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Marcal, Neves, Moutinho, Trincao (Dendoncker 90), Podence, Hwang (Traore 16, Silva 90).
Subs | Ruddy, Moulden, Hoever, Boly, Cundle.