Brighton 0-1 Wolves: Heroes, villains & player ratings as Saiss stunner sinks Brighton

Wolves rediscovered that winning feeling with an impressive performance on Wednesday night

Wolverhampton Wanderers ended their four game run without a goal and got back to winning ways with a comfortable 1-0 victory away at Brighton.

Romain Saiss’s superb volley in first-half stoppage time was enough to separate the two sides and move Bruno Lage’s men up to eighth in the Premier League table.

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Wolves players form a team huddle on the pitch ahead of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the American Express Community Stadium

A slow start to the game for Wolves wasn’t helped by the last minute change in personnel at left-wing-back. Rayan Ait-Nouri who has been so influential of late pulled up in the warm up and was replaced in the starting eleven by Marcal.

Lage’s injury woes were doubled after just 10 minutes. Hwang Hee-Chan who was playing through the middle in place of the suspended Raul Jimenez went down off the ball and was unable to continue.

Brighton controlled the possession in the midst of Wanderers’ disruption but were unable to muster any real opportunities on Jose Sa’s goal.

And Wolves punished the hosts right before the break. The ball fell kindly to Ruben Neves on the edge of a box following a corner and the midfielder played a delightful chip over the Brighton defence towards Saiss who volleyed first time into the far corner.

It was the visitors that really began turning the screw in the second period, too.

Trincao and Podence both had efforts saved before that man Saiss nearly had his second volley of the game hit the back of the net but this time it crashed against the post.

Albion pushed as the half went on but it was Wolves that always looked the more likely on the break.

11 minutes of additional time sent a few nerves jangling among those in the gold & black but the team stood tall and held on for a well deserved three points.

Heroes

  • Wolves fans

A near 400 mile round trip on a Wednesday night just 10 days before Christmas and the Wolves fans sold out their 3,000 allocation.

That speaks for itself, there’s not much more to say other than bravo ladies and gentlemen, bravo.

  • Romain Saiss

Not sure how there was ever a goal drought with this bloke in the side. Play him as a lone striker from here on out.

He defended like a tank and took his goal like a prime Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

The Moroccan would have had a second worldie on the night had it not been for the woodwork but ultimately it didn’t matter and certainly didn’t take away from a monster performance.

Romain Saiss of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers

Villains

  • M25

Social media was flooded with fans struggling to get to the game tonight no thanks to the dreaded M25. Some fans reported a travel time of nearly six hours with others not even arriving in time for kick-off.

It’s journey’s like that that make you never want to get in a car again.

  • Squad size

Another two bite the dust.

If Ait-Nouri pulling up in the warm up wasn’t bad enough, Hwang being forced off after just 10 minutes really stuck the knife in. The latter looked to be really struggling as he made his way off the pitch and with an already threadbare squad heading into the busy Christmas schedule - this really was not the one.

  • The ref’s equipment

And that’s not a euphemism - his actual microphone and power pack that he uses to get in contact with VAR stopped working on numerous occasions in the second-half.

I believe it took nearly eight minutes of play for him to finally switch it over to a different one - annoyingly it kept occurring whilst Wolves were in the ascendancy too.

Match Referee Tony Harrington interacts with Romain Saiss of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers

Player ratings

Brighton (4-2-3-1): Sanchez 7*; Lamptey 6, Veltman 6, Burn 5, Cucurella 6.5; Moder 6, Bissouma 6.5 (84’ Lallana N/A); Trossard 6, Mwepu 5 (84’ Richards N/A), March 6.5; Connolly 5 (60’ Mac Allister 5)

Wolves (3-4-3): Sa 6.5; Kilman 7, Coady 7, Saiss 8.5*; Semedo 7, Neves 8.5, Moutinho 7, Marcal 7; Trincao 7.5 (90’ Dendoncker N/A), Hwang N/A (10’ Traore 7.5) (90’ Silva N/A), Podence 7

Next up

Wanderers are back in Premier League action this Sunday, December 19 when title challengers Chelsea are the visitors to Molineux. Kick-off is scheduled for 14:00 (GMT).

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