By Juan Aguerrevere
Brighton & Hove Albion failed to score for the 6th consecutive meeting in all competitions. But grabbing 1 point left them 3 points clear from relegation despite a goalless draw against Wolves.
Nuno Espiritu Santo looked to go back to winning ways after an away defeat at St. Marys' last weekend. In effect, Nuno started Ryan Bennet for Romain Saiss who was to blame for 2 goals last time out. The Portuguese also gave 19-year-old, Morgan Gibbs-White a start over Leander Dendoncker. Nuno stuck with his (3-5-2) formation.
Chris Hughton also made some tweaks to his line-up amid Brighton's worst run of the year. The Colombian Jose Izquierdo replaced Alireza Jahanbakhsh while Gaetan Bong featured for the first time since December over Bernardo. Hughton stayed with his favored (4-3-3) formation again.
Wolves looked as if they would have a great morning during the first minutes of the game. But as the game went on, maximum points became harder to achieve.
Matt Doherty who's had a breakout season playing in the wing-back position brought constant danger in the right flank. He even had Wolves' first real go at goal heading a ball close to the post.
Corners started mounting from headed clearances and deflections from Brighton's defended due to the dangers posed by Wolves' wider positions.
The away team was forced to make its first change when David Propper went down grabbing his hamstring and asked for a sub. Kayal was the man who replaced Propper in the 10th minute of the game.
Screams rang around the Molineux as Pascal Gross slid in the box dispossessing Diogo Jota in the 23rd minute. Referee Craig Pawson didn't even flinch leaving the game to play on. Jota had a good chance that went wide 10 minutes after the penalty cries.
The last 15 minutes of the half were instrumental for the Seagulls. Lewis Dunk and captain Bruno Saltor injected belief as they placed their bodies in the line for every header or tackle.
Luckily for the away team, Jota hit the crossbar during the added time. Brighton had survived the first half.
In the second phase, Brighton began going forward. In the 53rd minute, Kayal had a solo attempt from 30 yards out that passed freakishly close to the frame of the goal.
Matthew Ryan was called for action at the one-hour mark by stopping Jota's close-range shot after Joao Moutinho's corner lingered on the 6-yard line.
Ruben Vinagre and Dendoncker had positive impacts after being subbed in the 67th and 72nd minutes, respectively.
Raul Jimenez helped set up Wolve's closest chance by chipping a ball from outside of the 18 toward Jota. The Portuguese striker redirected the ball to the second post and came back right into action after hitting it. As a result, Dendoncker put his foot through the ball, but Ryan never lost sight of it closing down space and sending it over the bar.
Dendoncker tried Ryan once again in minute 87, but the Aussie was set on claiming his 5th clean sheet of the season.
Wolverhampton kept the pressure up till the last second but couldn't break Brighton's wall. Lewis Dunk was proud of the squad during the post-game interview.
Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.