Brighton and Wolves celebrated the New Year by putting on an exciting clash that ended 3-3 as Graham Potter’s side drew for the ninth time this season.
With just one win at the Amex in 2020, Potter’s men looked to have turned a corner when Aaron Connolly handed them an early lead (13), but Wolves roared back with three goals before the break.
Romain Saiss headed them level (19) before Dan Burn scored an unfortunate own goal (34). He then compounded a miserable evening by fouling Adama Traore inside the box and Ruben Neves slotted home the penalty (44).
Wolves shot themselves in the foot, though, giving away a penalty just 15 seconds into the second half when Joao Moutinho tripped Neal Maupay, who dusted himself down to make it 3-2 from the spot (46).
Brighton hit the bar through Adam Webster but eventually broke through when his defensive partner Lewis Dunk powered home a header. Wolves could have stolen the points with the last touch but substitute Owen Otasowie headed over from six yards out.
The result means Brighton have won just one of their last 16 matches across all competitions and they remain just one place above the drop zone.
Brighton: Sanchez (5), Veltman (6), Webster (6), Dunk (8), Burn (4), White (6), Bissouma (5), March (6), Trossard (7), Maupay (7), Connolly (7)
Subs: Zeqiri (6), Lallana (6), Propper (7)
Wolves: Rui Patricio (5), Semedo (6), Coady (7), Saiss (7), Ait Nouri (6), Neves (7), Moutinho (6), Vitinha (6), Traore (7), Neto (7), Silva (6)
Subs: Kilman (6), Otasowie (6)
Man of the match: Lewis Dunk
How draw specialists Brighton were held again…
With no home win under their belt this season, a fast start was required by Brighton, and Potter got it from his side.
Leandro Trossard twisted and turned Rayan Ait-Nouri on the right flank before delivering an inswinging cross for Connolly to arrive ahead of Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio and poke home.
That should have allowed Brighton to control proceedings but Wolves hit back.
Saiss levelled just six minutes later, diverting a looping header beyond Robert Sanchez following Nelson Semedo’s right-wing cross to score for the second time in three games.
Chances were then few and far between as both goalkeepers were kept relatively quiet but Wolves edged ahead 11 minutes before the break.
Pedro Neto’s stinging effort from the right deflected off Solly March and was repelled by Sanchez, only for the ball to rebound off the unfortunate Burn, who could not sort his feet out in time, and trickle over the line.
Burn’s miserable evening continued as he conceded a penalty a minute before the break.
After being beaten for pace by Traore on the Wolves right, he brought down his opponent with a mistimed lunge.
In the absence of Raul Jimenez, Neves took charge of the penalty-taking duties and bagged his first goal of the season.
The Seagulls halved the deficit within a minute of the resumption.
Maupay drew a foul from a lacklustre Moutinho inside the box before picking himself up to slam the ball down the centre of the goal.
Brighton almost levelled in the 68th minute but Webster’s header from a March corner bounced back off the woodwork and Andi Zeqiri flashed the rebound from close range over the crossbar.
A set-piece did eventually get Brighton level as Dunk found space at the far past to powerfully connect with Trossard’s right-wing corner and nod beyond Patricio.
With the game seemingly set for a stalemate, Otasowie was presented with a golden chance deep into added time but somehow headed over after another fine bit of play from Traore.
Man of the match: Lewis Dunk
Hardly put a foot wrong and would have been unfortunate to be on the losing side had Otasowie headed home with the last touch of the game. Not only was the Brighton skipper a huge threat from set-pieces as he grabbed a goal, he also set the platform for Brighton’s attack in the second half with some clever passing from deep. That is an area of his game which has improved hugely under the watch of this manager.
- Brighton conceded as many goals in the first half as they had in their previous 10 top-flight games against Wolves, however the Seagulls remain unbeaten in their 11 top-flight encounters with Wolves (W7 D4).
- This was the fourth occasion Brighton have managed to rescue a point in a Premier League game in which they’ve been 2+ goals behind, with this their 45th match in the competition in which they’ve trailed by 2+ goals (W0 D4 L41).
- Brighton’s Dan Burn is the first player to score an own goal and give away a penalty in the same Premier League game since Eliaquim Mangala for Man City against Hull in September 2014.
- Neal Maupay’s strike for Brighton (45:50) was the earliest goal scored from the penalty spot in the second half of a Premier League game since Opta has exact goal timings (since 2006-07).
Brighton have an eight-day break before they face Newcastle in the FA Cup third round on January 10, while Wolves face Crystal Palace as they start their FA Cup campaign on January 8.