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Wolves 0 Brighton 2 - Report and pictures

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League leaders Brighton condemned Wolves to a second successive defeat with a 2-0 win at Molineux.

The Seagulls took the lead just before half time when Anthony Knockaert took advantage of two Wolves errors to fire them in front.

d a couple of chances for Conor Coady and Ben Marshall.

But the visitors made sure of the points eight minutes from time when they caught Wolves out on the break and Knockaert doubled the lead for a deserved away victory.

Analysis

"It's a good barometer for where we're at," said Paul Lambert ahead of the game.

Answer - there's an awful lot of work to do, writes Tim Spiers at Molineux.

Wolves and Lambert don't pretend to be near the finished product yet and they stayed in the game against the Championship's best side until the 82nd minute.

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But despite the possession and shots statistics being fairly similar, Brighton were a class above and very rarely in trouble here.

There was no faulting Wolves' effort but they lacked the required quality - and the right decision-making - at both ends of the pitch, and more pertinently in midfield.

Brighton are the template for Wolves to follow. Chris Hughton took over halfway through the 2014/15 season, guided them to safety, identified key players and added to them, leading to a third-placed finish last season and surely promotion this year.

Lambert has talent and grafters at his disposal but there is plenty of dead wood to clear out and much-needed quality and goals to add.

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That won't be an easy task. But, in Fosun's cash and ambitions, he will have the tools at his disposal to achieve it. There'll be no excuses next season.

Lambert made three changes from the team that lost 3-1 at Bristol City.

In came Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, who ended his seven-month scoring drought at Ashton Gate, as well as Ivan Cavaleiro and Romain Saiss.

Nouha Dicko, Morgan Gibbs-White and Lee Evans dropped to the bench where they were joined by in-form 20-year-old striker Donovan Wilson, selected as a reward for nine goals in 10 under-23 appearances.

Wolves initially made a bright start, making the early running with Ben Marshall and Ivan Cavaleiro looking sharp and Saiss spraying it around with class and purpose in midfield.

But no chances of note were created and the visitors soon began to make their extra quality count.

A careless Saiss pass led to Brighton's first big chance - the ball was quickly worked to Tomer Hemed who crashed a shot off the bar with Lonergan beaten.

Then a free Hemed header looped just over and Solly March was allowed too much room to fire into the side netting from 18 yards.

Wolves were beginning to look laboured, regularly giving the ball away and barely seeing the ball in the Brighton third at what was now a quiet Molineux.

The Seagulls didn't need an excuse to press forward - and just before half time they took a deserved lead.

Disappointingly though, it was two Wolves mistakes that led to the goal, with Hause horribly misjudging the bounce before Lonergan got a hand to, but couldn't keep out, Knockaert's shot.

Wolves were sleepwalking. And in stoppage time it was almost 2-0 but a dreadful Coady header straight to Hemed wasn't punished.

Lambert, perhaps surprisingly, didn't make any changes at half time and the status quo continued with Brighton in control of what was a pretty dull game.

A one-two saw former Albion man - and an ex-Wolves target - Sebastien Pocognioli get in behind and cross for dangerman Glenn Murray who flashed a shot wide.

A second Brighton goal looked on the cards with Wolves still passive and seriously lacking in inspiration.

But then, out of the blue, came a great chance to level. Cavaleiro was the man to provide that inspiration with a perfect cross to Coady but he couldn't beat keeper David Stockdale with a free header - the first save the Brighton keeper was forced to make.

With 20 minutes left Lambert still hadn't brought on a substitute and the home fans' frustration was growing.

Again, from nowhere, came an opportunity when Bodvarsson brilliantly burst from midfield and slipped in Marshall, but his prodded shot was far too easy for Stockdale.

Marshall was again involved when he worked space for a shot from 20 yards which drew a sprawling save from the keeper.

This was much better from Wolves and Lambert added fresh legs with 14 minutes to go when Wilson and Dicko replaced Bodvarsson and Marshall.

But a late charge never materialised and it wasn't a huge surprise to see the visitors double their lead through the classy Knockaert.

The mercurial Frenchman has been superb in both games against Wolves in 2016/17. Wolves' equivalent, Helder Costa, was sorely missed...where would they have been without him this season?

Key moments

15 - After Saiss concedes possession in midfield the ball is worked to Tomer Hemed who crashes a 15-yard shot against the bar.

45 - GOAL - Hause misjudges a long kick from the Brighton keeper, Anthony Knockaert picks the ball up and beats Lonergan at his near post.

61 - Cavaleiro floats a brilliant ball to the back post where Coady is all alone, but his header from a couple of yards out is saved by Stockdale and then Weimann's follow-up is blocked.

82 - GOAL - Brighton break, Wolves' defence is at sixes and sevens and Murray heads to Knockaert who beats Lonergan from close range.

Teams

Wolves (4-2-3-1): Lonergan; Coady, Batth (c), Hause, Doherty; Edwards, Saiss; Weimann, Marshall (Dicko, 76), Cavaleiro; Bodvarsson (Wilson, 76). Subs: Burgoyne, Williamson, Saville, Evans, Gibbs-White.

Brighton (4-4-2): Stockdale; Bruno, Huenemeier, Dunk, Pocognoli; Knockaert, Stephens, Sidwell, March (Murphy, 70); Hemed, Murray. Subs: Maenpaa, Tomori, Forren, Norwood, Skalak, Akpom.

Goals: Knockaert (45, 82)

Attendance: 23,221 (2,787 Brighton fans)

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Position in the table

15th (51 points from 41 matches)

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