Express & Star

FA Cup: Wolves 1 Brighton 0 - Report

Wolves have set up an FA Cup quarter-final tie with Championship side Coventry after a narrow 1-0 win over Brighton at Molineux.


A Mario Lemina strike within the opening two minutes handed Wolves the perfect start to what was a nervy and unconvincing performance.

But Wolves soaked up Brighton pressure throughout both halves to defend their lead and take the club into the quarter-finals, where nearby Coventry will travel to Molineux.

That now puts Wolves one win away from a semi-final showdown at Wembley.


Gary O’Neil made four changes from the weekend and switched formation to a 3-5-2.

Matt Doherty, Santi Bueno, Tommy Doyle and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde all came into the team, as Wolves managed their squad to contend with the upcoming Premier League game at Newcastle.

Roberto De Zerbi had several injury concerns coming into the game and made five changes to his Brighton side.

Once the game got under way it took Wolves less than two minutes to take the lead. A superb turn on half-way from Bellegarde saw him race down the left and deliver a cross which goalkeeper Jason Steele failed to hold, and it eventually fell to Lemina to turn home.

Bellegarde rides a tackle (Getty)

The Seagulls had the majority of possession after conceding early and picked up good attacking positions, but Wolves were comfortable in their shape and kept the visitors at bay, while also trying to be aggressive in the press when Brighton played out from the back.

In fact, it was a fairly scrappy game in which neither side was able to get the ball down and create a meaningful chance after 25 minutes.

Then, Jakub Moder went close with a shot from the edge of the box that had Jose Sa scrambling across his goal line.

At the other end, Bellegarde closed down Steele and forced the goalkeeper into a heavy challenge in which he just got enough of the ball.

With the Seagulls on top, Facundo Buonanotte headed wide from close range. Lemina then had a good chance for Wolves following a Bellegarde cross, but he volleyed wide.

Wolves managed to get to half-time leading, despite a less than convincing display in which Brighton were just lacking a killer touch.

Mario Lemina (Getty)

As the second half got under way, Brighton brought on striker Danny Welbeck.

The two sides started the second half as they finished the first, with Brighton on top and Wolves penned in. A dangerous corner found Lewis Dunk with Sa all at sea, but the defender headed wide.

After 56 minutes, Wolves suffered a blow when Hwang Hee-chan went down seemingly holding his hamstring. He was replaced by Pedro Neto, while Pablo Sarabia came on for Lemina who took a knock at the end of the first half.

Neto almost made an immediate impact when he raced towards goal, but Igor Julio blocked his shot before stealing the ball.

With 70 minutes on the clock Wolves were defending very deep as Brighton kept searching for an equaliser.

Pedro Neto (Getty)

Wolves were struggling for an outlet and after 76 minutes brought on Boubacar Traore for Bellegarde, to add another body to midfield and look to see out the win.

When they did create a chance, Neto found Sarabia, who had his shot blocked by Carlos Baleba.

Welbeck headed just over the bar for Brighton as the Wolves fans ramped up the noise inside Molineux to try help their side over the line.

With five minutes of added time it was back to the walls defending for Wolves, as Brighton threw everyone forward, including towering defender Dunk.

Wolves threw on Craig Dawson and Nelson Semedo late on to sure up the defence and in the 96th minute goalkeeper Steele, who had gone up for a corner, missed the ball when it fell to him from close range.

After that scare, Wolves saw out the win to set up a monumental opportunity in the quarter-finals.

Key Moments

GOAL 2 Lemina sweeps home at the far post to give Wolves an early lead


Wolves: Sa, Doherty, Kilman, S.Bueno, Toti, Ait-Nouri (Dawson, 93), Lemina (Sarabia, 56), Gomes (Semedo, 93), Doyle, Bellegarde (Traore, 76), Hwang (Neto, 56).

Subs not used: Bentley, H.Bueno, Chirewa, Fraser.

Brighton: Steele, Peupion (Welbeck, 45), van Hecke, Dunk, Julio (Barco, 80), Estupinan, Moder (Baleba, 61), Gross, Buonanotte (Baker-Boaitey, 70), Adingra, Fati (Enciso, 70).

Subs not used: Verbruggen, Webster, Lallana, Offiah.