Lewis Dunk’s header helped Brighton come from 3-1 down to earn a point against Wolves in an eventful Premier League encounter at the Amex Stadium.
The draw leaves the Seagulls only three points above the relegation zone, but the manner of the fightback will have heartened the fans who have seen their side win only once in 15 league games.
It began well for the home side when Aaron Connolly poked in from Leandro Trossard’s delivery in the 13th minute, but Wolves were level six minutes later as Romain Saiss sent a looping header past Robert Sanchez after Nelson Semedo had retrieved a corner to the far post.
Worse was to follow for the hosts in the 34th minute when the ball bounced off defender Dan Burn and into the net after Sanchez had saved from Pedro Neto. Burn had seconds earlier conceded the corner which led to the goal.
Burn cut a distraught figure just before half-time when he brought down Adama Traore after the Spanish winger outpaced him on the byeline. Ruben Neves fired in from the penalty spot for his first goal since February.
Instead of caving in, Brighton sprang out of the blocks from the restart. Within 50 seconds it was 3-2 when Neal Maupay scored from the spot after he was fouled by Joao Moutinho.
Brighton continued to pepper the Wolves area and, after Adam Webster’s header came off the bar, they were finally level when Dunk nodded home from Trossard’s corner.
Spirited comeback does not mask Brighton issues
Manager Graham Potter has been a man on the defensive having seen his stock fall following a promising debut season at Brighton.
He helped them comfortably avoid relegation with 41 points – their highest tally in the competition – but this season they have a sole victory against Aston Villa to show for their efforts in the past three months. It has left them in a precarious position.
Brighton still play football which is easy on the eye, but they have often lack cutting edge in attack and lately Potter’s team selection has been questionable.
In the 1-0 defeat by Arsenal he made six changes to his starting line-up, which did not include any recognised strikers, and against Wolves he asked 6ft 7in Burn to mark the pacy Traore on the left.
Burn’s blushes were spared by a spirited Brighton attacking display after the break, but the draw was their eighth of the season and they remain without a win at home in the league.
Wolves rediscover attacking swagger
Wolves have also been in a bit of a rut lately, to a lesser extent.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side came into the match having won one of their six league games since the head injury to striker Raul Jimenez in November. The Mexican’s potency in attack had been missed, with just three goals scored in that time.
At least some of those issues were remedied as Neto and Traore impressed in attack, while Neves showed the type of composure and playmaking in midfield that helped Wolves finish seventh last season.
The visitors spent large chunks of the second half defending crosses from the wings, although they could have snatched a win in the final seconds when substitute Owen Otasowie headed over the bar from four yards.
😁 The gaffer was delighted with our second half rally tonight!
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) January 2, 2021
Wolves host Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round on Friday (19:45 GMT), while Brighton travel to League Two side Newport County on 10 January (19:45).
‘The players were amazing’ – reaction
Brighton head coach Graham Potter:
“It was tough for us at half-time of course because of the scoreline and how the half went.
“You’re looking for a response, you’re looking for character, and I thought we got it.
“The players were amazing, great spirit, great personality and quality. We hit the bar and pushed and pushed.”
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo asked how disappointed he was with the result:
“A lot because I think the first half was very good.
“We knew that Brighton is going to react and we had to control, and we didn’t do it.
“I am disappointed with me, with everybody.
“We must do better with everybody. I am not disappointed individually with any of our players.”