Six things we learned from Brighton & Hove Albion v Wolves

Brighton's players celebrate at the final whistle yesterday. Picture by PW Sporting Photography
Brighton's players celebrate at the final whistle yesterday. Picture by PW Sporting Photography

Glenn Murray got the only goal as Brighton beat Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Amex yesterday. Here's six things we learned from the game.

Written in the script

When Glenn Murray was passed to fit to play after being forced off with concussion in the win at Newcastle last week, it was almost written in the stars that he would net his 100th Albion goal.

The 35-year-old is a key player for the Seagulls and only Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has scored more goals in the Premier League this season.

Murray netted 57 goals in his first spell with Albion from 2008 to 2011. He rejoined the club in 2016 and his goals helped the club reach the Premier League and then kept them there last season.

His 100th Brighton goal came in front of the North Stand, with a highest-ever attendance at the Amex. Speaking afterwards, he said it will be something he will look back on with a great deal of pride but in the meantime, he is eager to score goal number 101 as quickly as possible.

If he stays fit, there is no reason why Murray will not better last season's total of 12 Premier League goals.

Grinding out a result

Albion weren't at their best and may well have drawn or lost this game last season.

A year of Premier League experience has given them the know-how to get results when they're not on the top of their game.

In the first half, Brighton struggled to get a foothold in the game for long periods in a disjointed display and gave the ball away too often when they did have possession.

Glenn Murray's goal early in the second half gave them something to hold on to. Despite a few nervy moments, Albion recorded a third successive top-flight victory for the first time since 1981 and equalled the club record of three consecutive top-flight clean sheets.

Poor finishing costs Wolves

Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo felt his side deserved more and said they were the better side at the Amex yesterday.

A combination of poor finishing, excellent saves by Albion keeper Mathew Ryan and superb Brighton defending saw Wolves leave empty handed.

Right wing-back Matt Doherty was the main culprit as he had the best of the visitors' chances. The golden opportunity came in the first half when he side-footed wide from 12 yards with just Ryan to beat.

He went close again on a couple of occasions in the second half, while Ryan produced outstanding saves to deny Ruben Neves and Ryan Bennett.

Wolves will arguably play worse and win games this season - so long as they find a way to get the ball in the back of the net.

Rocks at the back

Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy were dominant at the back again as Brighton recorded a third successive clean sheet.

Dunk showed just why he was called into the England squad earlier this month with another strong display. He crucially ran back to head over a goalbound Ruben Neves free kick with 13 minutes to play.

Duffy headed clear numerous crosses and corners and threw his body in the way to block shots, while he could have had a goal or two at the other end.

Albion need the duo to maintain this form with back-to-back away games coming up against Everton and Cardiff.

What a save!

Mathew Ryan produced an outstanding save in injury-time to deny Ryan Bennett an equaliser.

Brighton's keeper would have seen the ball late as Bennett poked it forward but showed excellent reactions to push the ball to safety.

Ryan had earlier kept out a fierce strike from Ruben Neves and pushed behind a well-struck shot from Matt Doherty.

Australia's number one kept ten clean sheets last season and has now kept three this year. No doubt, he will be keen to better the total Albion managed last season.

Looking up or down?

Albion moved up to 11th in the Premier League table with yesterday's win and are already nine points clear of the bottom three.

It begs the question whether sights can be set higher than just ensuring survival or if finishing out of the bottom three is still the main goal?

Brighton have the best squad in their history and are capable of achieving a top-12 finish this season, with a place in the top ten a possibility.

There's definitely three - and arguably more - worse teams than the Seagulls this season and there shouldn't be worries over a relegation battle.

Upcoming fixtures offer the opportunity for Albion to pick up more points and if they are in a strong position come January or February, they could be looking up the table rather than down for the final couple of months of the season.


Brighton v Wolves player ratings

Glenn Murray already targeting goal number 101 after reaching century for Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton v Wolves: Chris Hughton's post match reaction on Glenn Murray, Glenn Hoddle and 'pleasing points if not performance'

The key points from Nuno Espírito Santo's post-match press conference

Match report: Brighton 1, Wolves 0