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Match Reports

REPORT: ALBION BATTLE TO EARN VALUABLE POINT

20 April 2019

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Paul Hazlewood
Gaetan Bong in action against Wolves.
  • Albion draw 0-0 with Wolves
  • Davy Propper goes off injured in the first half
  • Maty Ryan makes a couple of fine saves in the second half
  • The Seagulls are next in action away at Tottenham on Tuesday

Brighton & Hove Albion boosted their Premier League survival hopes with a goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

Chris Hughton demanded an improved display from his players earlier in the week, and he got exactly that, after a resolute display against the high-flying West Midlands side.

The Seagulls boss made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Cardiff City on Tuesday night, as Gaetan Bong and Jose Izquierdo replaced Bernardo and Alireza Jahanbakhsh respectively.

Wolves worked their first opening when Raul Jimenez delivered an inswinging cross towards Matt Doherty, who headed wide at the far post.

Lewis Dunk was then called into action to slide Doherty’s cross away from the near post, in what was a lively start for the hosts.

Gross Wolves.jpg

Albion were dealt an early blow with just ten minutes played, after Davy Propper was forced off injured and was replaced by Beram Kayal.

The hosts pressed forward again, this time through Doherty, who took advantage of some indecision in the Albion defence and teed up an angled shot, which went wide of Maty Ryan’s near post.

Pascal Gross also played his role at the back moments later, after tracking back brilliantly to make a fine sliding challenge to prevent Diogo Jota from taking a close-range shot.

The hosts came within inches of breaking the deadlock just past the half-hour mark, after Jota took advantage of space on the edge of the box and saw his strike go inches past the far post.

The Portuguese came even closer to scoring in first-half stoppage time, as Jimenez’s ball over the top of Albion’s defence fell into his path, but his shot clipped the top of the crossbar.

Albion looked to make inroads into the Wolves defence themselves soon after the re-start, when Gross drifted an enticing corner towards Dunk, but the centre-back couldn’t quite get hold of the ball, allowing Wolves to clear.

Stephens Wolves.jpg

The hosts still carried a threat though, and Duffy needed to be alert to clear away Doherty’s header at the right-hand post.

Following a spell of Albion possession, Kayal took advantage of some space in a central position and fizzed a right-footed strike just inches over the target.

Hughton’s men continued their positive start to the second half, as Duffy rose highest to meet Bruno’s searching ball into the box, but the Irishman couldn’t direct his header on target.

Joao Moutinho’s shot down the other end deflected wide for a corner, and the subsequent set-piece caused mayhem in the Albion defence, before a combination of Kayal and Ryan cleared the ball behind.

March Wolves.jpg

Jimenez had another chance to get Wolves the breakthrough, but his strike on the angle sailed over the crossbar.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side came even closer to scoring moments later, after Jota’s effort came off the post, and the rebound fell to Leander Dendoncker for effectively his first touch of the game, but he was superbly denied by Ryan.

Albion’s defence continued to withstand some concerted pressure from the hosts, and they had Ryan to thank for another fine save to keep out Dendoncker’s close-range header.

Despite all of the hosts’ pressure, the Seagulls held on to claim a hard-earned point and move three points clear of Cardiff City, who still occupy the final relegation place.

ALBION: Ryan; Bruno (Bernardo 70), Duffy, Dunk, Bong; March, Stephens, Propper (Kayal 10), Izquierdo; Gross; Murray.

SUBS NOT USED: Button (GK), Burn, Locadia, Jahanbakhsh, Andone.


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