WOLVERHAMPTON, England (Reuters) -Pascal Gross’s late goal sealed a thrilling 3-2 victory for Brighton & Hove Albion at 10-man Wolverhampton Wanderers in a rip-roaring Premier League clash on Saturday.
Wolves trailed to an early Adam Lallana goal, then led with goals by Goncalo Guedes and Ruben Neves only for Kaoru Mitoma to level and Nelson Semedo to be red-carded, all before halftime.
Brighton pressed hard for a winner after the break but struggling Wolves resisted admirably until Gross fired high into the roof of the net in the 83rd minute for his fifth league goal of the season.
It was tough on Wolves, who had earlier named Spaniard Julen Lopetegui as their new manager, but Brighton deservedly backed up last week’s victory over Chelsea to move into sixth place.
Brighton have 21 points from 13 games played while Wolves are in 19th place with 10 points.
“Three points in any Premier League match is huge. A little bit relieved at the end. When they went down to 10 it proved more difficult,” Lallana said.
“But we persisted and Pascal came up trumps again.”
Former Real Madrid, Sevilla and Spain manager Lopetegui has a big job on his hands and, assuming he was watching from afar on Saturday, Wolves’ latest display was hardly reassuring.
The fact that they scored twice, boosting their pitiful goals total to eight, was about the only plus.
Stand-in manager Steve Davis, who will continue in charge until the World Cup halts the Premier League, has now lost four of the six matches since he replaced Bruno Lage.
Brighton began in confident fashion and Lallana opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a superbly curled right-foot shot from just inside the area after a neat build-up.
The hosts were level two minutes later though as Guedes stayed upright despite a tug by Mitoma as he raced through and stabbed a shot past Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez.
It lifted the mood around Molineux and Wolves took the lead in the 35th minute when a VAR check concluded that Lewis Dunk had handled during a Wolves attack.
When Neves rifled home his kick the stadium erupted but everything went wrong for the hosts before the break. Lallana’s pass released Mitoma who found the bottom corner with a clinical finish and the Japanese midfielder, never far from the action, was then rugby-tackled by Semedo in first-half stoppage time as he burst towards goal.
Brighton’s slick passing opened up Wolves on occasions after the break but the hosts showed their battling qualities and even had some moments at the other end, notably when substitute Adama Traore stung the fingers of Sanchez with a fierce shot from an acute angle.
Wolves eventually cracked though as Mitoma did superbly down the left and the ball was eventually pulled back to Gross who smashed a rising drive past Jose Sa.
(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis and Clare Fallon)