Glenn Murray’s 100th goal for Brighton secures victory over Wolves
Albion dug deep for victory against the dominant visitors.
Glenn Murray claimed his 100th goal for Brighton to earn a 1-0 Premier League victory over Wolves.
The 35-year-old striker, who was a doubt for the game after being knocked unconscious at Newcastle last weekend, swept home a first-time finish three minutes into the second period.
A record attendance of 30,654 was at the Amex Stadium to witness the landmark strike which came in Murray’s 231st Albion appearance and secured a third consecutive 1-0 win for the Seagulls.
The visitors were the better team on the south coast but they lacked creativity and wasted a number of decent openings as they slipped to a second consecutive defeat.
Full-back Matt Doherty was particularly culpable in front of goal, while Brighton defender Shane Duffy directed a first-half header against a post.
Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo reacted to last weekend’s loss against Watford by changing his Premier League starting XI for the first time this season, with Adama Traore replacing Diogo Jota.
The visitors dominated the ball in the early exchanges and had a penalty appeal turned down when Doherty’s powerful drive appeared to strike the outstretched arm of Jose Izquierdo.
Doherty then narrowly failed to latch on to a superb through ball from Ruben Neves following neat build-up play, before Traore fired a low effort straight at Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
Unchanged Brighton, boosted by the availability of top scorer Murray, struggled to keep the ball to the frustration of the restless home fans and were restricted to playing on the counter-attack as the threat continued at the other end.
Doherty squandered a golden chance to open the scoring in the 34th minute, rolling the ball wide of the left post after bursting into the box following a neat one-two with Mexico striker Raul Jimenez.
Despite being second best, Brighton looked certain to go ahead in the 41st minute when Republic or Ireland international Duffy rose unmarked at the back post from Solly March’s right-wing corner, only to divert his close-range header on to the outside of the left upright.
Brighton did not have to wait long for another chance and edged in front three minutes into the second period.
Seagulls captain Bruno scuffed a shot across goal from just inside the box and Murray instinctively diverted the ball into the bottom left corner with a first-time finish to claim his sixth goal of the season.
The mood around the stadium took a sombre turn in the 67th minute as fans of both teams stood to applaud the life of the late Brighton-born broadcaster Peter Brackley, who died on October 14.
On the field, the away side had regained their control of the match and proceeded to lay siege to the Seagulls’ goal.
Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho tested Ryan from distance before the marauding Doherty twice went close with efforts which forced corners.
Wolves, who had lost all six of the previous top-flight meetings with Brighton, continued to pin the hosts back.
Ruben Neves saw a free-kick headed narrowly over the crossbar by dogged Albion defender Lewis Dunk, before Albion keeper Ryan ensured his side’s win by superbly denying a close-range effort from Ryan Bennett late on.