Lewis Dunk went from hero to villain when he and Neal Maupay were sent off – and Brighton threw away the victory that would have secured another season in the Premier League.
The Seagulls captain had given his side a lead at half time before receiving a straight red card early in the second half for the withdrawal of Wolves forward Fabio Silva, who had been sent clear.
Goals from substitute Adama Traore and Morgan Gibbs-White – in the last minute of a pleasant encounter – ensured a comeback victory for the home side. To add insult to injury, Maupay was given Brighton’s second red card after the match ended for protesting referee Jon Moss.
Morgan Gibbs-White scored his first ever Premier League goal for Wolves to win the game
Lewis Dunk had put Brighton a 13-minute lead after punching in a corner kick
But the visitors suffered a huge setback when Dunk was sent to withdraw Fabio Silva
Neal Maupay got red after the final whistle as he continued to berate referee Jon Moss
Maupay continued to berate Moss after he was expelled and may face a significant ban. While Brighton will almost certainly still be a top team next season, the result followed a worrying trend in which Graham Potter’s side failed to turn dominance into victories.
They were comfortably superior before halftime, and Dunk’s goal was the least they deserved.
Still, they couldn’t recover from his broadcast and held on long before Gibbs-White’s first Premier League goal for Wolves took the points.
“Neal was frustrated, but he should be able to handle it better,” Potter said. ‘I don’t know what he was complaining about, but it disappoints us.
‘Now we lose him, which is not positive. Sometimes you get decisions, sometimes you don’t and we can’t blame the referee for why we lost. We played well in the first half but slow and sloppy at the start of the second and the red card was a result of that. ‘
The home side – beaten 4-0 here by Burnley two weeks ago – had early possession but looked shaky without the ball, so it was no surprise when Brighton took the lead.
Rui Patricio hit a Dunk header on the crossbar after the center-back put Brighton ahead
Brighton dominated the first half when Yves Bissouma was once again great for the visitors
Pascal Gross sent his corner to the far post, where Dunk jumped above Ki-Jana Hoever and Ruben Neves to make a header in the far corner.
Wolves couldn’t handle Brighton’s air power. Rui Patricio tipped another attempt by Dunk on the crossbar and made a smart catch when Dan Burn won a header from Gross’s delivery.
Wolves showed a lot more pizzazz at the start of the second period and found their way back when Dunk tugged at Silva’s shirt, which was forwarded by Vitinha, and earned an outright red card.
Wolf boss Nuno Espirito Santo sent Traore to exploit the space, and it turned out to be an inspired move.
Dunk was fired for pulling on Silva’s shirt because the teenager was clean on target
The captain of Seagulls has now been sent away eight times in his professional career
Joao Moutinho’s delectable chip sent another substitute, Willian Jose, on target, just for his sad first touch, allowing Robert Sanchez to make a simple claim.
In the director’s box, Wolves’ record scorer Steve Bull gave a howl of fear. It was now all hands on deck at the back for Brighton.
But there was nothing they could do to stop Wolves’ equalizing goal. Traore collected Vitinha’s pass at the edge of the area and played a one-two with Silva before leading the ball past Sanchez.
Adama Traore then came on the mound halfway through the second period and took the tying run
The winger played a nice one-two with Fabio Silva before flying past Robert Sanchez
Traore thought he had found the winner when he attacked Sanchez’s clearance and rolled the ball into Gibbs-White’s path, who fired over with the goal at his mercy.
But Gibbs-White made amends in the last minute when his initial attempt from Rayan Ait-Nouri’s cut-back was blocked and he hit the loose ball past Sanchez.
‘I can’t describe it. I’m speechless – I’ve been dreaming about this day since I was a little kid, ”Gibbs-White said.
‘I should have scored the first chance – it was an open goal, so I was devastated. On the second chance I thought, “I have to take my chance to help the team get the three points”, and I did. I took my time, saw the space in the goal and went for it. ‘
It looked like the game would end 1-1, as Gibbs-White lost two great chances
But he responded well and got his goal of giving Wolves a combat victory and frustrating Brighton
Wolves (4-2-3-1): Patricio 6.5; Hoever 6.5, Coady 7, Kilman 6, Ait-Nouri 6; Neves 5.5 (Traore 61, 7.5), Moutinho 6.5; Gibbs-White 7, Vitinha 6.5 (Dendoncker 77,6), Podence 6 (Jose 69,5); Silva 7. Subs: Ruddy, Semedo, Saiss, Cundle, Richards, Corbeanu.
Targets: Traore 76, Gibbs-White 90
Booked: Kilman, Coady
Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo 7
Brighton (4-4-2): Sanchez 6.5; White 6, Webster 7, Dunk 5, Burn 6.5; Jahanbakhsh 6.5 (Moder 58, 6), Gross 7, Bissouma 7, Trossard 7 (Mac Allister 58, 6); Maupay 6.5, Welbeck 7 (Figures 78, 6). Subs: Steele, Connolly, Alzate, Izquierdo, Tau, Propper.
Targets: Dunk 13
Booked: Sanchez, Bissouma
Administrator: Graham Potter 6
Referee: Jon Moss 6
Sportsmails ALEX BOWMER will provide live coverage of Wolves vs Brighton, including all build-up, team news and in-game updates.