ALL the pre-match talk was of Wolves moving into Champions League places.
This was the game where Nuno Espirito Santo’s men would surely show their top four credentials.
But Brighton had other ideas – and brought the Molineux bandwagon screeching to a halt in a game that never looked like producing a goal.
It was not so much Nuno as No-no as Wolves struggled to break down a Seagulls side who may still be searching for their first win of 2020, but will treasure this point in their battle to beat the drop.
It will definitely go down as an opportunity missed.
Wolves blew their chance to move into the elite spots with plenty of eyes on them.
But you only have to look at results against the relegated sides to see that Wolves do not always perform well against Premier League strugglers.
Twelve months ago, they qualified for the Europa League but only took seven points out of 18 against the teams who were relegated.
Brighton are not a team that Wolves have had much success against – they have never beaten them in 10 top flight matches.
MORE LIKE A FRIENDLY AT TIMES
Wolves lived up to their reputation as the Premier League’s lowest scoring first half side before the break as the game failed to ignite.
Nuno’s men have only scored 12 times in the first 45 minutes and that sluggish stat reared its head again.
Not that Brighton were much better. It was easy to see why they struggle to win games as they appeared to be satisfied with a point.
Yet Wolves hardly laid siege to the Seagulls’ goal. True, their Europa League saga takes them to Greece to play Olympiacos this week.
But, hey, this game offered them a chance to live up to the hype.
You would not realise it though in a game that resembled a pre-season friendly at times.
Nuno publicly claims a chance to go fourth was not his driving force.
But the frustration on his face told another tale.
The best of the few chances were created by Wolves.
Ruben Neves went close after three minutes but the prospect of a spectacular opener came from Raul Jimenez who pounced as Adam Webster misjudged the ball.
Jimenez saw his chance but a fierce volley ended up wide of the near post.
Neves found himself in space on the edge of the box but his effort spun over the bar.
Romain Saiss was shown a yellow card for a crunching challenge on Neal Maupay – but that was a rare show of frustration.
Graham Potter’s side looked bright after the break but when Leandro Trossard delivered an excellent cross from the left, there was nobody on hand to add the finishing touch.
Nuno sent on Adama Traore just after the hour mark in a bid to inject some pace into Wolves’ game.
Traore has a shoulder injury and did not start.
But when he came on, there was at least a little more urgency to Wolves’ game.
After 75 minutes, Traore cut in from the right and fed sub Daniel Podence whose shot was blocked with Jimenez failing to get a decent connection on the loose ball.
Any Wolves fans in the 31,000 crowd expecting another game like their win at Tottenham last week, were left feeling deflated.
But they urged their side on, knowing that one goal would probably enough to take the points.
Brighton’s hesitancy in front of goal was doing them no favours and Aaron Mooy saw a chance open but he opted to find Yves Bissouma instead and his shot did not trouble Wolves.
then caught Joao Moutinho in the head with a stray boot.
But Wolves stepped it up in the closing stages as they sensed Brighton’s wall of defiance may not hold out.
The home fans felt it too and urged their side on, but still Wolves struggled to break Brighton down.
But the state of the game was summed by the fact that the second corner of the entire match came after 87 minutes.
Potter made a late substitution with Dale Stephens making his his first appearance in a month when he came on for Mooy.
Wolves threatened a last minute winner when Matt Doherty put a cross in from the left, it was touched on by Podence – it could have been a mis-hit shot – and Leandro Dendocker failed to put the ball away as he fired over.
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