After a magnificent start to the season, going into the international break in 7th place, Wolves seem to have lost their way a bit. Last week they were undone in the space of a minute, after a double attack from Watford and Saturday wasn’t much better. It was a game which everyone will look at and say Wolves should have won, but they didn’t. They were the more dominant side, they posed so much attacking threat but when it came down to it, they couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. All it took, in the end, was a clinical goal and a bit of luck for Brighton to take all three points. This is the first time the team has lost back-to-back games under Nuno’s management, with the last time they lost back-to-back matches being in April 2017.
A Game of Missed Chances
Some may say, that Wolves shouldn’t dwell on Saturday’s loss, as their performance was great. I, on the other hand, think that there is a cause for concern. When you consider that they haven’t been scoring that many goals, the most in a match this season is two, it’s quite worrying. If you don’t have people in your team who can get the goals when it matters, then you’re going to struggle and Saturday’s match showed this.
Wolves had a total of 25 shots throughout the match, seven of which were on target, 10 were blocked and 13 came from inside the box. Pairing this with the fact that they had 61% of the possession and 523 passes in comparison to Brighton’s 362, it’s hard to understand what went wrong. These are not the statistics of a losing team. It all comes down to not being able to put their chances away. Brighton scored with their only shot on target all match, which shows how important finishing is.
They were unlucky in the sense that they should have had a penalty when Matt Doherty’s effort hit the arm of Jose Izquierdo, but the decision went against them and you shouldn’t rely on moments like that to win a game. Mat Ryan’s goalkeeping for Brighton was superb as he managed to keep a spectacular effort from defender Ryan Bennett out of the net in the dying minutes of the match.
I don’t want to take away from the fact that they performed well, especially when it was a big improvement from their performance against Watford, I just think that we need to see improvement in front of goal. Wolves have to face both Tottenham and Arsenal in the next few weeks and it would be such a disappointment if it was the same story again, ‘Wolves should have won’.
Defensively they lacked a little as they won fewer tackles and duels than their opposition, and they were dispossessed 10 times over the 90 minutes. They did, however, win more aerial duels.
Although their performance was great, Wolves couldn’t produce in the final third and this needs to be worked on before their next match at home to Tottenham. Matt Doherty once again impressed, as he continues to prove his worth in the team. If they can work on their finishing I think Wolves will do just fine.