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Brighton boost survival hopes with draw at Wolves

Brighton secured a crucial point in their battle against relegation after frustrating Wolves at Molineux. Credit: PA

Brighton secured a crucial point in their battle against relegation after frustrating Wolves at Molineux.

The hosts had spent the week training in Marbella and went go-karting in their free time but stalled badly in a 0-0 draw with the Seagulls.

A hard-earned draw ended Brighton's run of five straight defeats in all competitions and moved them three points ahead of Cardiff, who host title-chasing Liverpool on Sunday.

Diogo Jota twice hit the woodwork and Leander Dendoncker was denied by Mathew Ryan but the hosts dropped to ninth after an instantly forgettable stalemate.

Brighton, who failed to have a shot on target, appeared to be content with a draw from the start but Chris Hughton's conservative approach may still backfire with four games left - where they face Tottenham, Newcastle, Arsenal and Manchester City.

Davy Propper limped off after 10 minutes and was replaced by Beram Kayal to sum up the visitors' recent luck.

The Seagulls, with just two league clean sheets in 2019, had defended well but barely showed any ambition to win. Credit: PA

Wolves dominated as the Seagulls struggled to escape their half but managed to keep the hosts at bay.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side failed to create clear chances in a sleepy opening half an hour, where they had 80 per cent of the possession.

They wanted a penalty when Pascal Gross tangled with Jota but referee Craig Pawson waved away their protests.

It took until the 33rd minute for Wolves to go close when Jota bundled his way through on the edge of the box and drilled inches wide.

Yet it barely raised the tempo and the pedestrian pace rarely stepped up a gear.

Adopting a safety first game plan was always a risk for Brighton and Wolves almost went in at the break ahead.

Ruben Neves' stoppage-time strike hit Dale Stephens and looped into the box but Jota's toe-poked volley clipped the top of Ryan's bar.

The hosts had won only two of their past eight Premier League matches but had the Seagulls clinging on and should have won it with 16 minutes left. Credit: PA

The Seagulls, with just two league clean sheets in 2019, had defended well but barely showed any ambition to win.

The closest they came was Kayal's 30-yard thunderbolt which whistled a yard over.

Wolves had control and Raul Jimenez sliced a half volley over with 22 minutes left.

The hosts had won only two of their past eight Premier League matches but had the Seagulls clinging on and should have won it with 16 minutes left.

Jimenez's cross was glanced on to a post by Jota and Dendoncker was denied by Ryan's point-blank save.

A minute later Willy Boly nodded over and Dendoncker's headed straight at Ryan late on as Brighton held on for a point.