Solly March did his chances of earning an England call-up no harm after scoring twice in Brighton’s 4-1 win at Wolves on Saturday in the Premier League.
Kaoru Mitoma’s mesmeric run and finish gave Brighton a slender half-time lead before Roberto De Zerbi’s side put Wolves to the sword with three goals in nine minutes at the start of the second half.
Pervis Estupinan doubled Brighton’s lead within 60 seconds of the restart and two carbon-copy goals from March, both assisted by teenage forward Julio Enciso, sealed the Seagulls’ second-straight win.
Wolves responded through substitute Hwang Hee-chan’s header just after the hour mark, but it was mere consolation for Gary O’Neil’s side, who were emphatically punished for missed first-half chances and lost Matheus Nunes to a late red card.
Mitoma gave Brighton a 15th-minute lead with a brilliant effort, cutting inside 40 yards from goal and beating three Wolves defenders before sliding the ball beyond goalkeeper Jose Sa.
Brighton deserved their lead, but Wolves spent the rest of an end-to-end first half chasing an equaliser.
Fabio Silva was brilliantly denied by Brighton goalkeeper Jason Steele’s out-stretched boot in the 28th minute after the Portuguese forward had ghosted on to Joao Gomes’ deft through-ball.
The home side went close again when Nunes curled a shot off-target following impressive Brazilian Matheus Cunha’s powerful run and Pedro Neto flashed an angled drive just wide.
Brighton continued to threaten on the counter – Mitoma and Paraguayan Enciso were a constant menace – but Wolves passed up another chance just before the break.
Rayan Ait-Nouri found himself clear in front of goal after exchanging passes with Silva, but the Algeria defender blazed over shortly before half-time.
Wolves were made to pay inside 60 seconds of the restart as Brighton extended their lead and then put the game to bed with two more strikes, all within the space of nine minutes.
Estupinan tucked home the visitors’ second, stepping on to Mitoma’s cut-back after Danny Welbeck’s fierce drive had been parried by Sa.
March then slammed home his first as he charged on to Enciso’s lovely weighted ball inside the penalty area to make it 3-0 in the 51st minute and that became 4-0, just four minutes later.
Enciso this time found himself free on the opposite edge of the area and his ball in was turned home again by March to leave Molineux stunned.
Wolves responded just after the hour-mark as Hwang headed home fellow substitute Pablo Sarabia’s corner and they drove gamely forward in a bid to mitigate the damage.
Efforts from Sarabia and Pedro Neto were held by Steele and rebounded off Evan Ferguson respectively, while March was twice denied his hat-trick with goal-bound shots blocked by Toti Gomes and Steele.
Wolves’ misery was complete in stoppage-time when Nunes was sent off for his second yellow card after pushing Estupinan to the ground.