Dominant Brighton strolled to victory at Wolves to set a new club record and deliver a hammer blow to the hosts’ European hopes.
The Seagulls posted a new record points tally in the Premier League with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Molineux.
Alex Mac Allister recovered from an earlier penalty miss to score from the spot before Leandro Trossard and Yves Bissouma wrapped up victory.
Brighton climbed to ninth – on 44 points – to inflict Wolves’ heaviest home defeat of the season.
A third straight loss without scoring left the hosts five points above in eighth and three behind West Ham, in the final European spot.
The listless hosts never threatened and face a battle to return to Europe with three of their final four games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
They were second best from the start and Enock Mwepu drew a fine save from Jose Sa to set the tone.
The returning Ruben Neves – a surprise inclusion after being ruled out earlier in the week with a knee injury – briefly tried to dictate from deep when Brighton allowed him space.
Rayan Ait-Nouri was also finding joy on the left and it was from his cross Wolves conjured their best chance when Joao Moutinho’s shot deflected behind off Joel Veltman.
But it was a rare opening for the hosts, whose form continues to escape them, and they were given a major let-off after 33 minutes.
Solly March’s cross hit Romain Saiss’ arm and, after initially being missed by the officials, referee Simon Hooper was advised to check the monitor and awarded the penalty.
It appeared harsh on Saiss but Mac Allister gave him, and Wolves, a reprieve when his spot-kick hit the post.
Soon after Sa’s outstretched boot turned Trossard’s low effort away with Brighton undaunted after the penalty miss.
Indeed, they were given another three minutes before the break when Danny Welbeck went down under pressure from Willy Boly as he chased Lewis Dunk’s free-kick into the area.
After a brief argument with Trossard over who should take it, Mac Allister went the same way and, this time, beat Sa to end the Seagulls’ run of three successive spot-kick failures.
However it came, it was deserved with Brighton the dominant force.
In contrast, Wolves were slow, second to every ball, and the visitors almost made them pay two minutes into the second half when Mwepu shot over following Welbeck’s dummy.
Bruno Lage had replaced Fabio Silva and Neves with Raul Jimenez and Pedro Neto at the break and was then forced into a final change when Jonny replaced the injured Boly eight minutes later.
The changes did little to improve Wolves and they reached the hour without having a shot on target with Brighton increasingly comfortable, although the Seagulls needed a second to really secure the game.
It came in a timely fashion with 20 minutes left with Moises Caicedo winning the ball and releasing Welbeck on the right.
Trossard timed his run perfectly to latch onto the striker’s pass and cut inside Moutinho to bury past Sa.
It then got better when Brighton further underlined their dominance with a third four minutes from time.
Marc Cucurella’s cross was only cleared to Bissouma on the edge of the box and his low effort found the bottom corner.
Neto almost pulled a goal back with the final kick of the game, only to hit the post.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.