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  • By Yann Tear at Brentford Community Stadium

Brentford find combination of injuries, drone and sharp Wolves finishing too hot to handle

Brentford (0) 1 Toney 71

Wolves (0) 2 Moutinho 48, Neves 78

Ivan Toney’s superbly struck volley was not enough to steal a point as the Bees were undone by a very slick Wolves side who tucked home two fine goals of their own.

In a match that will be remembered for its curious 15-minute interlude during the first half - when players left the field because of a drone overhead - and a sickening clash of heads which ended the afternoon for both Mathias Jensen and Rico Henry, there was still a pulsating contest to savour.

That flies in the face of its stop-start nature and 26 added minutes in total – 19 in the first half and seven in the second.

The farcical nature of the afternoon extended to referee Peter Bankes having mic problems which also delayed the start of the second half.

The game did not finish until 5.24pm and at times seemed like it might never reach a conclusion.

After a largely uneventful opening 25 minutes, Jensen and Henry suffered a fearful clash of heads as they both went to clear a quick punt upfield from Wolves keeper Jose Sa.

Bankes blew immediately, denying the visitors a clear run on goal, but if there is anyone who would appreciate the need to halt play after a serious clash of heads, it is Wanderers.

It was not so long ago that Raul Jiminez took such a terrible blow to the head after a collision with Arsenal’s David Luiz, that it was feared a skull fracture might put him out if the game for good.

Blood was streaming from both players’ heads and neither was able to carry on, under concussion protocols, despite receiving medical attention on the pitch.

At least both were able to leave the field under their own steam after a delay of several minutes, as stretchers were waved away.

Then, the half was further halted when an unofficial drone was seen hovering over the stadium, causing players to leave the field, as per league regulations.

The players returned after a 15-minute delay, resuming at 3.50pm with 19 minutes of the first half still to play. That was then followed by a 20-minute half-time interval as Bankes appeared to have a problem with his mic.

It was to the two teams’ credit that any sort of match broke out after all that. In fact, it was a rather good one.

Favio Silva flashed a low left-footer inches wide as Wolves put together good spells of possession. Theirs was the more polished display. They kept the ball well and the Bees were mostly reliant on winning opportunities to launch long throw-ins from Ethan Pinnock. Bryan Mbeumo was mostly kept quiet by left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri.

The elegant Joao Moutinho broke the deadlock soon after the break. His one-two with Nelson Semedo on the edge of the area ended with a perfectly struck shot with the outside of his right boot which flashed inside Jonas Lossl’s right hand post.

Silva was impressive for Wolves too and he almost slid home a second from a low Leander Dendoncker cross to seal the deal. But the Bees stayed alive and managed to find an equaliser, even though they were being largely outplayed.

It came after Toti Gomes had been shown a red for a low lunging tackle on Kristoffer Ajer. It looked worse in real time than in the replay, in which VAR showed the challenge to be worthy of a free-kick and no more and the referee had to overturn his initial decision.

The Bees’ disappointment was short lived, though. From the ensuing free-kick, Mbeumo’s flighted ball to the far post was beautifully volleyed back into the far corner by Toney for his seventh goal of the season.

The striker had struggled to get any change out of the commanding Conor Coady, but he proved he can still be a threat – even in matches where he appears to be second best.

Ruben Neves restored the lead not long after, however. Daniel Podence and Semedo got in behind the Bees defence down the right and from the pull-back, the ball was worked back along the edge of the area for the Portugal midfielder to whip a low shot inside Lossl’s left hand post.

There was still time for substitute Adama Traore to have a third goal for Wolves cancelled by VAR for offside. But some frantic final launched balls forward for the Bees came to nothing.

Dull it was not.

Bees: (3-5-2) Lossl – Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock – Canos (Ghoddos 83), Jensen (Baptiste 27) (Forss 80), Norgaard, Janelt, Henry (Roerslev 27) (Wissa 58) – Mbeumo, Toney. Subs not used: Fernandez, Bech Sorensen, Roerslev, Stevens

Wolves: (3-5-2) Sa – Kilman, Coady, Gomes – Semedo, Dendoncker, Neves, Joao Moutinho, Ait-Nouri – Podence (Trincao 90), Fabio Silva (Traore 75). Subs not used: Ruddy, Hoever, Marcal, Jordao, Oliveira, Giles, Cundle


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