Your Brentford v Wolverhampton Wanderers match report powered by Utilita
Brentford had their first 0-0 draw of 2017 as they shared a stalemate with Wolverhampton Wanders at Griffin Park. The Bees had last been involved in a goalless draw when they faced Norwich City at the end of 2016 and this was not a game that looked like producing one. There were chances at both ends and both goalkeepers had to make saves to ensure their clean sheets.
The best chance of the afternoon fell to Neal Maupay, who failed to convert from eight yards, while Jota also hit the post for Brentford. Daniel Bentley was probably the slightly busier goalkeeper but that was partly due to the excellence of the Wolves defence, who limited Brentford’s clear-cut chances despite the hosts having the better of territory and possession. It was a game that deserved a goal but one that neither team deserved to lose to the draw was the right result.
The opening stages were fairly even. Both teams had spells in the first quarter of the match where they would have felt they had the initiative but there were no goals and only a couple of good chances. Wolves started the game with three central defenders and wing backs pushed quite high. That left a bit of space for Brentford in both central areas and on the flanks when they could move the ball quickly. But with the visitors content to leave their front three up the pitch, Brentford also had to deal with that threat at the other end.
Brentford had the first sight of goal when Nico Yennaris fired narrowly over from 25 yards and probably had the better of the first ten minutes, with Romaine Sawyers knitting the play adeptly. John Ruddy had to make a fine save from a fierce Sawyers shot and, when the resulting corner had been recycled, Maxime Colin’s nod down was fired wide on the swivel by Yoann Barbet. Ollie Watkins then shot wide after Sawyers had picked up a poor Ruddy kick.
At the other end, Bentley made a save from a cross-cum-shot from Bright Enobakhare and then kept out an effort from Léo Bonatini, A poor pass from Colin led to a shooting chance for Diego Jota but the effort from the Wolves man deflected wide. Jota, of the Wolves variety, then weaved his way in to the penalty area past Harlee Dean and Henrik Dalsgaard before Bentley saved. The Brentford goalkeeper then kept out a firm shot from Rúben Vinagre before denying Bonatini when he went through one-on-one.
Romain Saïss curled a free kick over the bar for Wolves but it was Brentford who probably ended the half in the ascendency. And they were within inches of taking a lead in to the break. Watkins chipped a pass forward and Yennaris and Maupay combined to feed Jota, his shot beat Ruddy but bounced away off the post. That was as close as either team came in an even first period that ended with the scoresheet blank.
The second half carried on in largely the same pattern as the first. Both teams had spells without getting their noses in front and the game was largely played in central areas. Brentford shaded the third quarter of the match and had the best chance of that period of the match when a Colin pass released Watkins, his cross was fed back by Sawyers and Maupay failed to make a good connection when meeting the ball eight yards out.
Willy Boly saw a shot half-blocked and then saved when a corner was half cleared and Bonatini was crowded out when a low Matt Doherty cross caused a scramble in the Brentford defence. Yennaris sliced a volley wide at the other end and a Colin shot was saved before Wolves’ Jota saw a shot blocked and Rúben Neves sliced an effort off target. Jota then shot wide for Wolves after a run from deep and as the game entered the final 20 minutes, it began to look like one goal would settle it.
Ivan Cavaleiro could have got it but headed in to the side netting and a Maupay shot deflected wide at the other end. A poo pass from Bentley enabled Bonatini to feed the ball in to the path of Jota but the Brentford goalkeeper recovered to deny the Wolves man and keep it at 0-0. Sawyers fizzed a shot over the bar for The Bees and Andreas Bjelland fired in to the side netting after battling to get on to a deep free kick.
As the game entered the final moments both teams still had their sights set on three points, albeit Wolves were mainly looking to get a goal on the counter-attack. Doherty wasted a great chance when Nouha Dicko recovered a deep cross and fed it back, the defender blasting over from 12 yards. Dalsgaard then headed in to the side netting at the other end.
There were still chances in stoppage time. First it took a superb defensive header from Bjelland to stop Dicko heading in from close range after Jota had nodded a cross back. An important Doherty tackle denied Watkins scoring and the Brentford forward was crowded out when he tried to convert a Maupay pass soon after. In the dying seconds Yennaris fired a free kick in to a defensive wall and that let Wolves break three-on-one but Ryan Woods played Dicko offside and the chance, the last chance, was gone.
Brentford: Bentley; Dalsgaard, Dean, Barbet (sub Bjelland 72 mins), Colin; Mokotjo (sub Woods 64 mins); Jota (sub Jozefzoon 64 mins), Yennaris, Sawyers, Watkins; Maupay
Subs (not used): Daniels, Egan, Clarke, Canós
Bookings: Dean (36 mins)
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ruddy; Miranda, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Neves (sub Price 86 mins), Saïss, Vinagre; Enobakhare (sub Cavaleiro h/t), Bonatini (sub Dicko 78 mins), Jota
Subs (not used): Norris, Bennett, Batth, Ronan
Bookings: Doherty (43 mins)
Attendance: 10,351 (1,650 away fans)