An Ivan Toney goal was not enough to prevent Brentford slipping to defeat on a mad afternoon against Wolverhampton Wanderers. In a match that was halted for a drone flying over the stadium, with the players leaving the pitch, the visitors took the points thanks to a pair of second half goals. Toney equalised for Brentford, but Wolves came out on top with a late winner.
It is an afternoon that probably won’t be remembered for the result. Brentford pair Rico Henry and Mathias Jensen both had to be withdrawn after a clash of heads and both teams left the field of play when the drone arrived. The game was stop-start and pretty even throughout, but Wolves scored two goals from the edge of the penalty area and did enough to get the win.
Brentford made a positive start to the game. They were able to find space to play in midfield and spent mush of the first quarter of the contest on the front foot. The Bees played in the attacking half more often than not and pressed Wolves back. Fábio Silva flicked an early header wide for the visitors, but Brentford had the best chances in the early stages.
They could have scored early on when Vitaly Janelt was freed in midfield and burst in to the inside left channel. His ball across the penalty area was a fraction in front of Sergi Canós and the pressure of Rayan Aït-Nouri prevented him finishing. Canós had another shot blocked soon after and Ethan Pinnock header deflected wide after a corner was played short.
Silva blasted wide after cutting inside and Jonas Lössl had to be alert to rush out and beat Nélson Semedo to a through ball. That opening came when Wolves just about scrambled a long throw away. Kristoffer Ajer flicked on Pinnock’s throw, but no Brentford player was at the back post to put it in, and Wolves scrambled it away, almost breaking clear to score.
The first quarter of the contest was a competitive, fairly standard, Premier League contest. But things got a little unusual after that. Firstly, there was a worrying clash of heads between Jensen and Henry, both of whom had started the game well. They challenged for a long ball forward as Wolves cleared a corner and collided, leaving both concussed. After treatment, lasting many minutes, both were withdrawn as Shandon Baptiste and Mads Roerslev were introduced as concussion substitutes.
The game had only been back underway a few minutes, with Semedo firing well over for Wolves just after the resumption, when it was halted again. A drone was spitted flying above the stadium and Premier League rules dictate that the game must stop, and players must leave the pitch. That delay to the game was around 20 minutes and play eventually got back underway long after the scheduled half time. The players came back out with 19 minutes remaining of the first half.
Wolves came out after the break with a far more energetic and aggressive mindset. They worked very hard when they did not have the ball and started to take control of the contest. There were few chances, but Wolves had the initiative. Semedo had an effort blocked for the visitors and the last action of the half, which eventually lasted 72 minutes, was Bryan Mbeumo hitting a defensive wall with a free kick.
Wolves maintained their position as the team with the upper hand after the break and scored within three minutes of the restart. João Moutinho worked space on the edge of the Brentford penalty area and played a one-two with Semedo. Moutinho then bent a shot with the outside of his right foot past an unsighted Lössl and in to the far corner. Moutinho used Brentford defenders as a shield and bent a shot expertly around them and in to the net.
Moutinho had seen a shot hit a team mate moments earlier as Wolves started the second half well and a cross from Leander Dendoncker just eluded Silva in the centre of the penalty area. Brentford tried to change the flow of the game with the introduction of Yoane Wissa. The substitute shot over the bar, but it was another unusual incident that gave Brentford a way back in to the game.
Ajer got Brentford moving up the pitch with a weaving run from deep that took him past three players before he was halted by Toti. Referee Peter Bankes decided that the challenge from the Wolves defender was serious foul play and showed a red card. He was then asked to review that decision by Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason and changed his mind, showing a yellow card.
Brentford were frustrated as they appeared to be in on goal before the game was halted but responded perfectly. Mbeumo floated a free kick to the back post and Toney smashed a volley back across José Sá and in to the net. Toney met the cross perfectly and it ripped in to the far corner to level the contest.
Brentford appeared to have the momentum and pushed Wolves back. Ajer saw a shot blocked when a long throw could not be cleared and Brentford piled pressure on, but it was Wolves that found the winning goal. Semedo got away on the right and delivered a cross that flew to the far side of the penalty area. Wolves recycled it and Moutinho set up Rúben Neves to shoot from the edge of the penalty area. The shot whistled across the turf and Lössl was unable to keep it out. The goalkeeper got a hand to it, but it nestled in the net and Wolves had their winner.
Not that there was an end to the incidents. Canós saw a shot saved for The Bees and a Toney header was blocked when Christian Nørgaard nodded a ball back in to the danger area. The corner was half cleared, Saman Ghoddos crossed, a Pinnock effort was sliced, Ajer headed down and Toney fired over from close range.
Wolves thought they had sealed the game when substitute Adama Traoré was released in to the penalty area. He smashed high past Lössl, and Wolves had a third. But Mr Mason adjudged Traoré to be offside and Brentford still had a chance. They looked to play the ball forward but were unable to create an opening and Wolves had the win.
Brentford: Lössl; Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock; Canós (sub Ghoddos 83 mins), Jensen (sub Baptiste 27 mins (sub Forss 79mins)), Nørgaard, Janelt, Henry (sub Roerslev 26 mins (sub Wissa 58 mins)); Toney, Mbeumo
Subs (not used): Fernández, Stevens, Bech, Bidstrup
Bookings: Jansson (74 mins), Nørgaard (83 mins)
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sá; Kilman, Coady, Toti; Semedo, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Aït-Nouri; Podence (sub Trincão 90 mins), Silva (sub Traoré 75 mins)
Subs (not used): Ruddy, Hoever, Marçal, Jordão, Chiquinho, Giles, Cundle
Bookings: Neves (60 mins), Toti (68 mins), Sá (90 mins)
Attendance: 16,982 (1,723 away fans)