Tuesday, February 7

Wolves fly high as Rúben Neves seals win at Brentford after long drone delay | Premier league

If you like delays, this match had them all. There was first a heavy clash of heads which saw two Brentford players substituted with suspected concussions, before play was again stopped during the first half for more than 15 minutes after officials spotted an “unofficial drone” circling above.

A day after Watford’s game with Norwich was delayed by floodlights, a police helicopter patrolled the skies during the second half to ensure the drone did not return as Rúben Neves sealed a fourth win in five games. league for a rapidly improving Wolves.

There were certainly no such incidents the last time Brentford hosted Wolves in the top flight more than 70 years ago, and that campaign ended in relegation despite their 4-1 win in 1947 at Griffin Park. Sitting comfortably mid-table and seemingly within reach of safety in their first Premier League experience, Thomas Frank’s side must have seen this as a great opportunity to take another giant step towards their ultimate goal, but now they have suffered four consecutive losses. . To complicate matters, Frank received a yellow and then a red card after the final whistle for confronting the referee, Peter Bankes. “It just wasn’t our day,” said Frank, who revealed he is close to agreeing to a contract extension through 2025.

Missing the injured Raúl Jiménez and bringing on Adama Traoré, who could move to Tottenham, for the last 15 minutes, Wolves have emerged as surprise contenders for the top six thanks to some impressive performances: they came into this game having received only one goal. in five games since losing to Manchester City last month. After a slow start here, they made the most of their chances following repeated delays and were deserved winners despite being stragglers after taking the lead through João Moutinho.

“It was a very tough situation with all the delays,” Wolves manager Bruno Lage said. “But I think we did very well in the second half and showed personality to play our game.”

Brentford looked the more dangerous team until the wind took a bit of their sails after 20 minutes, when a nasty clash of heads between Rico Henry and Mathias Jensen caused a lengthy delay.

His substitutes had been on the pitch for less than three minutes when play was stopped again, this time due to the drone hovering overhead. The stadium announcer confirmed that the players would have to leave the pitch due to Premier League rules – “don’t blame us, blame the drone” – and it was more than a quarter of an hour before they resurfaced.

However, aside from a couple of half chances for Wolves, there wasn’t much else to raise the temperature on a chilly west London afternoon and, 71 minutes after it began, the first half finally came to an end. It seemed like a sick joke as the game was delayed yet again at the start of the second period as Bankes adjusted his gear in the tunnel, with Lage and Frank at least able to see the funny side as they waited patiently on the sideline.

Play finally resumed just after 4.30pm and Wolves were quick to find the goal thanks to a masterful goal from Moutinho. The Portuguese midfielder doubled off Nélson Semedo before finishing with the outside of his boot from inside the area.

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The hosts thought they might have gotten a penalty when Jose Sa hit Ivan Toney after a free kick, and replays suggested Silva might have shoved the Brentford forward. Both sets of fans had reason to be aggrieved when Bankes initially showed Toti Gomes a red card for his foul on Vitaly Janelt before being asked to refer to VAR and reverse his decision. But the home crowd’s disappointment immediately turned to joy when Toney volleyed in Bryan Mbeumo’s free kick to level.

Their joy was short-lived, however, as Wolves kept the ball alive after another attack from the impressive Semedo and Neves had too much time to pick his spot and seal another crucial win.


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