Report | Wolves 0-2 Brentford
Wolves were unable to fight from behind and overcome a dogged ten-man Brentford as the wait for the first home victory of the season continues.
Still looking for their opening Molineux goal of the Premier League campaign, Bruno Lage’s side were punished for an under-par 25-minute spell at the end of the first-half, as Ivan Toney dispatched a penalty to put his side ahead after the striker was felled in the area, while the Brentford man also got an assist just six minutes later when he made a powerful run behind the Wolves defence to lay the ball on a plate for Bryan Mbeumo.
The hosts threw players forward following the break as they looked to capitalise on Brentford going down to ten-men after Shandon Baptiste was shown a red card, but despite peppering efforts towards the visitors’ goal, goalkeeper David Raya was left untroubled.
Wolves were looking to repeat their second-half performance at Watford last time out as they returned to Molineux, and Lage’s men started brighter than their newly-promoted opponents, with Marcal getting a chance at goal having been picked out by a dreamy cross-field pass by Neves, but the defender could only curl his effort harmlessly wide.
The Brazilian came closer with his next attempt when Joao Moutinho’s corner fell to Marcal on the edge of the box, but his left-footed effort flew wide of the near post.
But after the 20-minute mark, Brentford – who were growing in confidence – began to put Wolves to the sword with clinical finishing, and stunned Molineux into almost silence.
Toney, who was pulled down inside the 18-yard-box by Marcal when he was attempting to defend a corner, put his side ahead from the penalty spot by sending Jose Sa the wrong way.
Moments later the Brentford striker had the ball in the back of the net once again, but this time the goal did not stand after it was adjudged Toney had used his arm to control the ball before backheeling an effort into the goal.
Wolves, who have been unfortunate in many of their matches so far this season, came agonisingly close to an equaliser when Adama Traore’s powerful effort took a massive deflection before cannoning back off the underside of the crossbar, and the rebound fell just out of the reach of Francisco Trincao.
The miss was to prove costly for Wolves, as Brentford doubled their lead with ten minutes remaining in the first-half, as Toney used his pace and power to hold off Maximilian Kilman on the wing and the striker raced in behind the gold and black defence before squaring to Mbeumo who had the easiest of finishes to tap into an empty net from six yards out.
Coming out of the break two goals down, Lage made a change in system which saw Hee Chan Hwang playing just behind Raul Jimenez in attack, while defender Romain Saiss was the casualty as Wolves switched to a back four.
Despite the change, Wolves were given a huge let-off straight from the kick-off as Ruben Neves was caught on the ball just outside his own penalty area and with a clear strike at goal, Mbeumo was unable to double his tally for the afternoon as he fired well wide.
The hosts were doing their utmost to halve the deficit in the opening stages of the second-half, and Traore almost saw a neat floated cross from the goalline almost catch Raya out, as the ball looked to be heading in at the far post, but no-one in a Wolves shirt was in position to pounce, allowing the white shirts of Brentford to clear the danger.
Wolves played the final 25 minutes against ten men when Baptiste was shown a second yellow card and dismissed by referee Darren England after the Brentford midfielder hauled Trincao back after the man in old gold was racing clear.
The was the side in gold and black who were camped in their opposition half as the game wore on, but no matter how hard Lage’s men knocked on the door, Brentford stood strong, as Kristoffer Ajer and Pontus Jansson put their bodies on the line to deny Hwang and Jimenez.
Brentford’s players were hugely frustrating the Wolves supporters, players and Lage as they threw themselves to the floor and stayed down when barely touched in an attempt to see down the clock as the hosts spent the final ten minutes of the game with six forwards and just two defenders remaining on the pitch.
Although Jimenez had a glorious opportunity to pull one back for Wolves when he rose highest to meet a Traore cross at the far post, but narrowly flashed his header wide of the post, but the hosts were unable to punish their visitors – who stuck the crossbar in added time through Mbeumo – and had to settle for the defeat.