Ruben Neves nets Wolves winner in match dogged by drone and delays at Brentford

Brentford 1-2 Wolves: There were crazy scenes as both sets of players were forced off the pitch while an unauthorised drone hovered above the stadium

Andy Sims
Saturday 22 January 2022 17:58
<p>Ruben Neves celebrates scoring the winner for Wolves  </p>

Ruben Neves celebrates scoring the winner for Wolves

Ruben Neves fired Wolves to a 2-1 Premier League victory at Brentford in a match dogged by delays including a 20-minute stoppage for a drone flying overhead.

There were crazy scenes at Brentford’s Community Stadium as both sets of players were forced off the pitch while the drone hovered above.

The flying nuisance eventually buzzed off to allow play to get back under way, and Joao Moutinho put Wolves ahead before Ivan Toney equalised.

But Neves brought the Bees crashing back down to earth as his late strike condemned them to a sixth defeat in seven league matches.

There was a sour ending for Brentford manager Thomas Frank, who was sent off for confronting referee Peter Bankes at the final whistle.

A bizarre match had already been held up for five minutes midway through the first half following a nasty clash of heads between Brentford team-mates Mathias Jensen and Rico Henry which left both bleeding heavily.

Mercifully, both were able to walk off the field with the Bees forced to use concussion substitutes.

Moments later, the drone hovered into view, forcing Bankes and fourth official Martin Atkinson to order the players off the field in accordance with Premier League rules.

The match resumed at 3.50pm, with Atkinson signalling there were 19 minutes of the first half still to play.

Supporters might have been better off continuing to look up at the sky given what was being served up on the pitch, however.

Play was stopped for around 20 minutes

A done is seen flying over the Brentford Community Stadium

Wolves did finish the half on top with Fabio Silva – starting a Premier League match for the first time this season in place of the injured Raul Jimenez – volleying wide, before the half-time whistle blew, 71 minutes after the match had kicked off.

There was, incredibly, a further delay at the start of the second half when Bankes discovered a problem with his communication equipment and disappeared back down the tunnel.

Five minutes later, after having a new device fitted to his arm, Bankes trotted out to an ironic cheer and applause from grinning Wolves boss Bruno Lage.

Lage was smiling even more broadly three minutes later when his side broke the deadlock in fine style.

Moutinho exchanged passes with Nelson Semedo on the right-hand corner of the penalty area before curling a superb shot with the outside of his right boot past Bees goalkeeper Jonas Lossl.

Wanderers almost had a second moments later when Leander Dendoncker drilled a low cross into the area but Silva could not get the crucial touch.

Midway through the half, Bankes showed a straight red card to Wolves’ Toti Gomes for a rash challenge on Kristoffer Ajer, only to overturn it after checking the replays following the VAR’s intervention, and another delay.

Toney equalised for Brentford with a neat far-post volley from Bryan Mbeumo’s free-kick in the 71st minute.

But eight minutes later, when Semedo reached the byline and cut the ball back, Moutinho teed up Neves who lashed an unstoppable shot inside Lossl’s near post.

Adama Traore, whose wayward shooting could have probably brought down a drone, had a goal ruled out for offside in stoppage time.

Nevertheless, another victory ensured Lage’s Wolves are still flying high.

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