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Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Brentford: Ivan Toney and Christian Norgaard on target at Molineux

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Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Brentford: Ivan Toney and Christian Norgaard on target at Molineux
Brentford captain Christian Norgaard scored his second Premier League goal of the season to put the Bees ahead against Wolves

Ivan Toney scored his third goal in four Premier League games as Brentford clinched a deserved victory over misfiring Wolves at Molineux.

Christian Norgaard put the Bees ahead just after the half hour with a close-range header from a corner.

Craig Dawson thought he had equalised with a glancing header only for the Video Assistant Referee to determine he was in an offside position.

Toney secured the three points 13 minutes before the final whistle with a crisp finish from Vitaly Janelt’s low cross.

Brentford’s victory – their first away win since 28 October – has given Thomas Frank’s side a healthy six-point cushion above the relegation zone, with a game in hand.

Wolves remain in 10th after back-to-back home defeats – four points adrift of West Ham in the seventh, and final, European spot.

Clinical Toney helps Bees sting Wolves

Frank’s team have been celebrated for their easy-on-the eye and progressive style, but are perhaps seen as having a bit of a soft touch at times.

The Bees have led in 17 of their 23 Premier League matches this season but dropped 26 points – more than any other side in the top flight.

Before this fixture they had lost six consecutive away games and only picked up two points from 10 games outside of London.

At Molineux they were dogged and determined.

Brentford gave a lesson in game management – taking their time whenever the ball went dead, much to the chagrin of the Molineux support.

“It wasn’t the prettiest,” Toney told BBC’s Match of the Day.

The margin of victory would have been more had Neal Maupay shown more of his current form than his past, before Norgaard gave Dawson the slip to head in Sergio Reguilon’s teasing inswinging corner.

Toney, for his part, spent most of the game running into threatening areas but his chances were sporadic.

He was, though, in the right place to produce a deft finish from Janelt’s low cross to notch his fourth goal since he returned from a suspension for betting offences.

Frank had spoken with an air of inevitability about Toney’s future this week, but the striker seemed relaxed when asked about his plans.

“I am a Brentford player at the moment,” he said.

The 27-year-old will have one year left on his contract at the end of the season and has been linked with moves to Arsenal and Chelsea.

“Nobody can predict the future. The manager has said what he has, I can’t make other clubs come and get me. I’ll just keep scoring goals.”

With a Premier League goal ratio of one in two, and the kind of clinical finish here craved by the top sides in tight games, it feels the speculation of where he will be playing his football next season will only intensify.

Rare day when Wolves lack bite

Toney almost joined Wolves in 2014 only for the deal to reportedly fall throughexternal-link because of a failed medical.

They could have done with a striker with his cutting edge in this encounter given their impressive wide play but lack of penalty-box threat.

It should be noted, though, that Wolves have played much of the season without a recognised front man and, in truth, goals have not been that hard to come by without an out-and-out striker.

Indeed, this was their first blank after finding the net in 18 consecutive home league games since February last year – their longest scoring streak since a run of 22 games in the 1960s.

Their cause was not helped by an injured Cunha – who had been involved in 12 goals in Wolves’ past 12 league games before this one, scoring seven and setting up five. His hat-trick had helped Wolves to a 4-2 win at Chelsea last time out.

Wolves fans will be relieved that the early prognosis is positive.

“He felt something in his hamstring but it doesn’t feel too bad now. He was a big loss today,” O’Neil said.

With top-scorer Hwang Hee-chan not featuring, having just returned after the Asian Cup, the Wolves boss had few options to change the game once they fell behind.

He introduced rookie forward Nathan Fraser, with just seven minutes of Premier League football under his belt, at half-time.

But the 18-year-old struggled to make an impact with two chances for Neto – a header and low-angled shot against the post – their best efforts aside from Dawson’s disallowed attempt.

Line-ups

Wolves

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1
  • 23Kilman
  • 15Dawson
  • 24GomesSubstituted forFraserat 45′minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 22Nélson SemedoSubstituted forDohertyat 83′minutes
  • 5LeminaBooked at 88mins
  • 8João GomesSubstituted forDoyleat 62′minutes
  • 3Aït-Nouri
  • 21Sarabia
  • 12Matheus CunhaSubstituted forBellegardeat 20′minutes
  • 7Neto

Substitutes

  • 2Doherty
  • 4Bueno
  • 6Traoré
  • 17Bueno
  • 20Doyle
  • 25Bentley
  • 27Bellegarde
  • 62Chirewa
  • 63Fraser

Brentford

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1FlekkenBooked at 60mins
  • 22Collins
  • 5Pinnock
  • 16Mee
  • 30Roerslev
  • 8JensenBooked at 68minsSubstituted forYarmoliukat 69′minutes
  • 6NørgaardSubstituted forAjerat 85′minutes
  • 27JaneltBooked at 81minsSubstituted forBaptisteat 85′minutes
  • 12Reguilón
  • 17Toney
  • 7MaupaySubstituted forLewis-Potterat 76′minutes

Substitutes

  • 13M Jorgensen
  • 14Ghoddos
  • 20Ajer
  • 21Strakosha
  • 23Lewis-Potter
  • 24Damsgaard
  • 26Baptiste
  • 33Yarmoliuk
  • 38Brierley

Referee:
Simon Hooper

Attendance:
30,731

Live Text

Player of the match

ReguilónSergio Reguilón

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number7Player namePedro Neto

  2. Squad number20Player nameDoyle

  3. Squad number5Player nameLemina

  4. Squad number3Player nameAït-Nouri

  5. Squad number63Player nameFraser

  6. Squad number23Player nameKilman

  7. Squad number15Player nameDawson

  8. Squad number8Player nameJoão Gomes

  9. Squad number12Player nameMatheus Cunha

  10. Squad number21Player nameSarabia

  11. Squad number24Player nameToti

  12. Squad number1Player nameJosé Sá

  13. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

  14. Squad number2Player nameDoherty

  15. Squad number27Player nameBellegarde

Brentford

  1. Squad number12Player nameReguilón

  2. Squad number22Player nameCollins

  3. Squad number6Player nameNørgaard

  4. Squad number20Player nameAjer

  5. Squad number23Player nameLewis-Potter

  6. Squad number26Player nameBaptiste

  7. Squad number17Player nameToney

  8. Squad number1Player nameFlekken

  9. Squad number5Player namePinnock

  10. Squad number27Player nameJanelt

  11. Squad number8Player nameJensen

  12. Squad number16Player nameMee

  13. Squad number33Player nameYarmoliuk

  14. Squad number30Player nameRoerslev

  15. Squad number7Player nameMaupay




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