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Ruben Neves takes winner while Wolves defeated Brentford 2-1 after drone chaos

“Remember the day,” the Brentford PA announcer said. ‘January 22, 2022.’ Cue ripples of laughter around the ground.

After the final whistle, excluding the result, there was a wave of relief that it had come to an end, albeit about 38 minutes after it was scheduled to end.

The short version is three goals, two subs with concussions, a reversed red card from the VAR, a failed microphone package that leaves the ref in limbo and an “unauthorized drone” that threatened to discredit this match. Oh, and Thomas Frank was sent off after the final whistle sounded.

Ruben Neves (left) scored the winner as Wolves defeated Brentford 2-1 on Saturday

Ruben Neves (left) scored the winner as Wolves defeated Brentford 2-1 on Saturday

First the six minute delay. Midway through the first half, there was a sickening headbutt between Brentford’s Rico Henry and Mathias Jenson. A true moment of horror with both benches walking back and forth anxiously.

Jose Sa’s long kick into the field threatened to put 19-year-old striker Fabio Silva in for his first Premier League start this season with Raul Jimenez injured, before Henry and Jensen collided head-on at full speed.

Both players lay down and both teams’ physios stopped by as the two players spit up blood from nasty cuts.

The match was halted in the first half after a drone hovered over the stadium

The match was halted in the first half after a drone hovered over the stadium

The match was halted in the first half after a drone hovered over the stadium

A six-minute delay, ultimately requiring no stretcher for either player, both were officially removed as ‘concussion substitutes’, but neither managed to clear protocol and return.

Then came the ridiculousness.

With the clock at 31 minutes, referee Peter Bankes looked to the sky and after a brief dialogue over his microphone – then it worked – ordered both sets of players back to their locker rooms due to an ‘unauthorized drone’ causing a security problem.

The delay went on and on with no further instructions for confused fans, the drone playing a cat-and-mouse game in the air like something out of a Tom and Jerry episode featuring the police helicopter, which lingered long after the drone had crashed.

Referee Peter Bankes spoke to both teams and sent them off the field

Referee Peter Bankes spoke to both teams and sent them off the field

Referee Peter Bankes spoke to both teams and sent them off the field

Brentford and Wolves players leave the playing field by a drone flying over the field

Brentford and Wolves players leave the playing field by a drone flying over the field

Brentford and Wolves players leave the playing field by a drone flying over the field

It took 19 minutes to get the players on the field and back with a mini-warm-up. Add the six injuries to Henry and Jensen and the first half came to an end 71 minutes after it started.

All without a shot on target, but that seemed rather insignificant at the time, as Brentford’s official Twitter account called for fan jokes to pass the time.

So it felt quite fitting that just before the second half started, Referee Bankes’ microphone package broke. Of course it did. The most disruptive game in recent Premier League memory. Add to that five more minutes while he was being rewired in the tunnel.

Nineteen minutes were added to the end of the first time after the long hiatus

Nineteen minutes were added to the end of the first time after the long hiatus

Nineteen minutes were added to the end of the first time after the long hiatus

“This is embarrassing,” the Brentford fans chanted.

“We want our money back,” the traveling Wolves sang support.

Wolf boss Bruno Lage could only smile as Bankes undressed to be rewired. What could go wrong went wrong, even if it was 0-0, but at least he could see the funny side.

Three minutes after the restart, he had a genuine reason to smile when Joao Moutinho, after a handsome one-two with Nelson Semedo, scored a stunning opener with the outside of his left boot.

Joao Moutinho gave Wolves the lead early in the second half with a smart finish

Joao Moutinho gave Wolves the lead early in the second half with a smart finish

Joao Moutinho gave Wolves the lead early in the second half with a smart finish

Before Ivan Toney equalized for Brentford with his seventh goal of the season

Before Ivan Toney equalized for Brentford with his seventh goal of the season

Before Ivan Toney equalized for Brentford with his seventh goal of the season

MATCH FACTS AND PLAYERS REVIEWS

Brentford (3-5-2): Lossl (GK) 6; Pinnock 6, Ajer 5, Jansson 6.5; Canos 6.5 (Ghoddos 83), Norgaard 5, Janelt 6, Jensen 5 (Baptiste 27, Forss 79), Henry 5 (Roerslev 27, Wissa 55); Toney 7, Mbeumo 7

Subs not used: Fernandez (GK), Bidstrup, Sorensen, Stevens

goals: Show (71)

Booked: Norgaard, Jansson

Manager: Thomas Frank 4

Wolves (3-5-2): Sa (GK) 6; Toti Gomes 5, Coady 7, Kilman 6; Semedo 7, Neves 7, Moutinho 7.5, Dendoncker 5.5, Ait-Nouri 7; Podence 6, Silva 5 (Traore 75)

Subs not used: Ruddy (GK), Hoever, Marcal, Jordao, Trincao, Tavares de Oliveira, Giles, Cundle

goals: Moutinho (48), Neves (78)

Booked: Neves, Sa, Gomes

Manager: Bruno Low 7.5

Referee: Peter Bankes 7

It was a strike that was not all surprising. After all, Brentford, like them, has conceded the opening goal in 14 of their last 15 league games.

Brentford are as refreshing as they are frustrating. Frustrating in that they get so much of their game right before they get the main part wrong.

Wolves would always be a tough nut to crack, with the second best defense in the league behind Man City, so something very special would be needed.

That happened 19 minutes before the end when Bryan Mbeumo’s free kick was kicked to the back post, where Ivan Toney was able to tap the volley in. At 1-1 it was two goals of the highest order and yet everyone could wonder: would there be another drone to spoil the fun?

The drone drama was over, but there was still room for a red card to be shown to Toti Gomes for a sliding tackle on Pontus Jansson, before Bankes and the VAR downgraded it to yellow. It was the right call.

And then came the dagger when Ruben Neves, brilliant for much of this match, curled into the lower right corner to win it.

Adama Traore, who was tied to Tottenham, still had time to come off the bench, score and disallow for offside.

When the boss of the final whistle sounded and Frank rushed to confront the referee, he was shown a yellow card, but that turned into a red suit amid a verbal tirade.

He could only look at the sky, but this time there was no drone, just a missed opportunity.

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