Report | Brentford 1-4 Wolves

Brentford 1 (Wissa 16) Wolves 4 (Lemina 13, Hwang 14, 28, Bellegarde 79)

Wolves produced one of their performances of the season to win back-to-back Premier League games for the first time this season when Gary O’Neil’s men put four past Brentford.

It was a Christmas to remember for Wolves as the Old Gold followed up their Christmas Eve win over Chelsea with a win on the road as Mario Lemina once again opened the scoring with a header – just as he did three days earlier.

Hee Chan Hwang then scored twice, the first coming just 12 seconds later, either side of a Yoane Wissa finish as he capitalised on a mix-up in the Brentford defence for his first before a clever touch and finish made it 3-1. Despite defending for much of the second half, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, who replaced Hwang after the South Korean’s injury just before the break put the result beyond doubt.

The Gtech Community Stadium witnessed a relentless first half, full of drama and intrigued as the visitors took a two-goal lead into the break.

Just three minutes and 20 seconds separated the first three goals of the half after Wolves opened the scoring through Lemina. A corner was only half cleared, which allowed Pablo Sarabia to lift a brilliant cross to the far post and the midfielder met it with his second headed goal in three days after opening the scoring against Chelsea.

A mistake from former Wolves man Nathan Collins – straight from kick-off – led to the Old Gold’s second, which came just 12 seconds after the restart. The Brentford defender underplayed a pass back to goalkeeper Mark Flekken, which allowed Hwang to nip in, round the keeper, and stroke the ball into an empty net.

However, Brentford halved the deficit just moments later as a ball over the top of the Wolves defence caught the sky blue shirts of the visitors napping. Wissa collected the pass with a neat touch, before his second saw the forward fire the ball past Jose Sa from close range.

But Wolves regained their two-goal advantage just before the half hour mark. Toti’s headed clearance found Hwang unmarked outside the Brentford box, having been played onside, and after taking a clever touch to beat his man, he fired a low drive into the bottom right corner of Flakken’s net.

In an end-to-end half, Wolves had to defend well to stop Brentford with several crosses which Toti was able to turn away, and although a visiting player was unable to reach Collins’ header from point-blank range, they were fortunate the defender was only able to lift the ball over Sa’s crossbar.

As the game entered added time at the end of the half, Hwang was denied a hat-trick as the South Korean forward had to be helped from the pitch to be replaced by Bellegarde. The forward took a knock in the back as he went up for a header and had to hobble off for treatment.

Wolves were given another let off just before half time, as Wissa was found behind Santiago Bueno again, but instead of finding the net like he had earlier on, Sa closed the angle forcing the forward to pick out a pass to striker partner Neal Maupay, who could only fire wide.

Half-time | Brentford 1-3 Wolves

The visitors played a different type of game after the break, sitting deep inside their own box while trying to catch Brentford on the break, and O’Neil’s men executed it brilliantly, although if the Bees were as clinical in attack as their opponents, then it might have been a different outcome.

Keane Lewis-Potter was a thorn in Wolves’ side throughout the evening, but he was unable to put his side back within one goal when he was found in the box by a Wissa cross, as his effort from close range lacked power and Sa was able to gather. The Wolves keeper was then equal to the youngster’s shot from distance which took a heavy deflection.

Wolves were tiring as the half progressed, having played just three days previously, while Brentford had a break at the weekend and looked the much fresher, but Maximilian Kilman and Santi Bueno – stepping in for the injured Craig Dawson – put their body in front of everything the Bees were able to throw at them.

O’Neil tried to help his team on the break with the pace of Bellegarde assisting Matheus Cunha and it was the latter who almost scored Wolves’ fourth when he raced through on goal before sliding a low drive past Flekken, but not the post, as the ball cannoned off the base of the upright.

But Bellegarde was able to ensure there was no way back for Brentford when he netted with just over 10 minutes of the game remaining. Although the Wolves fans thought they were going to get a look at Pedro Neto to make his return from injury, the winger was soon sat back down when the fourth went in.

Another mistake from former Wolves man Collins saw the defender play a pass straight to Cunha who got in on goal, but instead of having a shot, squared to his left to an unmarked Bellegarde who finished calmly.

The Frenchman almost had his second of the night just before the final whistle when he used his pace to get in on goal once again, but his effort was straight at Flekken, but it needn’t matter, as the Old Gold claimed all three points on the road for the first time since October while ending a 14-game winless run in the capital.

Full-time | Brentford 1-4 Wolves

Brentford | Flekken, Roerslev (Jensen 67), Collins, Pinnock, Ghoddos, Norgaard, Yarmolyuk (Damsgaard 46), Janelt, Wissa (Peart-Harris 85), Lewis-Potter (Olakigbe 85), Maupay.

Unused subs | Strakosha, Angelini, Zanka, Brierley, Adedokun.

Wolves | Sa, Semedo (Doherty 65), S. Bueno, Kilman, Toti, Ait-Nouri (H. Bueno 81), Lemina, Gomes, Sarabia (Doyle 65), Hwang (Bellegarde 45+7), Cunha.

Unused subs | Bentley, Hodge, Chirewa, Neto, Kalajdzic.

Referee | Andy Madley