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Premier League | Gameweek 19
Dec 27, 2023 at 7.30pm UK
Brentford Community Stadium
WL

Brentford
1 - 4
Wolves

Wissa (16')
Norgaard (43')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Lemina (13'), Hee-chan (14', 28'), Bellegarde (79')
Kilman (54')

Hwang double helps Wolverhampton Wanderers to rare away success at Brentford

:Headline: Hwang double helps Wolverhampton Wanderers to rare away success at Brentford:
Wolverhampton Wanderers end a four-match losing run in Premier League away games, with a Hwang Hee-chan brace helping the visitors to a 4-1 thrashing of Brentford.
Sports Mole

Wolverhampton Wanderers have ended a four-game losing run on the road in style on Wednesday night, beating a disjointed Brentford side 4-1 at the Gtech Community Stadium in the Premier League.

A chaotic three-minute period in the first half set the tone for the remainder of the match, with Wolves netting a quickfire double through Mario Lemina and Hwang Hee-chan before Yoane Wissa reduced the arrears for the Bees, although Hwang's second of the evening before the half-time whistle left the hosts with a mountain to climb.

The West Londoners were putting the pressure on their opponents from the West Midlands in the second period through the trickery of Keane Lewis-Potter on the flanks, but Wolves were a danger on the break, with substitute Jean-Ricner Bellegarde making sure of maximum points by adding a fourth.

Following the dismissal of Ben Mee in the loss to Aston Villa 10 days ago, Brentford boss Thomas Frank fielded Nathan Collins in a central-defensive pairing with Ethan Pinnock, while further up the pitch Neal Maupay spearheaded the attack alongside Congo international Wissa.

Pleased with his side's Christmas Eve showing against Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea, Gary O'Neil's only alteration from Sunday afternoon was enforced, with Uruguayan Santiago Bueno replacing veteran Craig Dawson, who suffered a nasty cut to his knee in the second half at Molineux last time out.

The opening exchanges at the Gtech saw both the Bees and the Wolves enjoying periods of momentum, but it always felt as if the visitors' attacks posed a greater threat, and moments after Vitaly Janelt nearly bundled the ball into his own net following a Hwang cross, the Black Country outfit hit the front.

Pablo Sarabia picked up the ball on the left after the hosts cleared a corner to the flanks, and the Spaniard provided a wicked delivery into the path of Lemina, who ghosted into the box unmarked and headed past Mark Flekken in the Brentford net - the midfielder has now netted in back-to-back matches.

There were different trains of thought debating how Frank's side would perform after a rare 10-day break in the middle of the festive period, but it was clear in the first half that the Bees were well off the Premier League pace, finding themselves two goals down just 12 seconds after Maupay had taken the restart.

Former Wolves man Collins received the ball from kick-off and carelessly sold Flekken short with a pass, allowing the opportunistic Hwang to nick past the goalkeeper and walk the ball into an empty net.

Representative of the frenetic nature of the first period, Brentford were able to reduce the deficit to one goal just two minutes later when the ball was headed to former Everton striker Maupay, who lifted a pass into the path of Wissa in the box, and the 27-year-old held off the attentions of Bueno to fire a blast a shot through Jose Sa.

Making the net ripple boosted the hosts' confidence, but Wolves were still able to slice through the Bees' defence with ease when the likes of Joao Gomes and Rayan Ait Nouri got possession of the ball, and O'Neil's charges restored their two-goal advantage prior to the break.

Centre-back Toti Gomes won an aerial duel on the halfway line and his clearance ran all the way through to Hwang in the Brentford box, with the South Korean flicking the ball over the onrushing Pinnock - who was caught deeper than his defensive teammates - before slamming in his brace past the helpless Flekken.

Hwang would have been mentally drooling at the thought of scoring his first hat-trick in senior football against an out-of-sorts Brentford backline, but an awkward-looking back injury scuppered those plans, with the ex-RB Leipzig man having to be replaced by Bellegarde just before the break.

Rather surprisingly, Frank made a change at the half-time interval as he looked to claw his side back into the capital contest, with Denmark international Mikkel Damsgaard taking the place of Ukrainian Yegor Yarmolyuk in the hosts' engine room, although the Bees still failed to find the net.

Collins was again the culprit of sloppy play in possession as the Irishman's pass across the backline was intercepted by the lively Matheus Cunha, who showed great presence of mind to find the run of substitute Bellegarde, and the summer arrival from Strasbourg beat Flekken with a side-foot finish.

The full-time whistle put the Bees out of their misery at the Gtech whilst officially condemning them to four-straight defeats in the Premier League, leaving the West Londoners 14th in the top-flights standings, just four points ahead of a resurgent Luton Town side at the top of the relegation zone.

Having secured back-to-back league successes for the first time in 2023-24, Wolves have cut the gap to ninth-placed Brighton & Hove Albion to only two points, with O'Neil's side next in action as they welcome Sean Dyche's Everton to the Black Country on Saturday afternoon.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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