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Hwang Hee-chan’s brace helps Wolves to thumping win at Brentford

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Dec 2023

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Hwang Hee-chan scored twice as Brentford forgot how to defend and Wolves took full advantage with a 4-1 win in west London.

Hwang took his tally for the season to 11 as Wanderers followed up their Christmas Eve win over Chelsea by collecting another festive three points.

It was a first victory in the capital in 15 attempts for Wolves, their last coming in a 2-0 win at Tottenham in February last year.

But it was gifted to them by a Brentford side who could soon be looking nervously over their shoulders at the relegation battle after a fourth straight defeat and a sixth in seven matches.

The Bees are riddled with injuries and suspensions – they had 10 players unavailable here – but there was still no excuse for some alarming defensive errors.

Nathan Collins arguably had his best game for Wolves; unfortunately the centre-half left Molineux to join Brentford in June.

The Bees’ record signing endured a nightmare against his former club, handing them two goals with terrible passes on an evening to forget.

Wolves were inches from taking the lead when Joao Gomes played Hwang in behind and his low cross was sliced narrowly over his own crossbar by Vitaly Janelt.

But from the corner, in the 13th minute, they did find the net after the ball was cleared as far as Pablo Sarabia, whose cross was met by a header from the totally unmarked Mario Lemina.

What came next was an utter farce from the hosts as they played the ball back from their own kick-off towards goalkeeper Mark Flekken.

Collins’ backpass to the Dutchman was woefully underhit and, barely 10 seconds after the restart, Hwang had rounded him and tapped into an empty net.

The crowd at the Gtech Stadium had barely caught their breath again when the Bees pulled one back, Yoane Wissa latching on to Neal Maupay’s clever flick and firing home.

Unbelievably, it could have gone from goalless to 2-2 in the space of five minutes but Jose Sa kept out a close-range header from Janelt.

Instead Wolves doubled their lead again when Toti’s powerful, clearing header was allowed to float between Collins and Mads Roerslev and straight to Hwang.

The South Korean turned, lifted the ball over the covering Ethan Pinnock and fired the ball past the exposed Flekken into the bottom corner.

Brentford could have pulled another back before half-time but Collins headed a Saman Ghoddos corner over and Maupay fired wide after being fed by Wissa in stoppage time.

Wolves lost Hwang to a back injury moments before the interval, but his replacement Jean-Ricner Bellegarde wrapped up their victory with 11 minutes left.

Collins was again the fall guy when his lazy pass across the face of goal was intercepted by Matheus Cunha, who played in Bellegarde for a simple finish.

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