Leeds United at Molineux is a recipe for madness and though there was little method in their work at times, they still had enough to beat Wolves.
A 4-2 victory, they’re sixth of the Premier League season, drove Javi Gracia’s men up from 19th to 14th in the table, highlighting just how tight the relegation battle has become.
Goals from Jack Harrison, Luke Ayling, Rasmus Kristensen, and Rodrigo did the job but the goals didn’t tell half of the story, with VAR interventions and a pair of red cards for the hosts.
Jonny’s dismissal for a horrible challenge on Ayling was followed by unused substitute Matheus Nunes’ sending off, in the technical area, for anger aimed at an assistant referee.
Here’s the YEP take on another madcap encounter at Molineux.
The winger came into a fractious, physical game and showed his intelligence, using the ball brilliantly to relieve pressure and hurt the hosts. He was creative but he was selfless, knowing when to give the ball and when to carry it. It was a 10-minute cameo that became a 17-minute performance thanks to all the stoppage time and his role was pivotal late on. The assist for Rodrigo’s goal was a just reward.
The Dane has barely featured of late and, as a result, lost his place in the national team. But he was brought on at an important time at Molineux and within seconds had scored the third goal. Kristensen has come in for praise from boss Javi Gracia for his attitude while not playing, but getting on the pitch to play a big part in a victory will mean the most for the right-back.
The Wolf’s head coach raged at the officials and contributed to the collective head loss in his technical area late on. When referee Michael Salisbury was checking his monitor for the Jonny tackle, Lopetegui’s screams of ‘he got the ball’ were directly contradicted by the replays. Some of his post-game quotes, in a press conference that took place a long time after the full-time whistle, betrayed emotions that were still running high.
The Spaniard can be so good on the ball for Leeds but at Wolves, he really struggled in possession. At times his desire to take his time and calm things down actually put Leeds under more pressure than was necessary. His touch that led to Jonny’s goal was poor.
When Matheus Nunes earned a red card for directing his anger at an assistant referee, without playing a minute, it was a terrible look for the substitute. That he had to be restrained following the red card made it even worse. He had Diego Costa, of all people, to thank for preventing him from digging an even deeper hole.
Missed things for both sides, needed VAR to correct him on Jonny’s red-card challenge, and generally gave the impression that he was losing control of the game. Used his cards too liberally.
Wolves GK coach Tony Roberts nailed 30 and 40-yard shots into the empty goal as he awaited his players, striking the ball beautifully.
Marc Roca sank to the turf early on in the warm-up to give his left foot some attention and the watching Leeds fans some palpitations. It was a boot or sock issue, nothing to take one of Leeds’ two remaining senior midfielders out of action.
Mikel Antia and the back four huddling for a discussion during the warm-up before some final attacking pattern work.
An outrageous bit of control from Cooper as the subs warmed up, Kristensen’s hands going to his head in mock disbelief. The captain then had a playful admonishment for Archie Gray, who miscontrolled a long pass.
Bamford screamed at Aaronson in frustration when the American failed to play him in. Wober screamed at Roca when he risked possession carelessly. Javi Gracia screamed in frustration at the officials as he went down the tunnel for half-time.
Ayling debates with Meslier in the wake of the Wolves first goal. The right-back suggested his keeper could simply have stood his ground, in his area, and caught the ball.
Substitute Struijk brought an energy gel onto the pitch for Wober as the game entered its final 10 minutes.
Cooper came out to give Summerville some instructions as the skipper warmed up on the sideline. Firpo came out to the edge of the technical area to encourage Rodrigo who was struggling with a slight knock.
The Wolves bench absolutely lost it with the officials in dramatic late scenes, as VAR decided to let Leeds’ fourth goal stand. In stark contrast, Gracia gets his bench to sit back down, telling them to be quiet. He did however engage in an animated debate with Moutinho.
Firpo and others sprinted onto the pitch full-time to celebrate in front of the fans. Leeds directors’ saluted the team as they left the pitch with the win.
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