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Wolves Fans' Verdict v Leeds "As good as it gets"

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Our fans are running out of superlatives as Wolves beat Leeds 4-1.

Clockwise from top left; Russ Evers, Russ Cockburn, Adam Virgo, Heather Large, Chris Hughes, Natalie Wood, Clive Smith and Rob Cartwright

Rob Cartwright

What's your verdict on the match? So much for “we never win in November” – at this rate we could end up unbeaten.

Last night can be summed up in one word – awesome.

We keep breaking records and I can see this carrying on. The biggest shock of the night was that we actually conceded!

Leeds had two spells of note. The first four minutes and then the first 10 minutes of the second half. Apart from those, they may as well have come and sat with us to watch. They were chasing shadows.

The first half was possibly the best football we have ever seen. Okay, I exaggerate (for 50 years then). Play like that and we would have be on top of over half the Premier League teams this season.

The first three goals were all top class. The passing, movement and tackling of our midfield was a joy to watch. We were class all over the pitch. No weak links here. Every player knows his role and what he is capable of, as well as those of his team mates. To make a 40 yard pass to feet, without actually looking up, proves my point here.

Perhaps those who have stopped going to Sandwell to watch football should come and give it a try. I guarantee they will not recognise the game being played.

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No surprise at the sending off or the penalty. Leeds, like a number of teams, decided that fouling was the only way to stop us. I love how Jota in particular gets up dusts himself down and immediately goes again.

Who played well – and who didn't impress? We used to struggle naming a man of the match – now we struggle to find fault with any individual.

Cavaleiro, Neves and Saiss were absolutely class. Jota, Boly, Doherty and Douglas were excellent. The other four starters were just very, very good.

I’ll give man of the match to Cavaleiro. He’s improving every game and was “on fire” in the first half. He looked as pleased as anyone on the final whistle, even though he was no longer on the pitch. That’s the Nuno effect!

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Shout out to Costa too. Only 20 minutes this time, but again improving every game and the way he left three Leeds players playing Twister with one of his runs was worth the nightmare traffic – a joy to watch.

Finally, this was a wet and windy November night. Question to all those who said they wouldn’t do it – when does winter start this year?

Chris Hughes

What's your verdict on the match? Molineux...under the lights...rain lashing down...big crow...what more can you ask for? A resounding win over Dirty Leeds, that’s what!

Straight from the off we were up for this one. A first half of complete and utter domination with more utter filth that should have carried an adults-only rating. We could have thrown three more balls onto the pitch and I still don’t think Leeds would have gotten a kick.

A free-kick with a bit of ‘swazz’ from Baz opened the scoring. One of those that would have given her Majesty a smack in the kisser if the goal were an envelope. This lad’s left foot is more potent than a little blue pill and I think it had the same effect on some of the gents in the crowd!

This was followed up by “oh-way-oh” Ivan actually dancing around a defender to lash a well deserved strike beyond the chocolate-wristed Lonergan that we all remember well from his days at Molineux. It was no less than Cavaleiro deserved for his rampant opening 25 minutes of pace, power and skill, coupled with an unusual energy and desire out of possession to go and win the ball back high up the pitch.

We went in at half-time two goals to the good with the army of Leeds fans (there must have been at least 90,000 of them, right?) likely contemplating marching on together back to Yorkshire a little earlier than planned.

It wouldn’t be Wolves without making it a little interesting though, would it? With less than a minute on the clock in the second half, Douglas forgot that we’d recommenced the game and let Alioski sneak in behind him to volley an equaliser almost as attractive as his mop of surfer-dude hair.

For 15 minutes Leeds had their only decent spell of the game, as we looked like the goal had knocked us off our game a little, but it was ended as a contest when Vieira decided his earlier booking wasn’t going to stop him launching at Jota on the half way line to pick up his second yellow and an early bath. We then spent the final 30 minutes having a kick about, deciding to add another couple of goals courtesy of a sublime Jota chip and a penalty from Costa that gave us another reminder of how limp Lonergan’s wrists are.

All in all, this was as comfortable a game as we’re going to get at this level. Everyone put in an excellent display and some of the passing was a joy to behold, with one first half move that ended with an unfortunate poor touch from Doherty in the Leeds box actually raising fans to their feet in applause.

Eighteen games in, 41 points, four clear of second. Not bad is it? Bring on the ‘other’ Wanderers on Saturday...

Russ Evers (Hatherton Wolves)

What's your verdict on the match? According to the better half, Nuno has a very sexy voice. According to me, his team play very sexy football.

Dirty Leeds lived up to their name, trying to kick everything that moved but that tactic was easily foiled as they simply couldn't catch us!

Cavaleiro was almost unplayable for the first half and apart from a 20 minute spell we simply bossed it. Good job this lot can't play in the cold wind and rain.

Totally 'donimant' exclaimed young Andy, that excited by the way we play at times that he couldn't quite get his words out. And in keeping with that, totally donimant we remained.

Who played well – and who didn't impress? Everyone played well but this was more of a team win than a game won by individuals and there are another couple of gears to go. Nuno? He’s magic you know.

Adam Virgo

What's your verdict on the match? Four wins in a row, four points clear at the top and four different goalscorers on the night, absolutely fourbulous.

Once again it was just so easy for us at times, especially in the first half and in the second once Ronaldo Vieira got a stupid red card. He’s daft enough trying to dive in at Jota anyway with how fast he moves, never mind when you’ve already been booked.

We were also helped along the way by Andy Lonergan having his best ever game for Wolves, and in the end Leeds got sent marching on to nowhere. Their fans are probably still going on about the attendance league as that clearly means so much to them. Shame they’re not even top six in the real league though.

The buzz around the place right now is incredible, last night’s attendance being the biggest for a midweek game since 2004 just tells you everything. Everyone is just looking forward to the next game regardless of where/who/when it is. It’s also so enjoyable to watch, I’m confused as to why people leave the games early, it’s not as if we’re getting beat every week.

First half we were in complete control and got the goals we deserved. The first 15 minutes of the second half were in the balance but once Vieira got sent off, we gained control and then picked Leeds off at the right moments.

Who played well – and who didn't impress? Barry Douglas back in the team and back amongst being involved in goals. Sensational free kick from him, top bins and not even 2 goalkeepers would have saved it. The wands in the Harry Potter films were just models of Douglas’ left foot because he can produce magic, especially from dead ball situations. Forget bend it like Beckham, it’s more like bend it like Barry at the moment. Still can’t believe he only cost £1m, absolute bargain.

Ivan Cavaleiro is loving his football and rightly so, he’s been on fire last two games. Another silky touch to beat the defender this time and great finish. Fantastic build up in the process too with Jota causing havoc as always.

Diogo Jota literally has everything in his locker. One huge moment was when he lost the ball, chased the guy back to our own half, won it back and then glided past Vieira only to be took out which got them reduced to ten men. Clearly the Portuguese players don’t work hard and don’t have any fight in them though. His deft chip over Lonergan was sublime, great composure and the way he does certain things it just shows the ability that he has.

Conor Coady class act again. Fantastic leader, organising everyone constantly and then when he has the ball, he’s just pinging it out to either wing like he’s done it his entire life. The whole defence played well again I thought, Douglas did get the wrong side of Alioski for the goal but it was a good finish in all fairness, apart from that they rarely troubled us.

Helder Costa looked like he regained some confidence at Reading last Saturday and carried that on into last night. He put a Leeds player on his backside after some divine dribbling that we hadn’t seen from him for a long time. Was nice that he was given the penalty by Bonatini, got him back on the scoresheet and hopefully now we’re getting the Costa back we all know.

Russ Cockburn

What's your verdict on the match? Let’s be honest, we’re not used to this type of football. Even when we got promoted or did ok, it was more by the skin of our teeth or backs to the wall approach...not the fast flowing football, glorious finishes and possession masterclass we’re being served up now.

I’d feel greedy if it wasn’t for the fact I’ve seen us deliver a whole multitude of cack in my time following Wolves. Whether it was failing to score in Cleethorpes (on the pitch, not on the beach), wanting to kill Lofty the Lion next to Aldi at Bolton or the usual let down at Selhurst Park…I think the time has come for us to enjoy the good stuff.

And boy are Nuno and his team delivering. There’s few better sights in football than seeing a Leeds team battered from pillar to post and the 20,000 away fans trying to salvage some crumb of comfort in the fact that they’re still a big club. Not relevant, but still big.

In all honesty, I thought we started slowly and it was only after Douglas’ delightful free kick that we really started to see the real Wolves. What right does someone called Barry have in despatching a free-kick that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Maracana.

From that moment, we controlled the rest of the half. Keeping the ball, probing when we needed to and then, thanks to an ‘on fire’ Cav and paper wrists Lonergan, making it 2-0 before the break.

There was only one team in it and it was a case of how many. Or was it? We started the second half on the back foot and a great finish by Alioski caused some uncertainty for the next 10 minutes.

And this I believe is our biggest danger. The fans (me included) suddenly forget how good we are and that these players aren’t used to losing or rolling over. The noise went and the nerves returned.

Thankfully, we’ve got one of the best players I’ve ever seen in a gold and black shirt playing for us. Jota, remember the name as he’s going to command larger transfer fees than Robbie Keane.

Shrugged out of possession, the diminutive Portuguese playmaker ran 30 yards, regained the ball and then drew the foul that led to the sending off. This was the defining moment for me. Not his majestic chip that was sexier than Holly Willoughby in a Goodyear tyre strip, but the way he wouldn’t accept losing the ball. It is that bottle that will get us promotion.

The rest of the game was played at a canter and Costa, after turning his bloke more than a KGB spy, slotted home the penalty to the delight of all the Wolves squad.

Four points clear of second, Nuno telling us there’s more to come and three winnable games coming up…it’s a good time to be a Wolves fan.

Who played well – and who didn't impress? I run out of superlatives for Jota. He reminds me of an All Bar One in Wolverhampton…you wouldn’t expect it, but it would probably be quite good.

Then you have the man mountain that is Boly. Built like a brick outhouse, yet with the elegance of a Rolls-Royce...the guy is immense and a calming presence in the back five.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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