Wolves Fans' Verdict v Leeds: Two points dropped

Our Wolves supporters share their thoughts following the 1-1 draw away at Leeds.

Raul Jimenez. Picture: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.
Raul Jimenez. Picture: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

Russ Evers

That’s now four poor performances in a row and yet somehow we have picked up 10 points from those games.

This was easily the worst of the four with Semedo and Dendoncker having howlers and the aforementioned being the culprit for a lazy, tired error to concede a 92nd minute penalty.

But we were the architects of our own downfall as we failed to press home the advantage after the early goal and as a result we seemed to be waiting for the equaliser. Not good and we need to improve a lot.

Clive Smith

We defended stubbornly and put in an excellent defensive shift, so it was disappointing to concede so late on. Not a pretty game to watch but after taking the lead early on, that felt less of an issue while we were leading. A second goal might well have made the atmosphere toxic as there were early grumbles from the home end midway through the opening half.

Our chances were few and far between though and the game was punctuated every three or four minutes with a whistle. We lacked possession which meant often our formation was closer to 5-4-1 than anything else.

Two players performed impressively at the opposite end’s of the pitch. Ait-Nouri played like an extra attacker in the first half particularly and was involved in virtually all of our good moves during that period. He gave us width and he was so positive going forward and taking players on for fun. Defensively he had to call on Saiss for support at times but it was a very promising performance.

Meanwhile it was MOTM Hwang who worked so hard defending and getting goalside. His link up play with Ait-Nouri was able to stifle countless Leeds attacks down that wing. It is good to see him adapting quickly to the requirements of the Premier League.

Defensively we did very well, all three centre halves were on their game and with Moutinho also helping out (even after a booking inside five minutes) we protected our goal impressively.

We were forced to defend more than we would have liked because we failed to retain possession enough. The ball rarely stuck when it was played upto Jimenez and Traore, both of whom struggled to influence the game very much.

Having had to work so hard for so long it again seemed strange that Bruno waited until fifteen minutes to go before making a substitution. By then Leeds had made three changes and their fresh legs helped their momentum.

Any points away from home are welcome, even though after leading for eighty minutes and with Leeds being without Phillips and Bamford it felt like two points lost.

Rob Cartwright

This was extremely disappointing, both in terms of performance and result.

We were in grasp of our forth consecutive win. Something we have never achieved in the Premier League years. We shall have to wait longer still. Lage surprised us with no Neves in the starting team. Alt Nouri has deserved his chance though Podence can feel hard done by after his game changing cameo role at Villa Park.

Leeds were there for the taking, with injuries keeping key players out.

Despite Leeds having most of the early possession, we had a dream start with an early goal. Jimenez had a shot blocked and it fell to Hwang Hee-chan to score a typical poachers goal inside the six yard box. The first half remained quite comfortable with Leeds having lots of the ball but never putting our back line under any real pressure. A few long range shots, mostly off target, was all they could muster.

I was hoping we would kick on in the second half, but although we weathered the initial Leeds storm, I was disappointed with the attacking endeavour from Wolves.

It’s fair to say Leeds were getting closer and closer and we had Sa to thank for two good saves, tipping the ball over the bar on both occasions.

We created very little, with only a shot from Podence and a poor free kick by Moutinho giving us a chance to cement victory. There was none of the great link up play between Jimenez and Hwang with Traore seeing very little of the ball too.

We were sitting back too deeply as we entered added time of six minutes.

It looked like we would hold on to the win when Semedo challenged Gelhardt in the box. I was hopeful of a no penalty decision; especially as the referee (and presumably VAR) did not give a shirt pull on Jimenez in the first half. I thought VAR may intervene, but to no avail. This was a soft penalty. Leeds scored from the spot for a deserved equaliser.

Overall, this was not good enough from Wolves. I think the second goal would have killed the game yet I don’t feel we even had this in mind. My man of the match was either Kilman or Saiss. I’m going with Saiss for a full blooded performance, despite his first half booking. The midfield were generally poor but I guess this was tactics employed rather than individual desire.

John Lalley

Elland Road has never been a favourite venue of mine; the reticence no doubt coloured by my first visit there generations ago. There are similarities between that ancient game and Saturday’s bitter disappointment. Both The Doog and Hwang Hee-Chan scored early in the piece and then offensively became spectators as Wolves were pushed backwards pinned in their own half desperate to see out time.

Inevitably, right at the zenith, Wolves finally capitulated in both games. Doog and his colleagues went the whole hog; two stoppage time goals spelt defeat; the only consolation on Saturday is that at least we picked up a point. Mind you, the Leeds team of Don Revie happened to be a wholly more formidable outfit than the erratic crop under Marcelo Bielsa.

The Revie juggernaut were a match for anyone; physical, intimidating, brutally ruthless but blessed with some special players capable of sublimely expressing themselves with breath-taking brilliance. Bielsa’s depleted team don’t come even remotely close in comparison; absolute chalk and cheese.

Prior to both games a point would have been an acceptable return. To lose that game so late on way back in time was a real kick in the stomach and to tell the truth, having to settle for Saturday’s draw doesn’t feel a great deal better.

On the credit side, Wolves have emerged from successive away games against testing opposition with four points safely banked. Acceptable to say the very least; both performances distinctly underwhelming but highly productive. Our first three outings this season earned eulogies regarding quality but ultimately yielded absolutely nothing.

Since then, our creative output has degenerated sometimes to alarming levels but in football, ends certainly justify means and we have stabilised our position after a rank bad start. But you wonder what future there is in the policy of retreat we employed at Leeds.

Similar tactics made last season an endurance test rather than a pleasure; it ultimately ensured our survival but it was deeply depressing, a retrograde step that inevitably led to Nuno’s departure.

With essentially the same group of players employing similar measures, it begs the question as to whether our approach has fundamentally changed. As things stand, Wolves have made a respectable start to the season but at the risk of repetition, this squad needed boosting to achieve any genuine significant change of approach.

It cried out for refreshment; reinforcements to enable us to positively develop. Bruno deserves the chance to introduce his own imports to meld with the best of what we currently have. His instincts I suspect do not sit easily with what he saw at Elland Road. Come to think of it, I’ve never much liked the place myself. Still, another away point gained; it sure beats losing!

Adam Virgo

Absolute sucker punch to concede so late on but we weren’t good enough in the second half and the pressure from Leeds was too much for us in the end. Penalty may have been a soft one but we needed to see out the game much better.

We started the game in a positive manner, got the goal and then we never really kicked on from there. We were sat far too deep, inviting pressure and in the end we’ve conceded.

The last four games we’ve not played well and somehow come out with 10 points from 12, however continuously playing like that and our luck will eventually run out.

I don’t really understand how we’ve gone from playing so well in the first three to now being much more defensive. We were a real threat in the last 10 minutes of the Villa game with a 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 because we were attacking but the 3-4-3/3-5-2 holds us back so much at times.

Taking Traore off was a poor decision too, he holds the ball up very well and will run at the opposition. Late on in the game when they’re throwing men forwards, he’s perfect for driving with the ball and we could have utilised that.

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