Express & Star

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui frustrated at refereeing errors

Julen Lopetegui believes Wolves have once again been let down by poor refereeing decisions as they fell to a 4-2 defeat against Leeds.

Julen Lopetegui. Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Wolves were denied a penalty when Nelson Semedo was tripped by Junior Firpo, with Leeds 1-0 up at the time.

Leeds’ fourth goal was also controversial as Adama Traore seemed to be fouled by Crysencio Summerville, before Rodrigo finished, and Lopetegui was left baffled by the decisions against his side.

“It’s not easy to analyse this match, a lot of things happened,” Lopetegui said in a long rant after the game.

“We suffered a goal from the only chance they had in the first half. After, we developed a good game plan and overcame Leeds and had a lot of chances.

“But when you miss chances and suffer the only chance they had, it’s much difficult of course.

“We had a very clear penalty, again. Very, very clear, but the referee and VAR thought the opposite. Maybe I don’t understand my sport, but it was very, very clear.

“I had to change Nelson because Firpo did not touch the goal. We’ve seen a fantastic image of it.

“Nelson touched the ball, very clearly, and suffered a big knock. That’s why I had to change him in the second half, because he got a knee injury.

“I could make a book of the different mistakes. It’s a pity for us, our fans, our club and our players, because we deserve the same respect as they rest of the teams.

“Sometimes I can understand a mistake, it’s part of football and daily work, me too, but it’s always the same mistake against us. It’s not easy for me. I try to be honest and translate my feelings, which is not easy.

“After, of course, we have to improve different things. The second goal was a stupid goal for us.

“We made a big effort in the second half and had a lot of chances. We missed a lot of chances again, so we have to improve in this.”

Lopetegui took a long time to come out for his post match interviews, as he took aim at the officials.

When asked if the officials gave him an explanation, Lopetegui added: “I don’t want an explanation. I am not waiting for one.

“In the last match it was the same and today, clear.

“I want fair decisions. The decisions are key in football and normally by the end of the season they are balanced.

“It was a pity and we are very unlucky. We have to be critical of the bad things, but we don’t deserve to lose this match.”

To make matters worse, Jonny Castro Otto was sent off for a foul on Luke Ayling, before unused substitute Matheus Nunes was sent off for his appeals after the fourth goal – with accusations being made that he pushed the linesman.

Lopetegui said: “I think it’s a yellow card (for Jonny). We are very unlucky.

“Each time we have any doubt, each time we are unlucky.

“The second red card, came after a very clear foul on Adama.

“Nunes wanted to complain and he was very unlucky. I have seen the images and the linesman was walking with his back to Nunes, he doesn’t see him, and he bumps into Nunes – not Nunes into him.

“I think they will change this decision. The image is very clear, he doesn’t have intention.

“I think the yellow card is enough (for Jonny).”

Lopetegui went on to confirm that Wolves will appeal both red cards to Jonny and Nunes, as they enter the international break.