Wolves 1 (Meslier og 64)
Leeds Utd 0
For crying out loud! That defeat is hard to take. They say luck evens itself out over a season… well it clearly doesn’t even itself out over the home and away games in the Premier league! Wolves beat Leeds at Elland Road with a fluke of a deflection off Kalvin Phillips’ head and now in the return game a shot from Traore rebounds off the crossbar, strikes Meslier on the back and goes in!
That wasn’t the whole story of this game of course and, once again we do have to take some of the blame for losing it ourselves. We had some decent chances that we probably should have taken. Notably the header that Liam Cooper had in the second half from one of a number of brilliant Raphinha set piece deliveries. He got a great head on the ball but placed it squarely in the centre of goal with eight yeards of it to aim at and the keeper was there to grab it. It came quickly yes, but it has to go down as a big chance missed.
Similarly, late in the game another huge chance fell to Helder Costa and I think he was celebrating before he struck it! The ball ran kindly for him but again, with eight yards to aim at he chose, or at least hit, the one yard where the keeper stood. With the sharpness Costa showed last week in putting away a possibly more difficult chance, this too has to go down as a big miss.
The other piece of bad luck was of course that offside call by VAR. I am getting increasingly frustrated by these decisions with many close calls appearing to be based on lines that are not actually being placed correctly! I was convinced that the defender’s boot was playing Bamford on for this one and maybe we’ll see screen shots later that will prove it one way or the other. The sooner the technology is found to get a computer to draw these lines, the better for all concerned. If we can land a Rover on Mars then it cannot be beyond the wit of man to come up with the software to do it. Like everything in football, it always seems to take longer to get these things introduced than any other sport. Perseverance got to Mars, let perseverance sort out this issue.
If this game had ended all square then no one could have really complained. There was nothing between the two sides although the stats favoured Leeds with our usual advantage in possession, more attempts, more shots on target and more corners than the home side. It is unfortunate that, this season in particular we seem destined to not often be beaten by the opposition; defeat, when it has come, has usually either been of our own making or Lady Luck has had a huge part in it.
Other than the result I was happy with the performance today; I don’t think we can fault any player in that display. Maybe Jack Harrison was below par but that’s a minor criticism. I thought Tyler Roberts looked alert although I’d rather have Rodrigo in there! I think we just have to shrug our broad shoulders over this one; we didn’t deserve to lose it but “deserve” is not a word that often features in the dictionary of footballing terms. On we go, a similar performance against Saints on Tuesday and, as long as we get some of that luck we missed today, we ought to come out on top.
Wolves Leeds United
Possession 41% 59%
Shots 15 18
On Target 5 7
Corners 7 9
Fouls Committed 13 8