Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Leeds United
The Whites were left disappointed in their latest visit at the Molineux, as the hosts eked out a 1-0 victory last Friday night.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers gained the lead after an own goal from Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier, and that was enough for them to come away with the three points and claim back-to-back victories for the first time this term after experiencing a dip in form prior.
At the same time, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has moved past Marcelo Bielsa’s group for the 11th spot at the Premier League table.
The final score didn’t exactly illustrate the kind of night that these two squads had.
Chances came in bunches from both sides. However, the Whites got the shorter end of the stick in terms of the breaks of the game.
After Illan Meslier’s unlucky own goal, Leeds United top striker Patrick Bamford found the back of the net late but it was deemed offside by the referees.
That crucial decision drew bad reactions from Marcelo Bielsa and Patrick Bamford, and the latter didn’t mince his words in his latest social media post.
“Gutted for the lads tonight, robbed of a point. But at least it’s ‘making the game better’. We go again Tuesday,” tweeted Patrick Bamford.
Here at SBOTOP, we look at last night’s set of Premier League 2021 highlights here in our recap.
Highlights of the game
With both teams missing several key players, it is clear that the others had to step up big.
For the Wolves, the combo of Ruben Neves and Pedro Neto has filled in admirably well for the injured Raul Jimenez, while Jamie Shackleton was given the auxiliary midfield role since Kalvin Phillips remains sidelined.
After 11 minutes of back-and-forth action, the Wolves generated their first chance of the night as Pedro Neto launched a 27-yard strike only for Illan Meslier to block it away.
Leeds United’s press was relentless and it gave them an early chance as well. Raphinha’s cheeky pass allowed Mateusz Klich to hit the post with a shot, and Pascal Struijk almost slammed the ball in only if it weren’t for Rui Patricio’s heroics.
Pedro Neto continued his exemplary performance when he teed up Nelson Semedo in one of his overlapping runs, but Illan Meslier flew to block the shot. The Leeds goalkeeper stopped Semedo in his tracks once again in the 35th minute.
In the middle of the second half, the Whites saw themselves having another viable opportunity.
Raphinha’s free-kick found Liam Cooper, and the latter’s powerful header was saved by Rui Patricio. Patrick Bamford tried a follow-up but Conor Coady headed it away.
The Wolves eventually broke the deadlock as Adama Traore toyed with Leeds United’s defence.
The winger stormed down to the left flank and spun around Luke Ayling, and then he shrugged off Pascal Struijk’s challenge to let the ball fly from 25 yards. The ball hit the right crossbar hard, and the ball bounced off of the back of Illan Meslier for the score.
Leeds United tried to mount a rally but it simply wasn’t meant to be.
Patrick Bamford scored off of a counterattack late after a misplaced pass by the Wolves. However, the referees waved it off since it was flagged offside.
Leeds’ last chance came when Raphinha’s looping pass found Helder Costa inside the penalty box, but Rui Patricio was there for another routine save.
Illan Meslier became the youngest goalkeeper to score an own goal in the Premier League (20 years, 354 days).
Meanwhile, his counterpart in Rui Patricio made seven saves to secure the clean sheet for the Wolverhampton Wanderers – which was the most since Marcus Hahnemann against Everton in March 2010 (9).
The Wolves have won seven of their last nine Premier League fixtures against Leeds United and they remain undefeated in nine such meetings at the Molineux since a 2-0 defeat in 1973 (W6, D3).
Moreover, Nuno Espirito Santo became the first-ever coach to complete a league double over Marcelo Bielsa in top-flight since Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain back in 2015, when Bielsa was at the helm for Marseille.
With back-to-back defeats against Arsenal and the Wolves, Leeds United aim to arrest their skid when they host a slumping Southampton squad next Tuesday at Elland Road.
On the other hand, the Wolves are going to like their Premier League 2021 odds to win as they pay a visit to the relegation-threatened Newcastle United next Saturday at St. James Park.
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