Leeds United welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers to Elland Road just three days after stealing a point away at Newcastle. With play-off spots still up in the air, Leeds were pegged to have an easy win against a mid-table Wolves side, but as we've found out the hard way, that's not always the outcome.
Both teams played at 100 miles an hour to start the game, but it was the visitors who started the game on the right foot. Wolves had a chance early when Gaetano Berardi slipped and left Andreas Weimann 1-v-1 with Rob Green, but the former England international won that battle and no damage was done.
Leeds were playing nervous. I don't know why, but you could see it clearly. Bad passing, players out of position, maybe the pressure of April is getting to a team that hasn’t played in pressure together yet. But for a while, in the first half, it looked as if Wolves were only looking so good because we were just playing that bad, and nothing would come of it. But that changed in the 38th minute.
Pontus Jansson went on a run upfield leaving the back line completely out of position. With Kyle Bartley at right back covering for a pressing Luke Ayling and Liam Bridcutt covering for Jansson, Wolves got the ball back and played Nouha Dicko straight through the middle, where he put it into the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Jansson goes forward, loses the ball, Wolves find the entire defence out of position, 0-1 after 39 minutes. pic.twitter.com/E43K60bRVL— Through It All LIVE (@ThruItAllLIVE) April 17, 2017
The rest of the first half was poor, and the Whites went into the locker room looking to turn it around in the second half like they’ve done so many times in the past.
Been a very nervous half from Leeds. Full of errors and blind/mishit passes. Nice pass from Marshall to Dicko but far too simple. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 17, 2017
There were shouts to make changes at halftime, but in typical Leeds fashion, the same 11 that started the game went back out there to start the second 45. Early in the second half, Leeds should have/could have had a penalty after two Wolves handballs, but the refs called neither appeal much to the dismay of everyone at Elland Road.
Very early on, Garry Monk decided to switch it up and go attacking, and it started with taking Bridcutt off and bringing on Hadi Sacko. This let Pablo Hernandez drop back to a more defensive role, put Kemar Roofe as a CAM, and put Sacko out wide as a winger. This attacking switch really worked in Leeds' favor; the Whites would go on and have a dominating second half.... everywhere but the scoreline.
Charlie Taylor came on for Berardi, who was having himself one of the worst games in recent memory and could very well lose his spot to Taylor for the rest of the season. Souleymane Doukara came on for Alfonso Pedraza as the last sub of the day and was immediately called into action, his first touch being a header which almost resulted in a goal.
(I like Doukara a lot, but I question bringing off Pedraza. Alfonso was having a much better game than Roofe and he himself is a very good attacker, so I would have liked to have seen Pedraza stay in the game and have Roofe come off for Douk.)
You could feel Leeds were almost there, but nothing would come from it. In the 89th, Kemar Roofe headed the ball which was oh-so-close to setting Elland Road into a frenzy, but his attempt was cleared off the line. In stoppage time, Chris Wood had his chance to save the day but his header went over the bar. The ref blew for fulltime shortly after, and Leeds United tumbled out of the top 6.
Full time: Leeds 0 - Wolves 1. pic.twitter.com/TiS47xN5AY— Through It All LIVE (@ThruItAllLIVE) April 17, 2017
Are we out of it? No, absolutely not. 7th place sucks, even though we are tied for sixth on points. Our final three games just got even more important than they already were, but it starts with a trip to Burton on Saturday before a big match with Norwich and an away trip to Wigan on the season’s final day. Burton should be an easy win, but Burton is only four points clear of relegation and they’ll want a win as Wolves did today.
Leeds have had a mare against mid-table sides as of late, so here's to a positive result come the weekend. Come on boys, don’t blow this now. MOT.
Leeds United in April— We Are Leeds (@weareleeds_) April 17, 2017
Played - 5
Won - 1
Drawn - 1
Lost - 3
4 points out of 15.
Definitely not play-off form.