Patrick Bamford felt Leeds were “robbed of a point” after the striker had an equalising goal ruled out in Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The hosts took the lead just after the hour when Adama Traore hit a thunderous effort from distance against the crossbar but the ball rebounded off the back of Illan Meslier’s head into the Leeds goal.
Bamford thought he had snatched an equaliser late on as he powered through on goal before finishing brilliantly but he was flagged offside, with the video assistant referee agreeing it was the correct decision.
Bamford had a goal chalked off by VAR in a 4-1 defeat against Crystal Palace in November, having been ruled offside after raising his arm to point where he wanted a pass playing to, and the 27-year-old was once again aggrieved by a decision made by the technology.
“Gutted for the lads tonight, robbed of a point,” he tweeted, before sarcastically adding: “But at least it’s making the game better, we go again Tuesday.”
The visitors had gone close to scoring moments before Meslier’s own goal when Rui Patricio denied Liam Cooper’s header from point-blank range before the follow-up by Bamford was scrambled clear.
Ex-Wolves winger Helder Costa also spurned a glorious chance in the final minute but shot straight at Patricio.
Victory for Wolves moved them above Leeds into 11th place and continued their resurgence following a dip in form. They have now won three of their past four games in the Premier League.
Defeat for Leeds, meanwhile, was their second in succession having lost 4-2 to Arsenal last time out, but this was a much more even encounter and they were unlucky in the manner of the goal they conceded and not to have scored themselves.
“All evaluations from the game are in favour of us. The possession, the dominance and the chances,” said Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.
“We had double the chances they did to score but we didn’t manage to do so.”
Wolves turning the tide after poor run
This has arguably been Wolves’ most difficult season since their return to the top flight in 2018, having had to deal with the absence of key forward Raul Jimenez through injury for much of the campaign as well as a loss of form.
A run of eight Premier League games without a win had seen them drop away from the top six into the bottom half of the table, but that poor run was halted by a victory against Arsenal at the start of February and they have not lost since.
Against Leeds they looked back to their attacking best, with the excellent Pedro Neto impressing once more.
The 20-year-old Portugal international has stepped up in Jimenez’s absence with five goals and four assists, and he was unfortunate not to be on the scoresheet.
Neto was at his best in the first half as he had several shots on goal, notably drawing a fingertip save out of Meslier.
With Wolves back in form and confidence high, Neto in particular could flourish further as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have their eye on finishing in the European places again.
Nuno said: “We still have some issues to assess but the approach that we have during these tough moments – always believing, always committing – you can’t say anything about the attitude of the players.
“We chase the high standards we have and let’s keep on doing that.”
Leeds feeling Phillips’ absence
Leeds are having to deal with a sizeable injury list but the absence of Kalvin Phillips is proving a particularly big blow.
With him in the side this season they have had a 50% win rate but that drops to just 17% without him and his absence was felt against Wolves.
Leeds’ swashbuckling attacking style will create chances – as it did against Wolves and they were unfortunate not to have taken a point as they rallied late on – but without Phillips they struggle to control the midfield.
The visitors gave the ball away in the centre of the pitch far too often in the first half and could have been punished before the unfortunate own goal.
With 32 points from 24 games, Leeds are well on the way to cementing Premier League football next season, but one of their priorities this summer will surely be finding adequate cover for Phillips.
Meslier makes history – the stats
- Wolves have won seven of their past nine top-flight league games against Leeds United (L2), and remain unbeaten in nine such meetings at Molineux (W6 D3) since a 0-2 loss in September 1973.
- None of Leeds United’s past 19 away league games have ended level – it’s their longest run of away league games without a draw since a 20-game run from November 2002 to November 2003.
- Wolves are the first side to complete a league double over Marcelo Bielsa in the top flight since Montpellier and Paris St-Germain defeated his Marseille side home and away in Ligue 1 in 2014-15.
- This was just Wolves’ second 1-0 win in the Premier League thanks to an own goal, the other coming against Chelsea in January 2011 when Jose Bosingwa scored. This is the first time Leeds have lost 1-0 in the Premier League after scoring an own goal.
- Leeds’ Illan Meslier (20 years and 354 days) became the youngest goalkeeper to score an own goal in the Premier League.
- Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio made seven saves to go with his clean sheet. The last Wolves goalkeeper to make more saves in a Premier League match while keeping a clean sheet was Marcus Hahnemann against Everton in March 2010, with nine.
Leeds host Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday, 23 February (18:00 GMT), before Wolves travel to Newcastle on Saturday, 27 February (20:00).
- 11Rui Patrício
- 22Nélson Semedo
- 28João Moutinho
- 19Castro OttoSubstituted forMarçalat 60′minutesSubstituted forAït-Nouriat 82′minutes
- 7NetoBooked at 90mins
- 12Da SilvaSubstituted forFábio Silvaat 87′minutes
- 17Fábio Silva
- 46ShackletonSubstituted forHernándezat 66′minutes
- 43KlichSubstituted forAlioskiat 81′minutes
- 22HarrisonSubstituted forHélder Costaat 81′minutes
- 17Hélder Costa
Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Leeds United 0.
Second Half ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1, Leeds United 0.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Rui Patrício.
Attempt missed. Raphinha (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Ayling with a headed pass.
Attempt saved. Hélder Costa (Leeds United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card.
Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Pascal Struijk.
Attempt blocked. Fábio Silva (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Tyler Roberts (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ezgjan Alioski.
Foul by Luke Ayling (Leeds United).
Rayan Aït-Nouri (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Fábio Silva replaces Willian José.
Foul by Pascal Struijk (Leeds United).
Romain Saïss (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Leander Dendoncker.
Attempt missed. João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Willian José.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Rayan Aït-Nouri replaces Marçal because of an injury.
Substitution, Leeds United. Hélder Costa replaces Jack Harrison.
Substitution, Leeds United. Ezgjan Alioski replaces Mateusz Klich.
Foul by Mateusz Klich (Leeds United).