elland road

Leeds United 1-1 Wolves – Player Ratings

Wolves continued their impressive unbeaten run with a 1-1 draw against a struggling Leeds United side at Elland Road. Wolves left frustrated having conceded a 93rd minute penalty, just three minutes before full time. However, a poor second half display where Wolve struggled to assert any control and gain any momentum means Leeds’ equaliser was more than deserved. Bruno Lage’s men, therefore, missed out on the chance to move into the top four but are sat comfortably in mid table ahead of returning to Molineux against Everton on Monday.


Jose Sa

Yet another superb display from the new Wolves shot stopper who has settled into life in the Premier League with ease. Sa made some good saves in the second half to keep the home side at bay, including an excellent stop from a Gelhardt effort just ten minutes from time. His distribution was once again impressive as he looked to get Wolves up the pitch in the second half to combat the sustained Leeds pressure. 8/10


Max Kilman

Kilman put in another assured display away from home and is quickly becoming Wolves’ most consistent and reliable defender. He dealt with almost everything that came his way, particularly in the second half as Leeds asserted their dominance. 7/10


Conor Coady

Coady has quickly put his early season slump behind him and is now getting back to his best. He was assured defensively, and he tried to involve the wing backs with his distribution whenever possible. He was comfortable on the ball too, impressive considering the high and intense press that Bielsa’s Leeds side are known for. 7/10


Romain Saiss

Did relatively well for most of the game but will be disappointed with his involvement in the penalty that ultimately gave Leeds the equaliser. While he was by no means the only player at fault here, he must improve when players are running at him, especially in the penalty area. 6/10


Nelson Semedo

Like Saiss, Semedo played well until his challenge on Gelhadt gave Rodrigo the chance from the spot. He was excellent down the right-hand side in the first half and played a crucial part in Wolves’ goal, crossing for Jimenez whose deflected shot fell to the feet of Hwang. Semedo had little choice but to do something with Gelhardt running through on goal, but the defending was clumsy to say the least. 6/10


Joao Moutinho

Did the basics well as we have now come to expect but didn’t have any meaningful impact on the game. Was beaten far too easily in the midfield, a recurring problem. 6/10


Leander Dendoncker

A surprise inclusion with the omission of Ruben Neves, and like Moutinho had no real impact on the game in what was a weak Wolves midfield. He misplaced too many of his passes and didn’t break up the swarm of Leeds attacks in the second half. 5/10


Rayan Ait-Nouri

A refreshing performance at left wing-back from Ait-Nouri who many fans had called for in recent weeks. He looked to get forward with the ball and linked well with the front line. He was solid defensively and withdrawn late for Ki-Jana Hoever. 7/10


Adama Traore

Cut a frustrated figure at times with Leeds clearly working on marking him out of the game. Wolves didn’t have the ball for sustained periods which meant Traore didn’t have many opportunities to run into space on either flank. He linked well with Jimenez when he did have the ball. 6/10


Raul Jimenez

A strong performance from Wolves’ number nine despite not getting on the scoresheet. He played a pivotal role in instigating the press from the front which during long spells of Leeds possession, helped prevent the number of clear-cut chances the home side had. 7/10


Hwang Hee-Chan

Hwang, like Jimenez, contributed an awful lot defensively with his non-stop running and energy. He also gave Wolves the lead poking home from eight yards after a fortunate deflection in his path. 7/10



Daniel Podence

Came on with 15 minutes to go and brough some much needed energy and fresh legs. His dazzling runs produced two chances for Wolves late on, one of which he will no doubt feel he should have done better with. 6/10


Ki-Jana Hoever

Came on at right wing-back for the final ten minutes and looked comfortable, dealing with anything that came his way. 6/10


Ruben Neves

Played the final few minutes but should have done better in the build-up to the Leeds penalty, failing to put pressure on Gelhardt before he got into the penalty area. He was passed far too easily as were Moutinho and Dendoncker throughout the game, which must be addressed in the January window. N/A


Ciaran Barker is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.

elland road

Leeds United 1-1 Wolves Match Report

An afternoon of initial excitement crumbles into a sorry situation for Bruno Lage’s men, conceding to a penalty in the final moments of the game. Wolves looked to create history at Elland Road, by achieving a fourth consecutive win in the Premier League. The possibility was then enhanced with key figures of the Whites squad were missing (Bamford, Phillips and Ayling). Combined with Leeds’ poor beginning to the season, an opportunity was there for the taking.


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A couple of changes were made by Lage after the last gasp win against Villa, seeing Marcal replaced by Rayan Ait-Nouri. A welcome change for many fans, as we have often seemed imbalanced when progressing forward with the makeshift left wing-back. In addition, Neves lost his spot in the starting eleven to Leander Dendoncker, seeing the Belgian begin the match in a midfield two, partnered by Joao, the seasoned vet. And the return of RJ9 provided a much-needed focal point which was missing during last week’s affair. Despite Leeds missing players in key areas, their main threat, Raphinha started on the right-hand side. A cause for some concern against Rayan who has barely touched a ball competitively since his stint at left-midfield during pre-season.

As expected, the Wolves left-hand side was targeted by Bielsa, seeing many of the Leeds attacks finishing with their beloved Brazilian. Following a couple of half-chances for the Yorkshiremen, Wolves managed to break forward into the final third after a missed sliding challenge from Harrison allowed Semedo to deliver a cutback into Raul, with a mishit shot falling fortuitously into Hwang, and the Korean king pounced to push the ball past Meslier. Wolves struggled to gain much momentum following the goal, winning the ball effectively but unforced errors became a common theme surrounding the first half, conceding possession with many a wayward pass and aimless headers. 

Seasons prior demonstrated Wolves’ superiority in the second half of games, today was different. Succeeding a cagey beginning to the second half, Romain Saiss caught Raphinha, capping the Brazilians frustrating afternoon off with injury. What seemed like Wolves’ main concern turned out not to be the problem, instead, it was 19-year-old Joe Gelhardt who replaced Mateusz Klich for the hosts. The youngster was progressive and confident with his runs, forcing the Wolves back five into sustained amounts of pressure. A barrage of attacking pressure was invited by Wolves’ negative setup, with Nelson Semedo bringing Gelhardt down in the penalty area in the dying minutes, and Rodrigo confidently sent Sa the wrong direction.

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Two points dropped, considering the hosts were missing key players and had a single win in eight. Wolves gave themselves a hard afternoon up north, Joao Moutinho saw yellow in the fourth minute, joined early in the second half by Saiss and Kilman. All three had decent games considering their cautions, yet Moutinho looked tired from half time. Neves almost certainly would have controlled the tempo in what became a very nervous final 30 minutes but wasn’t introduced until the 90th. Many fans hold firm with their belief that if Adama isn’t on it, Wolves aren’t on it, today provided some truth to that belief. We missed his ability to move 100 yards up the pitch in a flash, although credit must be placed to Dallas and Cooper who had the Spaniard pocketed all afternoon. 

Considering the threat that opposed him in his first Premier League start this season, a man of the match performance from Rayan Ait-Nouri saw him look extremely confident at Elland Road. He struggled defensively at times in the first half against Raphinha, but even the best the Prem has to offer have been sent into retirement homes by the Brazilian. It’s what he provides offensively that was more than exciting to see. Marcal delivers defensive solidity, but he can’t cross his T’s, let alone a football. RAN gave Shackleton nightmares at times in the second half, offering a balance that Lage’s men had needed in attacking areas this season.

One key aspect is missing for Wolves, an assertiveness in possession and attacking position, that was apparent against sides arguably better on paper. Perhaps there’s an element of complacency creeping in against sides we ‘expect’ to beat, but that same assertiveness must be reinstated, as today’s performance looked alarmingly like one of Nuno’s disaster classes. I believe that if Neves is fit, he must be the first name on the team sheet, his ability to control a game on his own cannot be ignored. Yet, no player today was particularly poor, more so a case of negative tactics that a desperate Leeds side managed to capitalise on, disappointing, but by no means alarming. 


Sam Beeken is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him here