Leeds United steal all three points at 10-man Wolves after a last-gasp Luke Ayling winner keeps Premier League survival hopes alive.
An injury-stricken Leeds suffered another trio of blows as Patrick Bamford, Diego Llorente and Mateusz Klich were all forced off in the first period, dismantling a Leeds side which started brightly.
Wolves had an injury issue of their own to deal with as Ruben Neves made way after failing to shrug off a leg injury he picked up moments earlier, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise for the hosts.
Barcelona loanee Trincao replaced the Portuguese midfielder, and made an instant impact after his introduction off the bench. Within a minute, he was unleashed down the right wing and put a ball on a plate for Jonny Castro to put the home side in front with a neatly controlled finish.
Trincao – in the thick of the action again – doubled Wolves’ lead 11 minutes into injury time at the end of the first half. Wolves were awarded a free-kick 40 yards from goal and whilst Leeds were talking amongst themselves as they set-up to defend the set-piece, were completely unaware of the quick free-kick which set Daniel Podence away the right flank to pull a ball back for Trincao to bury.
Wolves suffered a blow early on in the second half as Raul Jimenez was sent off after a second booking. He and Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier both flew into a challenge as the striker chased a through ball, but because he was slightly later than his opponent, caught him late and was dismissed.
Leeds soon took advantage of the extra man, and within 12 minutes had levelled the scores with a quickfire double. Jack Harrison buried the first after a goal-mouth scramble, before Rodrigo fired home the equaliser in another after Wolves failed to clear a Dan James effort which rattled the bar.
In the first of eight added minutes, Leeds were awarded a free-kick which looked to be overhit by Harrison but Luke Ayling kept the ball alive at the back post, which pinged around the six-yard box and fell to Ayling who managed to stab an effort beyond Jose Sa to wrap up all three points.
TALKING POINT – SHOULD JIMENEZ HAVE BEEN SENT OFF?
By the letter of the law, probably. But it seemed incredibly unfortunate for the striker who lunged into a 50/50 with Illan Meslier, but arrived only a split-second later and caught the goalkeeper. A ball was lofted over the top for Jimenez to run on to, and both players went full-steam into the challenge, with Meslier first to the ball to clear it away as Jimenez came charging in. Both players needed treatment before the referee gave the Mexican his marching orders, but even Meslier – who had to be replaced – seemed sympathetic for his opponent as he trudged off the pitch and down the tunnel.
The red card completely changed the game. Wolves led 2-0 at the time, and lost any presence up front. Leeds did incredibly well to come back and produce a second half performance to give us one of the games of the season, but you have to wonder whether Wolves should have gone down to 10 men in the first place.
MAN OF THE MATCH – TRINCAO (WOLVES)
Trincao never deserved to be on the losing end tonight, and was absolutely brilliant when he replaced the injured Neves. He made an instant impact off the bench by grabbing the assist within 60 seconds, and then doubled Wolves’ lead with a controlled finish.
The midfielder – on loan from Barcelona – had a job on his hands replacing one of Wolves’ most important players in the middle of the park, but certainly proved himself tonight with his contribution. Wolves fans will be feeling devastated losing in such circumstances, and as well as losing such an important player due to injury, but once the dust settles can take some comfort in the fact they have a very capable replacement for Neves if he’s unable to play in the next game.
WOLVES: Sa 6, Jonny 7, Boly 6, Coady 6, Saiss 5, Ait-Nouri 6, Dendoncker 5, Neves 4, Moutinho 6, Podence 7, Jiminez 4
Subs: Trincao 8, Hwang 5, Silva N/A, Chiquinho N/A
LEEDS: Meslier 7, Ayling 7, Dallas 6, Struijk 5, Llorente 5, Forshaw 5, Klich 6, James 6, Harrison 7, Rodrigo 7, Bamford 4
Subs: Koch 6, Klaesson 6, Cresswell 7, Greenwood 5
26’ – GOAL! WOLVES 1-0 LEEDS (JONNY): It’s an instant impact from Trincao! He drives down the right-hand side and pulls a cross back for Jonny, who diverts the ball beyond Meslier at the far post.
45’+11 – GOAL! WOLVES 2-0 LEEDS (TRINCAO): Clinical from Trincao! Leeds are talking between themselves as Wolves play a quick free-kick from deep, but Trincao is well alert as he finishes off a brilliant Wolves move! Shambles from Leeds, though.
53’ – RED CARD! JIMENEZ IS SENT OFF! He receives his second booking and has been given his marching orders. He’s not late, and both players gave 100% going into the challenge, but because Meslier gets there first Jiminez is booked for the late challenge.
63’ – GOAL! WOLVES 2-1 LEEDS (HARRISON): Game on! Leeds get one back after a dramatic goal-mouth scramble. The ball comes off the post and Coady does excellently to clear the rebound off the line, but can only clear as far as Harrison who smashes home from close range. There was a quick VAR check for offside but the goal is given.
66’ – GOAL! WOLVES 2-2 LEEDS (RODRIGO): Unbelievable! Rodrigo pulls Leeds level! James has an effort crash off of the bar, and Wolves couldn’t clear the rebound which falls to Rodrigo who fires Leeds’ second beyond Coady on the line.
90’+1 – GOAL! WOLVES 2-3 LEEDS (AYLING): Unbelievable! Ayling surely snatches the winner in the first of eight added minutes! Harrison whips a free-kick in which looks to be too high, but Ayling rises to keep it in play, the ball pings around the six-yard box and Ayling recovers to stab the ball home! Incredible scenes at Molineux.