Adama Traore in action for Wolves
Wolves have now won back-to-back league games for the first time since October

Illan Meslier’s unfortunate own goal following Adama Traore’s sensational strike gave Wolverhampton Wanderers victory against Leeds in an entertaining Premier League encounter.

There was little to separate the sides before Traore hit a thunderous effort from distance just after the hour and the ball hit the crossbar before rebounding off the back of Meslier’s head into the Leeds goal.

The visitors had gone close to scoring themselves just moments earlier when Rui Patricio denied Liam Cooper’s header from point-blank range before the follow-up by Patrick Bamford was scrambled clear.

Bamford also thought he had snatched an equaliser late on as he powered through on goal before finishing brilliantly but he was flagged just offside, before ex-Wolves winger Helder Costa 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 to have not scored themselves.

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.

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.

What next?

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).

Player of the match

Rui PatrícioRui Patrício

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number11Player nameRui Patrício

  2. Squad number8Player nameRúben Neves

  3. Squad number7Player namePedro Neto

  4. Squad number37Player nameTraoré

  5. Squad number16Player nameCoady

  6. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

  7. Squad number27Player nameSaïss

  8. Squad number19Player nameJonny

  9. Squad number28Player nameJoão Moutinho

  10. Squad number12Player nameWillian José

  11. Squad number32Player nameDendoncker

  12. Squad number17Player nameFábio Silva

  13. Squad number3Player nameAït-Nouri

  14. Squad number5Player nameMarçal

Leeds United

  1. Squad number18Player nameRaphinha

  2. Squad number1Player nameMeslier

  3. Squad number15Player nameDallas

  4. Squad number9Player nameBamford

  5. Squad number6Player nameCooper

  6. Squad number21Player nameStruijk

  7. Squad number2Player nameAyling

  8. Squad number46Player nameShackleton

  9. Squad number11Player nameRoberts

  10. Squad number43Player nameKlich

  11. Squad number19Player namePablo Hernández

  12. Squad number22Player nameHarrison

  13. Squad number10Player nameAlioski

  14. Squad number17Player nameHélder Costa

Line-ups

Wolves

Formation 3-4-3

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 16Coady
  • 27Saïss
  • 22Nélson Semedo
  • 8Neves
  • 28João Moutinho
  • 19Castro OttoSubstituted forMarçalat 60′minutesSubstituted forAït-Nouriat 82′minutes
  • 7NetoBooked at 90mins
  • 12Da SilvaSubstituted forFábio Silvaat 87′minutes
  • 37Traoré

Substitutes

  • 2Hoever
  • 3Aït-Nouri
  • 5Marçal
  • 17Fábio Silva
  • 18Gibbs-White
  • 20Vitinha
  • 21Ruddy
  • 49Kilman
  • 54Otasowie

Leeds

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 2Ayling
  • 21Struijk
  • 6Cooper
  • 15Dallas
  • 18Raphinha
  • 46ShackletonSubstituted forHernándezat 66′minutes
  • 43KlichSubstituted forAlioskiat 81′minutes
  • 22HarrisonSubstituted forHélder Costaat 81′minutes
  • 11Roberts
  • 9Bamford

Substitutes

  • 10Alioski
  • 13Casilla
  • 14Llorente
  • 17Hélder Costa
  • 19Hernández
  • 24Davis
  • 30Gelhardt
  • 47Jenkins
  • 52Huggins

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