By George Overhill

18th Mar, 2023 | 4:56pm

Leeds United came out on top with a 4-2 win at Wolves in a game that had everything amid immense drama at Molineux to mirror last season’s meeting.

An ideal start saw Willy Gnonto grab his opportunity back in the starting XI to skin Nelson Semedo down the left and pull the ball back for Jack Harrison to sweep home, but it was all Wolves from then on with the Whites clinging on at the back thanks to a huge performance from Max Wober.

Luke Ayling made up for a horrible defensive display in the first half by doubling the lead after being left completely alone at a corner, at the same end where he scored a year ago. The game went wild thereafter as Rasmus Kristensen scored immediately after coming on, before Jonny pulled one back from 40 yards and Matheus Cunha scored another after a deflection wrong-footed Illan Meslier, before Jonny saw red for an awful challenge on Ayling and Rodrigo added a late fourth.

Here, MOT Leeds News rates the Leeds United players out of 10 for their performances at Molineux.

Illan Meslier – 8

Very good in the circumstances. Was under all sorts of pressure throughout and produced some huge saves but the chances kept coming. Lobbed from long-range for Wolves’ first after making a headed clearance, and totally wrong-footed by a deflection for the second. Could have been so many more without the Frenchman on form.

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Luke Ayling – 4

Very poor at the back but came up big with a goal. After a poor game against Brighton it was not an encouraging first half where he was beaten time and time again as Wolves repeatedly targeted him with waves of attacks. A scruffy header made it 2-0 early in the second half, after which he recreated his comedy celebration from last season. Only slightly made up for what was a useless defensive showing but was incredibly lucky to escape serious injury in the challenge that saw Jonny sent off.

Max Wober – 9 Man of the Match

Brilliant. Wolves could have scored multiple times before the break without the Austrian in the way. Crucial clearance off the line from Pedro Neto early on and made an absolutely vital block from Semedo after Firpo had kept Max Kilman’s cross out at the back post midway through the half. So unfortunate that a deflection off him went in on a day where he held a flimsy defence together virtually single-handed.

Robin Koch – 6

Up and down display that just about did enough at times but looked far less assured than Wober alongside him.

Junior Firpo (off for Strujk ’81) – 6

Some good but a fair amount bad. Almost gave away a penalty but was given the benefit of the doubt by VAR as part of a shaky start, but he somehow kept it out at the far post when a cross from the left came across the six-yard box and appeared to be begging to get tapped in for the equaliser. Came under more and more pressure with the introduction of Adama Traore.

Marc Roca – 5

Poor. He is meant to be a cultured presence on the ball but all too often he gets caught in possession after poor control. Worrying if there is going to be a lot more reliance on him with Tyler Adams injured. Gave away too many fouls while chasing the game and didn’t provide any control in a typically chaotic Leeds United game.

Weston McKennie – 5

Not great. Provided very little defensively in the midfield as Wolves put the defence under a lot of pressure. Skied a decent change in the first two minutes to once again illustrate his lack of finishing touch and played Meslier into trouble midway through the half. Had a nice volleyed effort deflected wide at a corner, and was harshly booked for being shoved around just before the break.

Jack Harrison – 6

Can’t stay out of the limelight at the moment. Picked up where he left off last week to sweep the Whites ahead early from Gnonto’s lovely cut-back. Fairly miserable half thereafter as he required treatment for a bloody nose and a painful Craig Dawson challenge, and it was down his side where Wolves threatened time and again as he and Ayling struggled to keep up. Similar to last week he made a key contribution with the goal but left a lot to be desired otherwise.

Brenden Aaronson (off for Summerville ’81) – 6

Busy but the same old story for the American. Put plenty of endeavour into his performance but nothing quite came off. If he and Bamford had been on the same page they could have scored two or three.

Willy Gnonto (off for Kristensen ’61) – 7

Didn’t hang about in proving to his manager it was a mistake to leave him out the past two games, immediately a threat down the left. Was out of the game for a while but very unfortunate to be taken off first and looked suitably unimpressed by the decision.

Patrick Bamford (off for Rodrigo ’67) – 6

Battling performance up front saw him go head to head with Dawson, with the defender lucky to stay on the pitch. Slipped on a wet pitch when he would have had a good chance from an Aaronson cut back, and will have been frustrated to go off just as the game was opening up.


Rasmus Kristensen (on for Gnonto ’61) – 7

Stunning introduction as he battled to win the ball and fire a third goal through the legs of Jose Sa.

Rodrigo (on for Bamford ’67) – 7

Had an excellent change immediately after coming on but looked rusty as he overplayed it and lost the ball. Made up for it with a late, late goal.

Crysencio Summerville (on for Aaronson ’81) 7

Provided an injection of attacking invention without the final ball.

Pascal Struijk (on for Firpo ’81) – N/A

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are in the frame to sign an “absolutely incredible” record-breaking goalscorer in the summer.

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