Wolves 1 (Meslier OG 64) Leeds United 0
A piece of individual brilliance from Adama Traore secured Wolves back-to-back victories, even if the Spaniard will never be credited with the winning goal. Traore tricked his way past Luke Ayling, cut inside and released a thunderbolt of an effort which almost broke the crossbar, before bouncing off the back of goalkeeper Illan Meslier on its way into the Leeds United net.
That proved the decisive moment in a thoroughly entertaining Molineux contest, which saw both sides enjoy chances, with Nelson Semedo threatening his first Wolves goal on multiple occasions and Liam Cooper twice coming close for the visitors, before Patrick Bamford had a strike ruled out for offside.
The victory was another welcome tonic for Nuno Espirito Santo, whose side won consecutive Premier League games for the first time since October, coincidentally also against the Yorkshiremen, and the return of that all-important clean sheet.
Shooting towards the South Back in the opening period is a rarity for Wolves, but the alteration didn’t faze them, and the hosts enjoyed their best opening ten minutes for some time. It was Semedo who registered the first shot on target, which was easily saved by Meslier, but Pedro Neto provided the sterner challenge, bending an effort towards the top corner and forcing the goalkeeper to tip over at full stretch.
Leeds did have a big chance of their own, through a slice of fortune, as Mateusz Klich's effort ricocheted between Rui Patricio and his post, before the Portuguese steadied himself to deny Pascal Struijk. The visitors may have still been thinking about that miss as Wolves countered moments later and Neto slipped in Semedo, but the right-wing-back opted to go for the near post, rather than across goal, and was denied by Meslier.
The Portuguese was foiled with a similar effort soon after too, albeit from a tougher angle, while nobody in a white shirt could get on the end of teasing crosses from Raphinha and Stuart Dallas, as an entertaining half ended all square at Molineux.
Half-time | Wolves 0-0 Leeds
Wolves carried their lively performance into the second-half and Neto flashed an effort over the bar, while the Yorkshiremen came even closer at the other end, as Cooper got on the end of Raphinha’s delivery, but was denied by Patricio at close range.
Then came the break Wolves had deserved, as Traore showed Ayling a clean pair of heels, charged inside and released a piledriver which cannoned back off the crossbar, onto the back of Meslier and into the net. A piece of brilliance from Traore, which earned the bit of fortune.
Leeds’ best chances kept falling to captain Cooper, who was once again denied by Patricio quickly after the goal, as Leeds searched for a response. They thought they had it 15 minutes from time too, as Bamford raced clear and hammered into the top corner, but the offside flag kept Wolves in front.
From there, it was about seeing out the victory for the hosts, who did see Joao Moutinho flash an effort over from range and substitute Fabio Silva hit a deflected strike wide of the near post. While there was still time for one victory-saving stop from Patricio, who stood tall to save with his feet from former teammate Helder Costa – crucial.
Full-time | Wolves 1-0 Leeds
Wolves | Patricio, Semedo, Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss, Jonny (Marcal 60)(Ait-Nouri 82), Neves, Moutinho, Traore, Neto, Jose (Silva 87).
Unused subs | Ruddy, Hoever, Kilman, Otasowie, Vitinha, Gibbs-White.
Leeds | Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Cooper, Shackleton (Hernandez 67), Dallas, Klich (Alioski 81), Roberts (Costa 81), Raphinha, Harrison, Bamford.
Unused subs | Casilla, Llorente, Davis, Gelhardt, Jenkins, Huggins.