Leeds United 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2: Milanic’s wait for first win goes on

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Darko Milanic’s wait for a first win as Leeds United head coach goes on after his side allowed a 1-0 lead to slip at at Elland Road.

The Slovenian appeared to be on course for his maiden victory with Wolverhampton Wanderers trailing to a goal from Mirco Antenucci at half-time but James Henry’s finish and a late strike from Leon Clarke earned the visitors three points.

Antenucci struck on 18 minutes to give United control of a game they dominated early on and Wolves were rarely allowed to look like a side who started the day in the Championship’s play-off positions.

But Milanic watched Leeds come under increasing pressure in the second half and goalkeeper Marco Silvestri was unable to stop Henry’s fierce volley in the 67th minute.

He was beaten again by Clarke five minutes from time as a spate of attacks finally told.

Steve Morison was named in United’s starting line-up for the first time in 17 months and he was involved in the first meaningful attack on 15 minutes.

A chipped pass from Jason Pearce set Morison clear on the right-hand side of Wolves’ box and his low shot drew a diving save from Carl Ikeme. Alex Mowatt met the rebound with a low effort which flew into the side-netting.

The opening goal came three minutes later, however, with Morison involved again. The striker collected Alex Mowatt’s long ball and fed it inside to Antenucci who took his time and buried a precise shot to the left of Ikeme.

Wolves struggled to muster a response and Kevin McDonald’s 25-yard effort on 24 minutes - high over Silvestri’s crossbar - was symptomatic of their frustrating start and Mowatt should have scored a second goal when he drove Morison’s cut-back straight at Ikeme from seven yards out.

Dave Edwards’ wayward volley was another fleeting opportunity for a Wolves side who were never allowed to get going, and Bianchi went closer with a glancing header at the other end.

Silvestri kept out a low shot from Henry - Wolves only consistent threat - to maintain United’s advantage at the end of the first half and it was no surprise to see Kenny Jackett make a change at the break, replacing Edwards with Clarke.

The visitors came into the game after the restart but struggled to threaten Silvestri until the hour when the keeper’s diving save repelled a goalbound header from Nouha Dicko.

Henry eventually forced an equaliser seven minutes later, reacting to a ricochet off Giuseppe Bellusci, nipped in behind Milanic’s defence and lashing a volley into the roof of Silvestri’s net.

Leeds rarely looked like regaining their advantage and Lee Evans wasted a good opportunity for Wolves in the 70th minute when he popped up in space on the edge of United’s box and sliced a poor attempt wide.

Substitute Rajiv van La Parra could have won the game for Jackett’s side but bundled the ball beyond an open goal after Henry’s cross left Silvestri exposed, but Clarke made no mistake when Matt Doherty picked him out with a cut-back inside the box with 84 minutes gone.

Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Bianchi (Montenegro 88), Cook, Mowatt (Murphy 63), Adryan (Sloth 75), Antenucci, Morison. Subs (not used): S Taylor, Byram, Cooper, Tonge.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme, Doherty, Batth, Ebanks-Landell, Rowe, McDonald, Evans, Henry, Edwards (Clarke 46), Jacobs (van La Parra 64), Dicko (Stearman 87). Subs (not used): Flatt, Golbourne, Saville, Sagbo.

DADDY COOL: Leeds United striker and new father Pierre-Michel Lasogga. Picture by Simon Hulme.

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