Wolves euphoria is the just reward for Leeds United's dedication amid adversity, insists Rodrigo

Leeds United were wholly deserving of their 'incredible' comeback, Leeds United forward Rodrigo said after the Whites' 3-2 victory at Wolves.

By Flora Snelson
Sunday, 20th March 2022, 4:45 am

A tenacious United side came from behind to claim a vital win in their fight for Premier League survival at Molineux on Friday night.

For Jesse Marsch's men, the picture was gloomy at the interval as first-half injuries to Patrick Bamford, Mateusz Klich and Diego Llorente looked set to weaken Leeds' chances of recovering the two-goal lead established by the hosts through Jonny and Francisco Trincão.

Read More

Read More
Wolves 2-3 Leeds United: The Story of the Whites' pulsating win in 25 photos

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Early in the second half, the loss of Illan Meslier to injury following a collision with Raúl Jiménez further unbalanced the Whites, though Wolves lost their top-scorer to a second yellow card in the same incident.

With youngsters Kristoffer Klaesson, Sam Greenwood and Charlie Cresswell called upon to plug the gaps left by the injured senior players, Leeds fought hard to peg back the 10 men of Wolves with goals from Jack Harrison and Rodrigo pulling the visitors level around the hour mark.

Luke Ayling ignited the away end in stoppage time with a crucial late winner to put the Whites seven points clear of the Premier League drop zone.

Together with last week's crucial 2-1 win over relegation rivals Norwich City, the result has brightened the mood among Leeds players who have suffered a tumultuous few weeks adjusting to the departure of Marcelo Bielsa and learning to play under Marsch.

Rodrigo celebrates equalising for Leeds United. Pic: Laurence Griffiths.

Rodrigo claims that the sense of relief is nothing short of what his team-mates deserve.

"We are very happy. I think those two last games were very, very important for us," Rodrigo said.

"I think this group of players deserve it a lot.

"It's true that it hasn't been an easy season for us, with many difficult moments, a change of coach, and everything.

Leeds United lost goalkeeper Illan Meslier to injury early in the second half. Pic: Geoff Caddick.

"But that's it - it's part of football. I think this group give everything for this club and that's the most important part."

The number of challenges Marsch's players had to face at Molineux made the win, their seventh of the season, all the more impressive.

"It's true that the first half was a bit difficult with the goals - especially with the second one, because it was a lack of attention there in the play, in the set piece," Rodrigo told LUTV.

"Especially with three injuries in the first half, Raphinha got COVID yesterday. We had to overcome a lot of difficulties.

Rodrigo celebrates his goal against Norwich City by rushing to the bench to involve the substitutes. Pic: Michael Regan.

"At least the change of Klich didn't count because it was a concussion change so we had one more.

"But imagine, maybe, we have to play without a goalkeeper in the last twenty, twenty five minutes?"

Rodrigo rushed over to the away end as he wildly celebrated his 66th-minute equaliser - his second goal in as many games.

The Spaniard, who has come under fire with fans for recent performances, was delighted to reward the travelling support.

"I think everyone deserved this win a lot - the team, the staff, and of course the fans as well," he said.

"Incredible feeling, amazing game.

"I think everyone enjoyed it at the end.

"We are very happy for the win and now we have time to rest a little bit during this international break and come back with a maximum power to the end of the season."

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.