Bruno Lage insists Wolves were in control before 'very soft' Leeds United penalty rescued point

Wolves boss Bruno Lage felt his men were in control of their game against Leeds United before a 'very soft' penalty snatched two points from them.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 6:19 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 6:20 pm
DISPUTED PENALTY - Wolves boss Bruno Lage felt the spot-kick won by Joe Gelhardt was 'very soft' as Leeds United rescued a point late on. Pic: Getty

The Elland Road visitors took a 10 minute lead when Raul Jimenez' shot was deflected into the path of Hwang Hee-Chan and he beat the wrong-footed Illan Meslier from close range.

Leeds weren't at their best in the first half but still showed a marked improvement from last weekend's defeat at Southampton, before dominating the second half and creating chances to level.

It wasn't until stoppage time that they managed it, however, substitute Joe Gelhardt's run into the area drawing a chalenge that referee Robert Jones took a long look at before pointing to the spot. Rodrigo sent Jose Sa the wrong way to gave Leeds a 1-1 draw and a huge lift after a tough week.

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Marcelo Bielsa said Leeds created enough chances to win the game but Lage saw it differently.

"We were under control in the last minutes," said Lage.

"In the same way, we won the last games, today we dropped here two points. It was very soft. The way we are defending their situation, the player received the ball with his back to our goal, he had the chance to turn, to enter between our defenders. From my point of view, it was very soft for him to go on the floor - I didn’t see it on TV. This is football, I don’t want to discuss the decision, but I want to try to understand. We did well defending, I think we controlled everything."

Lage was a little troubled by how little of the ball his side had, enjoying just 37 per cent of the possession but adamant Wolves were doing enough to see out the game before conceding late on.

"It’s very hard to play against them, they press with a lot of players," he said.

"It wasn’t easy for us to keep more time with the ball. That’s my concern, for when I watch the 90 minutes we did well defensively, they don’t have too many chances and we control everything especially the inside game.

"Leeds know how to do a lot of things. One thing is to try it the way we tried, to press and another is to press higher, especially from our right side. When the ball came from the left side from Leeds, we were ready to press with Adama. Even if we are there with confidence, give confidence to the player. In the break we discussed continuing to press, our decision was to give fresh men in front to try to press. Changed Adama for Daniel to press, more of the ball. Change Hwang for Trincao when I asked for the substitution because this is our goal. Two out of three times the ball goes forward, we lose the ball, we lose the ball, you continue the same position."

Lage credited Leeds for the way they dealt with his attacking players. Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente dealt well with most of the Wolves attacks and Adama Traore was kept quiet for large parts of the game.

"It was very hard for the front men," he said.

"No spaces, spaces behind, every time they come with man. It was hard for Raul and Adama to keep the ball. We should do better. Leeds also did a fantastic job in that situation.

"I want to try to understand what we can do better when we have opponents who press, like they did. We didn’t have too many chances, Leeds didn’t have too many, either. I don’t change anything, I’ll continue to work in the same way. "