Wolves boss Bruno Lage on 'bad decision' and naive moment for goal as Leeds United win thriller

Kevin Friend's 'bad' decision to red card Raul Jimenez changed the game between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United according to Bruno Lage.

By Graham Smyth
Friday, 18th March 2022, 11:17 pm
Updated Friday, 18th March 2022, 11:20 pm
THRILLING WIN - Leeds United roared back from two goals down to beat 10-man Wolves at Molineux with Rodrigo scoring, but Bruno Lage said the red card was a bad decision. Pic: Bruce Rollinson
THRILLING WIN - Leeds United roared back from two goals down to beat 10-man Wolves at Molineux with Rodrigo scoring, but Bruno Lage said the red card was a bad decision. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

Wolves were in full control at 2-0 up as the two teams came off for the break, Jonny and Trincao both beating Illan Meslier in a half that saw Patrick Bamford, Diego Llorente and Mateusz Klich come off injured.

Illan Meslier also limped off early in the second half, from a challenge that earned Jimenez his second yellow card. Leeds went on to battle back, goals from Jack Harrison, Rodrigo and Luke Ayling turning the game on its head and sending the three points back to West Yorkshire.

Lage and his staff were infuriated by the sending off.

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"When you start [the press conference with a question] like that it's because something goes wrong in that situation," he said.

"Everyone can take bad decisions but after when you watch the image on TV and you see it's a bad decision. If it was right I'd be the first to come here and say it was right. It was a big body contact, both players tried to win the ball and I know the referee already watched the image and still thought it was right.

"My target is we need to play like we played the first 45 minutes. To be fair we were the much better team than Leeds 11 v 11, we still have one more chance to score 10 v 11. That decision changed the game. You guys need to write that."

Lage's only complaint about the first half was that Wolves did not take the game completely beyond Leeds' reach. They had chances to go in at least three goals up but squandered them.

In the second half, Lage felt his side showed naivety in the build up to Rodrigo's goal, as they waited for a stoppage with Stuart Dallas down having been fouled by Moutinho's high challenge.

"We play the way we need to play at home," said Lage.

"Big difference, we control the game since the first minute, dominate in everything. Leeds are strong to press and we create a lot of chances that we could score more goals. These are the kind of things we need to grow up. We need to kill the game. We were more concerned about their team-mate who was on the floor, more concerned than his team-mates who went on and scored and celebrated. I think the player on the floor celebrated.

"We stopped and watched him. It happened with Manchester United. It happened [again] today. It's the little things we need to grow up as a team. No more stops, we wait for the referee and we need to move on. I think my assistant was saying it was one man down and they continued. We cannot stop we need to continue to play and wait for the referee to take the decision to stop the game."

Leeds were aided in their comeback by Wolves errors according to Lage, as the emotion of the situation got the best of them.

"When you watch the three goals, we can see so many mistakes that it's hard to take," he said.

"We had the game in the pocket, a lot of chances, against a strong team. It was curious to see how we played against a team who pressed so high. We played from the back, we did everything well. The little things during the game, it put us in an emotional situation. This is life, we need to move on."