YEP Jury: Premier League table looks a lot healthier for Leeds United but our hearts have taken a beating

Pulsating as it might have been between Leeds United and Wolves at Molineux on Friday night, few fans ended the game thinking their heart hadn’t taken a bit of a beating.

By Steve Heptinstall
Monday, 21st March 2022, 8:18 am

But beyond the drama, there was still much to savour, and not simply another three points in the push to steer as far away as possible of the bottom three in the Premier League.

And good individual performances coupled with the heart shown by the team - particularly Luke Ayling - certainly went a huge way to raising optimism levels of our fans’ jury.

Take a look at what they’ve got to say - now they’ve got their breath back.

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Leeds United captain fantastic Luke Ayling scored the winner at Wolves. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Mike Gill

Bruised, battered and apparently beaten, a depleted Leeds side trudged off at half-time contemplating further humiliation in the second period.

No Raphinha and injuries to Patrick Bamford, Mateusz Klich and Diego Llorente had spoiled a decent start for the Whites.

Simple goals from Otto and Trincao had put Wolves in a seemingly unassailable position. United regrouped once again but seemed unable to make much of an impression on their talented but niggly and ill - tempered opponents.

Replacement goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson came to Leeds United's rescue against Wolves at Molineux. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

The turning point came when Jimenez steamed into Illan Meslier causing the previously ‘bulletproof’ young keeper to take no part in the remainder of the game, thereby allowing Kristoffer Klaesson to make his debut. After Jimenez was given his marching orders, the Whites were given a glimmer of hope. Driven on by ‘captain fantastic’ Luke Ayling, they tore Wolves apart.

Firstly Jack Harrison, then Rodrigo from an Ayling assist and finally the man himself gave Leeds a scarcely believable win.

Ayling’s performance was reminiscent of his one-man show against Birmingham in the promotion season.

Quite simply, he refused to accept defeat!

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

Andrew Dalton

Heart attack times two! It really should come with a government health warning watching Leeds United as, for the second week running, the fans were put through the mill in a bonkers game of football at Molineux.

Despite losing four, yes four, players through injury and with Coops and KP on the bench, it looked a tall order for Leeds to come from the dead to record a famous win.

The arguments will go on, I’m sure, in regards to the sending off of Raul Jimenez, but what can’t be argued is the character Leeds showed after going 2-0 down just before the break.

Captain courageous Luke Ayling led the fightback with his shot hitting the post then off the line before Jack Harrison tapped in. Moments later it was 2-2 when Rodrigo forced in a leveller and, two minutes into stoppage time, Bill sent the away fans into delirious celebrations with a famous last-ditch winner! Debutant Kristoffer Klaesson made a couple of important saves as Leeds completed a remarkable six days in the history of the club!

Man of the match: Luke Ayling (Robbie Keane).

Andy Rhodes

After last weekend’s result against Norwich you might have thought we’d seen it all. However, this is Leeds United, a club that seemingly exists to put us through the mill.

Once again it seemed that the substitution of Patrick Bamford ruined Jesse Marsch’s game plan. Before that change, Leeds were positive and aggressive. Afterwards, United suddenly looked drained.

Both goals against Leeds were poor but, for once, we got lucky with the red card. If Jimenez got there first, Illan Meslier would have been booked so, surely, the red was the correct decision?

Right decision or not, it changed the game and Leeds never looked back. If they can show that same spirit and fight in the remaining games, then they will be fine.

So far under Marsch we’re seeing a real Jekyll and Hyde character in Leeds. At times we see the worst of the team, such as against Villa, but that second half on Friday was the absolute best.

The international break has probably come at the wrong time but the league table is looking so much better now.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

Keith Ingham

It’s hard to put Friday into a few paragraphs. It’s usually that Leeds lost, sometimes badly, but something strange has happened to a club that, this season, had only one kind of luck … bad!

One of the most incredible endings to a game in recent years last week was topped by the comeback of all comebacks when Leeds came back from 2-0 at half-time, with Patrick Bamford, Diego Llorente and Mateusz Klich off injured to stage a dispaly that beggared belief.

What followed after half-time is one of the most bizarre 30-plus minutes I’ve ever seen. After the hour, Luke Ayling hit a post that bounced back for Jack Harrison to score. Within minutes Leeds were level, Dan James hit the bar and, Sam Greenwood found Rodrigo and, from the narrowest of angles, he equalised - and he ran into the away end to celebrate.

With the game going into injury time, a free kick was headed back across goal by Ayling, it bounced off Pascal Struijk back into the path of the right-back and he smashed the ball past Sa to send fans in the ground and at home into raptures of delight.

Man of the match: All in a Leeds shirt.

David Watkins

Everyone had their hearts checked? Mine’s okay, just, but many more games like this and I’m going to be done for!

A real Jekyll and Hyde performance from both sides but, as with the Norwich game, the rub of the green went for us at crucial times and, whereas quality was maybe still lacking, spirit was abundant!

Two-nil down and with four players subbed within the first 55 minutes, it didn’t look good but a controversial second yellow card for Jimenez turned this game on its head.

There was an element of luck for Leeds with all three of our goals and a definite element of panic from Wolves too. But the spirit shown in the final half-hour and the belief this result will surely give us will be invaluable as we try to complete the job of retaining our Premier League status.

Special mention to Luke Ayling for leading his depleted troops from the front and also Charlie Cresswell, a real John Charles look-alike who was a giant in defence. Kristoffer Klaesson too looked the part.

His two scintillating late saves ensured we hung on to all three points.

Man of the match: Luke ‘Bill’ Ayling.

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