Wolves H 23rd October 2021
For those who didn’t manage to see my Southampton report and photos last week please click on the link
Southampton A 16th October 2021
I was looking forward to being back at Elland Road with our fans for a pick me up. As we were walking to the ground from our parking spot, a Leeds fan came up to me to say he had just been reading one of my books again. We had a good chat, and he was doing his good deed for the day, showing two Wolves fans where they needed to go to their seats in the West Stand. This was the nice part of football, chatting to both sets of fans and having a laugh by reminiscing. This was just what I needed. It was good chatting to others in the Peacock and in the ground before the game kicked off.
Team: Meslier, Cooper, Raphinha, Dallas, Klich, Rodrigo, Shackleton, Harrison, James, Llorente and Struijk.
Subs: Roberts for Harrison (45), Summerville for Raphinha (injured 54), Gelhardt (making his home debut) for Klich (62).
Subs not used: Klaesson, Phillips, Cresswell, Forshaw, Drameh, Hjelde.
Leeds drew the game 1-1 with Rodrigo equalising with a penalty (90+4).
Referee: Robert Jones.
Booked: Shackleton, Rodrigo.
Attendance: 36,475 with 2,913 Wolves fans.
It was vital we got something out of this game after the terrible performance at Southampton last week. Leeds made the early attacking towards the Kop at the start of the first half with Raphinha back in the side after completing his isolation after playing for Brazil, making some great moves. Sadly, within nine minutes Leeds were a goal down, as Wolves made their first attack of the game and scored from it. That reminded me of how we used to smash and grab our way out of defence into attack and score. That said, we hadn’t been playing badly either, but things weren’t just going our way. With Leeds on the back foot once again, Wolves started with their time-wasting tactics and the referee was falling for everything, giving numerous free kicks their way. Although Leeds tried to get back into the game, things petered out until the half time whistle blew, despite having lots of possession.
Bielsa brought Roberts on in place of Harrison at the break. With Wolves defending in numbers, it was hard to break them down, but Leeds won a free kick to the right of the pitch in front of their fans when Raphinha was brought down. He looked to be in a lot of pain, but the referee refused to let the trainers onto the pitch. Raphinha was then told to get off the pitch to get treatment. Seeing him hopping off on one leg told me that was not the right decision to be made and the trainers should have come on. It’s all right trying to keep the game flowing especially as some of the Wolves players were going down like 9 pins, but there are genuine injuries. Sadly, Raphinha ended up going straight down the tunnel being supported by the trainers which didn’t look good for him.
Summerville came on first to replace Raphinha and then Gelhardt was brought on to give Leeds some more attacking prowess. When Wolves were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box the Leeds fans were up in arms but cheered when this was sent over the goal. Having riled our support, the Leeds crowd then showed what a fantastic twelfth man we could be, starting with a WACCOE and raising the tempo by getting behind the team. Marching on Together had the stands shaking as the team responded to the show of support from the fans. With a couple of our headers coming close, our best chance of the game saw Gelhardt’s fantastic shot tipped over the bar by their keeper. What a goal that could have been. Meslier had to stand up and be counted to ensure Wolves didn’t get a second goal to put the game out of reach. Nothing was given by the referee when Summerville was challenged in the penalty area, but there was no mistake deep into stoppage time when Gelhardt was brought down in the area. As I was wondering who would take the penalty, it was no surprise to me to see Rodrigo step up to take it. As he has been the first player taking our recent penalties in shoot-outs and scoring from them, Rodrigo put the resulting penalty into the net to secure an equaliser to give Leeds a point. We had been discussing being optimistic and I nearly got my wish of two goals in two minutes; a fantastic cross from Gelhardt was sent across the box to the left-hand side just missing James getting on the end of it by inches. Leeds deserved to get the point from the draw and showed that by fighting until the final whistle, we always stand a chance.
Well done lads and please get our young lads to join you in accepting applause for their part in the game. As we neared where I park, there was a police van there together with a lad who had blood on his face. He mentioned someone being drunk but as there was no one else around, I’m not sure what happened. With it being half term net week, it gives my granddaughter Hannah a chance to attend another away game with me, so she is very excited. The last time we went to Arsenal in the FA Cup I got home at 3am only to be up for work at 6am, so I am glad that I won’t need to this time. There will be plenty of Leeds fans in our fantastic support making that sacrifice though, plus we have another long distance away game the following Sunday with our visit to Norwich. See you at both, LUFC – Marching on Together!