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Wolves 0 Leicester 0 – Report and pictures

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published:

VAR took centre stage yet again as frustrated Wolves had to settle for a goalless draw with Leicester at Molineux.

Willy Boly thought he had opened the scoring against the high-flying Foxes with a close-range header on the stroke of half-time.

However, having already fallen foul to the controversial technology several times this term, Pedro Neto was found to be fractionally offside in the build-up and the goal was chalked off.

And despite Brendan Rodgers' men having Hamza Choudhury sent off after two bookings towards the end, Nuno Espirito Santo's side could not find a way through. Wolves are now seventh in the Premier League table.

Analysis

This, of course, was not the first time Wolves have been haunted by VAR – and it will not be the last either.

After being denied by the technology in the reverse fixture – Leander Dendoncker's goal disallowed because of an unintentional Boly handball – Nuno's lot were again left cursing their luck.

They have also had goals taken away from them at Liverpool and Manchester United this campaign.

Having been on the receiving end so many times, you cannot help but feel slighted.

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Wolves, though, it must be said, still had the chances to win this. Raul Jimenez, most notably, put a header wide late on which you would have put your house on him scoring.

Perhaps most telling was the reaction of Rodgers after the final whistle, all smiles as he waved to the travelling fans.

Nuno's lot, while resolute at the back, certainly come away from this encounter more disappointed.

Match report

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Wolves made two changes to the side which drew 0-0 at United before the winter break.

Joao Moutinho and Adama Traore, quite surprisingly, dropped to the bench, with Neto and Dendoncker coming into the starting line-up.

Leicester, meanwhile, were unchanged, with Ryan Bennett not allowed to be involved against his parent club.

And it was the Foxes who had the lion's share of possession in the early stages of the clash, penning Nuno's charges in. Youri Tielemans had the game's first effort on target, forcing Rui Patricio to palm away his long-range drive.

Wolves – robust in their shape – were looking to pick their spots on the counter-attack. An exceptional turn of pace from Neto created a good opportunity, too.

Putting on the afterburners to beat Ben Chilwell down the right flank, the Portuguese then cut inside and played the ball to compatriot Diogo Jota, whose low strike was sharply saved by Kasper Schmeichel. Promising move.

The hosts soon began to see more of the ball, without necessarily controlling proceedings.

Dendoncker – in midfield instead of Moutinho – was finding space with some clever turns. Jota stole the ball off Tielemans too, allowing Jimenez to win a free-kick in a decent area. Unfortunately, Ruben Neves's attempt struck the wall, but Wolves were having their moments.

Leicester, though, were still breaking forward too. Caglar Soyuncu – free at the far post – headed into the hands of Patricio before the half-hour mark.

As the interval approached, the home side really started to impose themselves going forward.

Firstly, Neto latched onto a poor pass out from Schmeichel, but, after a rush of blood to the head, he shanked his shot way off target.

Then, Jimenez was found, unmarked, near the penalty spot by an exquisite Jonny Castro Otto cross. However, the Mexican was only able to direct his header comfortably wide. Uncharacteristic.

Finally, Wolves thought they had taken the lead. Neto floated a cross to the far post, and Matt Doherty headed it back across goal for Boly to nod in.

VAR, though, came to haunt Nuno's lot once more as Neto was a touch offside as he played a one-two with Jota in the build-up. The gold and black faithful, understandably, were utterly incensed as a chorus of boos greeted the half-time whistle.

In the first few moments of the second period, Doherty had to go off the pitch and have his head bandaged – a cut sustained from James Maddison's high boot earlier on opening up again.

Dendoncker then went into the book for blatantly pulling back Foxes winger Harvey Barnes.

The visitors started to gain a foothold again as well. Tielemans had another crack from distance, and Patricio got in the way once more.

Choudhury was in the thick of things for the visitors, who also saw Maddison's penalty appeal waved away.

Wolves needed to freshen things up, and Nuno did so just after the hour mark. Traore was introduced, Neto making way.

The Spaniard swiftly displayed his attacking intent, too, driving at the heart of the away defence and trying to release Jimenez.

There was too much on the pass, but it was the right idea. The home fans were buoyed by his arrival.

And their excitement levels were increased as Leicester went down to 10 men for the last quarter of an hour.

Choudhury, having also taken down Jimenez, was shown a second yellow for a clumsy challenge on Dendoncker and given his marching orders by Mike Dean.

Daniel Podence then entered the fray, making his Molineux bow, for Jota as Wolves attempted to take advantage. So did Moutinho, for Neves.

Ultimately, though, a winner proved elusive as Jimenez spurned a golden chance – putting a header inches wide – in added-on time.

Key moments

44 - Goal DISALLOWED! Wolves think they have taken the lead as Boly heads the ball in from close range, but a lengthy VAR review finds Neto was just offside in the build-up. So frustrating.

76 - RED CARD! Leicester's Choudhury, having also wiped out Jimenez, is shown a second yellow for a late tackle on Dendoncker.

Teams

Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio; Boly, Coady (c), Saiss; Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves (Moutinho, 82), Otto; Neto (Traore, 64), Jimenez, Jota (Podence, 78)

Subs not used: Ruddy (gk), Kilman, Buur, Gibbs-White

Leicester (4-3-3): Schmeichel (c); Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Choudhury, Tielemans (Praet, 75), Maddison; Perez (Albrighton, 68), Vardy, Barnes (Morgan, 90)

Subs not used: Ward (gk), Justin, Gray, Iheanacho

Red card: Choudhury (75)

Attendance: 31,682 (3,007 Leicester)

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Wolves fan turned Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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