Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Three Talking Points From Leeds United’s Narrow Defeat To Wolverhampton Wanderers

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

Leeds United failed to continue their promising start to the campaign, falling to a narrow defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the late Monday night fixture. It was the second defeat for the Whites in the new season, though there were many positives for Marcelo Bielsa to take from this game.

Here, at the 4th Official, we will talk about three key talking points from Leeds United’s defeat to Wolves on Monday.

Rodrigo Moreno Keeps Improving

It was refreshing to see Rodrigo Moreno getting the nod ahead of Tyler Roberts in the last game after scoring the equaliser against Manchester City. The forward started alongside Patrick Bamford, albeit in a slightly deeper role.

The Spaniard didn’t disappoint either, entertaining the onlookers with his clever turns and flicks that bamboozled the Wolves attack. It enabled him to create spaces for himself, and he was indeed the liveliest attacker for Leeds United.

Rodrigo’s seemingly improved performances serve as a major boost for Bielsa, especially after a rusty start to his Premier League career. It will be interesting to see whether or not he can retain his place in the first-team, however.

Shades Of Leeds United’s Lack Of Productivity

Leeds United’s first-half display over Wolves was quite identical to the club’s troubles last season.

Three key talking points from Leeds United's defeat to Wolves - Bamford was disappointing.
LEEDS, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 19: Patrick Bamford of Leeds United reacts at full-time after the Premier League match between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road on October 19, 2020, in Leeds, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

The Whites dominated the possession, looking to breach the opposing backline that fared strongly. We did a see bit of penetration, and the club didn’t exactly fail to create chances. But, the usual productivity that we have seen from players like Patrick Bamford, Helder Costa and Jack Harrison thus far, were missing.

Bamford, in particular, was off-colour, failing to make an impact in the Wolves half. He had absolutely no chance in dealing with the likes of Conor Coady and even Max Kilman in terms of aerial and physical duels, and it seems Leeds United are much less dangerous when they enjoy the lion’s share of possession – something their rivals will definitely take note of.

Pablo Hernandez Once Again Indespensable 

Pablo Hernandez made his highly-anticipated return to the pitch after missing every game since the opening win over Fulham, due to injury. He didn’t take time settling in either, providing an instant spark in the Leeds United attack.

The ageing playmaker offered a creative essence in the final third, often trying to get on to the ball and find that telling pass. Although it ultimately wasn’t enough to change the course of the game, Hernandez’s performance did highlight his importance in this team.

However, with Rodrigo, Raphinha and Mateusz Klich all vying for a place in the starting lineup, it will be interesting to see how Bielsa utilises Hernandez going forward.

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