Wolves 2-3 Leeds: Late Ayling strike seals brilliant Whites fight back

News Desk
Wolves v Leeds

Leeds fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 as Luke Ayling fired home in the final few minutes to secure a vital win.

Ayling’s late winner clinched Leeds a vital win in their fight for survival after they had trailed to first-half goals from Wolves pair Jonny and substitute Francisco Trincao.

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But home striker Raul Jimenez was sent off for his second yellow card early in the second period and Leeds hauled themselves level with two goals in three minutes from Jack Harrison and Rodrigo before Ayling snatched all the points at the death.

It was an impressive fightback from Leeds given they had lost four players to first-half injuries, including striker Patrick Bamford.

Leeds secured back-to-back league wins for only the second time this season and moved seven points clear of the relegation zone.

They were boosted by the return to the bench of both Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper after respective three-month lay-offs, but were dealt another injury blow in the 23rd minute when Bamford was forced off.

It was tough luck for the striker, who had only returned from his own three-month absence due to a foot injury eight days earlier against Aston Villa, and he was replaced by Sam Greenwood in the 23rd minute.

Wolves had to make a reshuffle of their own soon after when Ruben Neves hobbled out of the action and Trincao took his place.

Trincao had an instant impact as he set up Wolves’ 26th-minute opener.

The Portugal winger skipped clear down the right and cut the ball back for Jonny to steer home a low angled finish into the bottom corner.

Diego Llorente was the next Leeds player to succumb to injury when he was replaced by Robin Koch.

Trincao was a whisker away for firing a brilliant second goal for his side in first-half stoppage time when his left-footed 25-yard effort struck the inside of a post.

Jimenez lobbed another chance wide following Pascal Struijk’s mistake and incredibly Leeds lost a third player to injury when Mateusz Klich was replaced by Charlie Cresswell following a clash of heads.

Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier produced a superb save to divert Jonny’s goalbound shot, but Trincao left Leeds with a mountain to climb by adding Wolves’ second before the interval.

Joao Moutinho’s quickly-taken free-kick caught Leeds sleeping and when Daniel Podence cut the ball back, Trincao planted a low finish inside Meslier’s right-hand post in the 11th minute of added time.

It took only a few minutes after the restart when there was another halt in play due to injury.

Meslier and Jimenez clattered into each other as the Leeds goalkeeper raced out of his area to clear a long ball over the top and both players needed treatment.

Meslier was replaced by Kristoffer Klaesson, while referee Kevin Friend deemed Jimenez’s part in the collision warranted his second yellow card of the match and he was sent off.

Leeds came storming back against 10 men. Harrison turned the ball home in the 63rd minute after Ayling had seen successive shots hit a post and cleared off the goalline.

Rodrigo then struck the equaliser two minutes later from a tight angle after James’ effort had hit a post.

Wolves refused to settle for a point as both sides went toe-to-toe, but it was Leeds who came out on top.

Harrison and substitute Charlie Cresswell both had chances for Leeds and when the home side failed to clear a free-kick from their area Ayling lashed home an unstoppable shot in the 90th minute and it sparked a touchline melee as tempers flared in both dug-outs.

Wolves poured forward in stoppage time and were denied an equaliser when the impressive Trincao’s fierce shot was superbly diverted by Leeds substitute goalkeeper Klaesson.