Wolves 0-0 Leicester: Premier League – as it happened

Rob Smyth on 14 February 2020

Conor Coady speaks “I thought we were fantastic and we should have won the game. It’s a point, we move on and we keep going. I don’t really wanna speak about [VAR] too much – I don’t think the referee knows what’s going on, we don’t know what’s going on. Did you think it was offside? Look, I don’t really want to talk about it because it doesn’t really get you anywhere.”

Another goalless draw between Wolves and Leicester, then. Wolves will feel they should have won the match – Willy Boly was VARed, Raul Jimenez missed a great chance and Leicester played the last 15 minutes with 10 men after Hamza Choudhury was sent off.

Full time: Wolves 0-0 Leicester

Peep peep!

90+5 min Another chance for Wolves, with Soyuncu making a superb block to divert Jimenez’s shot over the bar. He’s been excellent.

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90+4 min Traore almost wins it for Wolves! He ran at Chilwell, who hasn’t a clue how to handle him, before cutting inside and hitting a fierce left-footed shot that was beatan away at the near post. by Schmeichel.

90+3 min Wes Morgan replaces Harvey Barnes for Leicester.

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90+2 min A Leicester free-kick is headed clear to the edge of the area, where Praet’s stinging shot is blocked.

90+1 min Five minutes of added time.

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90 min: What a chance for Jimenez! Moutinho’s corner from the left found him completely unmarked at the far post, eight yards out, but he planted a downward header just wide. That was the best chance of the match.

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89 min Matt Doherty’s noggin is bleeding again. Wolves have used all three subs so he is being patched up on the touchline.

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88 min Chilwell is booked for pulling down Traore, who was about to scoot away from him down the right.

86 min The return match, on the opening weekend of the season, ended 0-0 as well.

85 min Moutinho moves neatly away from Praet before shooting well wide from 25 yards.

83 min “Unsurprising red cards,” is the subject of Matt Dony’s email. “Has anyone tried to suggest Choudhury is ‘not that sort of player’?”

I think even Choudhury’s mother would agree that he is emphatically that sort of player.

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82 min Joao Moutinho replaces Ruben Neves.

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81 min Coady drives a good pass out to Traore, who teases Chilwell and stands up a cross that is headed over from 12 yards by Jimenez. It was a decent chance, though there was no pace on the ball.

78 min Wolves make another change, with Diogo Jota replaced by the new signing Daniel Podence.

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CHOUDHURY IS SENT OFF!

76 min Leicester are down to 10 men. Choudhury, booked earlier in the half, slips over and deliberately brings down Dendoncker to stop a Wolves break. It was a clear yellow card.

Hamza Choudhury brings down Dendoncker.
Hamza Choudhury brings down Dendoncker. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

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75 min Leicester make another change, with Dennis Praet replacing Youri Tielemans.

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75 min “I wonder,” says Ian Copestake, “how much Traore can bench?”

At least three Bobby Bacalas is the word on the street.

73 min Traore has three runs at Chilwell in quick succession, winning a corner with the third. Nothing comes of it.

71 min Traore’s introduction has changed the mood, which had been a bit flat after that VAR business.

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70 min Here’s Paul Hobson. “As I now know you can be offside from a corner, then why doesn’t the defending team line up all their players near the half-way line when defending a corner, as any opposing team player in front of them will be offside?”

Because you can’t be offside from a corner. He was offside from the return pass, having taken the corner himself.

68 min Leicester make their first change, with Marc Albrighton replacing the largely anonymous Ayoze Perez.

66 min Barnes’ snapshot is crucially blocked by Coady. Wolves break through Traore, who overhits his pass to Jimenez.

64 min Pedro Neto is replaced by the exhilarating hunk of masculinity named Adama Traore

62 min Jimenez stands up a dangerous cross to the far post, where Tielemans does superbly to get in front of Dendoncker and head clear. That was an admirable piece of defending.

60 min Maddison swerves past Saiss in the area before bouncing off the defender and going over. Mike Dean decides there wasn’t enough contact for a penalty, and Team VAR agree.

59 min “Happy VAR-entine’s Day?” hoots Simon McMahon. “Wolves are in gold, Leicester are blue. Was it offside? We don’t have a clue.”

58 min Tielemans’ long-range shot bounces up into the loving embrace of Rui Patricio. Leicester are looking really dangerous now though.

57 min “Always SO thrown by these Friday night games, though it is a nice way to ease into a holiday weekend…” says Rachel Clifton. “I am so sorry your professional life seems to be 90 per cent VAR bitching ;)”

VAR and a smiley in the same sentence. Modern life was made for people like me.

55 min Leicester have been more incisive since half-time. Barnes breaks away from Dendoncker, who pulls him back and is booked.

Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes is held back by Leander Dendoncker.
Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes is held back by Leander Dendoncker. Photograph: James Baylis/AMA/Getty Images

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54 min “If that offside had been given at the time by the assistant, we would all have looked at the replay and agreed it was a great decision,” says Joe Matthews. “I don’t see why it’s an outrageous decision because it’s given by VAR and most people don’t understand the rules.”

52 min Saiss’s free-kick hits the wall.

51 min Choudhury is booked for fouling Jimenez on the edge of the D. He got the ball, so Mike Dean must have decided that he came through Jimenez to do so.

50 min Ricardo Pereira almost scores a brilliant goal. He beat Jonny all ends up with a lovely trick, shifted the ball to the side of Coady and then blasted it wide from a narrow angle.

49 min Doherty’s head is bleeding again. While he is treated, Perez has a close-range shot smothered by a couple of defenders.

47 min To clear up some of the mud: it was Neto, who took the corner, who was offside when the ball was returned to him by Jota. You can’t be offside from a corner. At least I don’t think you can. I don’t know nuthin’ any more. I’m like King Midas in reverse.

46 min The second half begins. Not sure anyone cares now.

I should stress that it was the correct decision, in accordance with the laws. You can be offside even if the ball is played backwards.

“Love is blind, they say,” says Justin Kavanagh. “And so were old-fashioned referees. Now football is blinded by technology and pedantic decision-makers sitting in front of screens. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I can’t be bothered. It’s so boring.

Half time: Wolves 0-0 Leicester

The players are booed off the field, a response to the latest VAR incident. Conor Coady is talking to Mike Dean, asking why it was offside even though the ball went backwards. He’s fuming.

45+2 min Ruben Neves is booked for dissent.

The Wolves fans react to the VAR decision.
The Wolves fans react to the VAR decision. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

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NO GOAL! Wolves 0-0 Leicester

Jota was offside from the short corner, apparently. He took the original corner and his heel was ahead of the last defender when the ball was returned to him, even though the ball was played backwards.

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VAR are checking for lord knows what.

GOAL! Wolves 1-0 Leicester (Boly 44)

Wolves take the lead on the stroke of half-time! It came from a short corner on the right. A very deep cross was headed back across goal by Doherty, and Boly got in front of Tielemans to head past Schmeichel from four yards.

Wolves’ Willy Boly scores his sides first goal which is then ruled offside by VAR.
Wolves’ Willy Boly scores his sides first goal which is then ruled offside by VAR. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

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42 min Jimenez misses an even better chance! Jonny’s deflected cross found him in space at the far post, six yards from goal, but he mistimed his header back across goal and well wide. He’s normally lethal in situations like that.

41 min Pedro Neto misses a good chance! He did really well to pick the pocket of Choudhury, who was given a dodgy pass by the keeper Schmeichel, but then rushed his shot and sliced the ball miles wide.

40 min Yep, Doherty is back on the field.

39 min Doherty gets to his feet and accepts Maddison’s apology. I think he’s going to continue.

36 min Maddison is booked for kicking Doherty in the head. It was accidental, a blind kick at a high ball, and he apologised immediately. Doherty is struggling - he is lying on his side, with a lot of blood coming from the top of his head. He looks pretty groggy as well.

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35 min “With Man City banned from the Champions League,” says John, “does that mean the fifth-placed team in the Premier League get a spot?”

In theory, yes, though it hasn’t been confirmed. That said, I’d expect City to play in next year’s competition - I doubt their appeal will be heard before the start of the season.

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34 min Chilwell’s cross is headed away by Coady. Vardy, who was lurking, has had no joy so far. I think he’s only touched the ball a couple of times.

29 min Wing-backs of the Wolves unite: Doherty moves down the right and crosses towards the penalty spot, where Jonny gets in front of Ricardo Pereira and flicks a header over the bar.

29 min Leicester’s slightly sterile domination continues. It’s all very pretty and accomplished, but there’s been no penetration in open play.

26 min ... and he smashes it into the wall.

26 min Jimenez wins a free-kick 30 yards from goal after an essentially harmless challenge from Tielemans. Ruben Neves will hit this...

24 min Leicester’s first chance. Maddison’s deep free-kick from the right is headed straight at the keeper by Soyuncu. He might have been unsighted by Chilwell jumping in front of him, but it was still a good opportunity.

23 min “Evening Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Like a lot of men, I’m spending Valentine’s Day with the love of my life. I can’t ever remember feeling like this about anyone. It’s so intense I’m getting emotional just typing this. I don’t say it often enough, but I love you. And of course once Dundee United - Alloa is over, I’ll go home to Mrs McMahon. Happy Valentine’s Day!”

21 min Wolves look the more dangerous team, despite their limited possession. Leicester haven’t really got behind the defence.

17 min Jota wins a corner for Wolves. Neto drives it deep towards Dendoncker, whose header from 15 yards drifts just wide of the far post. Schmeichel had it covered.

15 min After a sluggish start, Wolves have come to life. It’s a good game now, a contrast in both formation and style.

12 min Leicester break dangerously from the resulting Wolves corner. Tielemans has good options to his left but tries to go alone and is crowded out.

11 min Schmeichel makes a fine save from Diogo Jota! The chance came after a scintillating sprint down the right by Pedro Neto. He was tackled just inside the area by Soyuncu but picked up the loose ball and slid an angled pass to Diogo Jota, whose crisp low shot was kicked behind by the stretching Schmeichel.

Wolves’ Diogo Jota fires in a crisp, low shot.
Wolves’ Diogo Jota fires in a crisp, low shot. Photograph: Matt West/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

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9 min Tielemans’ deflected long-range shot is beaten away by the diving Rui Patricio. It was a comfortable enough save once he scrambled across his line, but it’s a reflection of Leicester’s dominant start.

7 min Leicester continue to dominate possession, though so far everything has been in front of the Wolves defence.

4 min Coady’s long free-kick from the halfway line is headed on by Boly on the edge of the area, and Schmeichel comes from his line to grab the ball in front of Dendoncker.

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3 min It’s been a confident start from Leicester, with some smooth passing and movement. You’d expect them to dominate possession; Wolves won’t mind that.

1 min Peep peep! Leicester, in blue, kick off from left to right. Wolves are in the old gold.

When it comes to atmosphere, Molineux is one of the more old-fashioned Premier League grounds. People cheer and everything, and there’s plenty of noise as the teams emerge from the tunnel. Molineux by night is a beautiful place.

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“An early email to an MBM on Valentine’s tells you all you need to know about tonight’s plans for romance,” weeps Ian Copestake.

Here’s more on the news that Pep Guardiola’s agent will be working the weekend after all.

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Team news

Adama Traore is only on the Wolves bench, presumably with next week’s Europa League match against Espanyol in mind. Joao Moutinho is also a substitute, with Leander Dendoncker replacing him. That aside, both teams are as expected.

Wolves (3-4-2-1) Rui Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Neves, Dendoncker, Jonny; Neto, Diogo Jota; Jimenez.
Substitutes: Ruddy, Buur, Kilman, Podence, Gibbs-White, Moutinho, Traore.

Leicester (4-1-4-1) Schmeichel; Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Choudhury; Perez, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes; Vardy.
Substitutes: Ward, Justin, Morgan, Gray, Albrighton, Praet, Iheanacho.

Referee Mike Dean.

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Preamble

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Wolves v Leicester from Molineux. These are two of the best teams outside the Big Six (not to be confused with the actual top six), with so much desirable attacking talent on both sides: Adama Traore, James Maddison, the still underrated Raul Jimenez, Youri Tielemans, Diogo Jota, Harvey Barnes and more.

Both teams have been in iffy form of late, but what’s past is prologue and all that. A win for Leicester would lift them to second; victory for Wolves would move them from ninth to sixth. With the news that Manchester City have been banned from Uefa competitions for the next two seasons, a Champions League place suddenly feels attainable.

Kick off is at 8pm.

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