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EPL: Ayling fires ailing Leeds to 3-2 comeback win over 10-man Wolves


Luke Ayling scored a stoppage-time winner as Leeds United got the better of Wolves in a dramatic 3-2 win at the Molineux Stadium on Friday night.

Jesse Marsch’s depleted side came into Wolves’ den 16th in the league table and four points above the drop zone, needing a vital win to boost their survival chances in the Premier League.

With only nine games left to go, Leeds who are missing key players, due to injuries including Kalvin Phillips, Lewis Bate and Jamie Shackleton, were looking to make it two wins from two following the dramatic 2-1 win against Norwich City last time out.

However, Bruno Lage’s Wolves side proved too strong for the injury-hit Whites as they went 2-0 up before the interval thanks to goals from Jonny (26′) and Francisco Trincão (45+11′).

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Leeds’ were left sweating before the break when their previous season’s top-scorer, Patrick Bamford, who only returned to first-team football last week having missed most of the 21/22 campaign due to injury, left the pitch in tears after suffering another injury.

The visitors suffered a second injury blow in the 40th-minute to Diego Llorente who was replaced by Robin Koch.

Bereft of luck, Marsch’s side were dealt a third injury blow before the break as Mateusz Klich was forced off and replaced with Charlie Cresswell.

The visitors heaved a sigh of relief after the referee ended the first half but Marsch’s side were hit with a fourth injury blow in the second half while Wolves forced off Bruno Neves who appeared to have picked up a knock in the first half.

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Leeds were handed a lifeline seven minutes before the hour mark when Raul Jimenez was sent off after receiving a second yellow card after the break, in a collision with Leeds’ keeper, Illan Meslier.

However, the one-man advantage came at a cost for Marsch’s side as Meslier was forced off after picking up an injury due to the collision. He joined Leeds’ long injury list.

But Leeds capitalised on the numeric advantage and halved the deficit through Jack Harrison in the 63rd-minute after Ayling struck the post.

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Rodrigo Moreno sent the Leeds faithful roaring when he needed a 66th-minute equaliser after Daniel James hit the crossbar, as Wolves’ defence were caught napping for a second time.

Leeds’ relentlessness paid off eventually when Ayling’s shot went through the legs of Sa into the back of the net (90+1′) to complete the 3-2 comeback.

The Whites are now seven points adrift the relegation zone; they lie 16th on the log after 30 matches – with eight games to go.

Wolves, on the other hand, missed the chance to pip Tottenham on the log and remain in the eighth spot with 46 points after 30 matches.