Wolves 1-0 Leeds United: Substitute Boubacar Traore’s 85th-minute strike sees hosts advance to the Carabao Cup fourth round at the expense of their Premier League rivals
- Wolves beat Leeds United in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday night
- Substitute Boubacar Traore was the hosts’ hero with a late strike at Molineux
- Incoming Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui will have the Carabao Cup to look forward to when he takes over the reins
Julen Lopetegui will have a Carabao Cup tie for this first game as Wolves manager after substitute Boubacar Traore’s late strike was enough to send them into the last 16.
The Spaniard’s coaching team were watching from the stands at Molineux, with Lopetegui expected to take formal control over the weekend and watch Saturday’s clash with Arsenal here.
Despite Wolves’ struggles in the Premier League, progress in this competition at least gives Lopetegui something to build from when domestic action returns after the World Cup. Leeds might have new owners by then, with the US-based 49ers group now thought to have the funding in place to complete their long-awaited takeover of the Elland Road club.
Boubacar Traore (centre right) was Wolves’ hero as they beat Leeds United in the Carabao Cup
Traore scored the only goal of this Carabao Cup third-round tie with this strike on 85 minutes
The substitute jumps for joy as he celebrates scoring for Wolves against their top-flight rivals
Wolves (4-2-3-1): Sarkic 6.5; Jonny 6.5 (Lembikisa 82), Collins 6.5, Kilman 6.5, Ait-Nouri 7; Hodge 6.5, Neves 7 (Moutinho 72, 6); A Traore 6 (B Traore 72, 7), Ronan 6.5 (Podence 65, 7), Guedes 6 (Campbell 66, 6); Hwang 6.
Subs not used: Sa, Mosquera, Toti, Bueno.
Goal: B Traore 85
Manager: Steve Davis 6.5
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Robles 6.5; Ayling 6, Llorente 6.5, Hjelde 6.5, Firpo 6; Klich 6, Gyabi 6.5; Harrison 7, Perkins 6.5 (Gnonto 71, 6), Joseph 6; Gelhardt 6 (Greenwood 54, 6).
Subs not used: Klaesson, Miller, McCalmont, Allen, Moore, Debayo, Snowdon.
Manager: Jesse Marsch 6.5
Referee: Andre Marriner 6
Despite resting most of their key men, Jesse Marsch’s team still created the better chances and were a touch unlucky not to take this one to penalties. But Wolves will take anything they can get right now as caretaker-boss Steve Davis prepares to hand over to Lopetegui.
With four debutants in the starting XI and against a strong Wolves side, Leeds might have been expected to start cautiously. Quite the opposite.
Matija Sarkic, drafted in by Wolves to give Jose Sa a rest, did well to push behind Jack Harrison’s deflected free-kick and then Diego Llorente’s header from the corner was scrambled wide.
Moments later, from another corner, Llorente was again first to the ball, bringing a fine stop from Sarkic before the ball was hacked clear.
Leeds’ front four had two players – Sonny Perkins and Mateo Joseph – making their first senior appearances, and both were lively, with the other outfield debutant, Darko Gyabi, doing a solid job in midfield.
In the early stages Leeds were flying but slowly Wolves stemmed their flow, without ever producing a sustained period of pressure themselves.
Skipper Ruben Neves put a free-kick wide from 25 yards, Adama Traore’s angled effort crept just past the post and Hwang Hee Chan fired high from just outside the box.
Attacking Molineux’s South Bank in the second half, Wolves almost made the perfect start as Goncalo Guedes held off his marker and set up Kilman, forcing Joel Robles to save with his feet. At the other end, Harrison glided in the box and Sarkic was relieved to see his delicate effort slide narrowly wide.
Back came Wolves. Guedes powered forward, fed Rayan Ait-Nouri on the left who crossed for Connor Ronan. The midfielder nearly marked his first start for five years with a goal, only for Robles to claw away his volley. Then Kilman made a similarly important intervention to deny Joseph a run on goal.
Wolves finally made their mark five minutes from time when Daniel Podence scampered down the right and squared for fellow sub Traore, who shot past Robles from 20 yards.
Wolves players celebrate Traore’s strike in front of their supporters at Molineux on Wednesday
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