Julen Lopetegui frustrated after latest chapter of Wolves’ referee woe

Boss Julen Lopetegui says he could write a book about the poor decisions against Wolves after a thrilling 4-2 defeat by Leeds.

Jack Harrison, Luke Ayling, Rasmus Kristensen and Rodrigo pounced on the visitors as they escaped the Premier League relegation zone.

Jonny spectacularly snatched back a goal before Matheus Cunha made it 3-2 but Jonny was then sent off for a dangerous tackle on Ayling.

Unused substitute Matheus Nunes was also sacked over an altercation with the assistant referee after Rodrigo’s goal, with Wolves furious after Adama Traore was withdrawn in Marc Roca’s build-up.

Wolves also felt they should have received a first-half penalty after Nelson Semedo went down under a challenge from Junior Firpo.

Wolves have had three apologies from PGMOL chief Howard Webb for refereeing errors in the last two months and as recently as Friday Lopetegui said he still trusts the officials.

“I can do a book (about bad decisions) – Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle, Southampton, today,” said Lopetegui, who arrived for his press conference 90 minutes after the final whistle while fellow judges Edu Rubio and Matt Wild visited referee Michael Salisbury after the game.

“Sometimes you can understand mistakes, they are part of football, but repeating the same mistake against us is not easy.

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“I don’t want an explanation, I’m not waiting for one. It was the same in the last game (against Newcastle) today.

“I want to make fair decisions and not feel or feel like it was unbalanced. At the end of the season they will usually be even, but we are very unlucky, we have to be critical about the bad things, but we didn’t deserve to lose this game.

“We had a very clear penalty again, but the referee and VAR think the opposite.”

Lopetegui said Wolves intend to appeal both red cards.

“Jonny’s red card, he lost control a bit on the last touch. I think it’s yellow,” he said.

“After their fourth goal it was a very clear foul on Adama and Nunes wanted to complain. He went back, the linesman bumped into Nunes, he couldn’t see him. He had no intention.”

Harrison opened the scoring after six minutes from a Wilfried Gnonto cross but Wolves rallied only for Pedro Neto to wear down a lovely opening while Semedo saw a shot blocked.

Wolves thought they had leveled when Mario Lemina came into play but he was correctly ruled offside before Ayling made it 2-0.

Things got even worse for Wolves after 61 minutes when Kristensen, who had only been there for 31 seconds, robbed the dawdling Jonny and shot through Jose Sa’s legs.

Jonny began to atone for his mistake three minutes later when he lobbed into an empty net from 40 yards.

Illan Meslier fended off Cunha, but the striker’s shot was deflected off Max Wober to make it 3-2.

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But Jonny’s red card for a dangerous tackle on Ayling six minutes from time ended Wolves’ comeback.

Rodrigo added a fourth in added time when he drove clear with the angry hosts. Roca had not been punished. Nunes was sent off after appearing to collide with the linesman and was dragged away.

Leeds’ only other away win in the league came at Liverpool in October but they climbed out of the relegation zone to 14th, a point behind their hosts.

“We got a very good win, our players played a great game and they deserve the reward and the three points,” said boss Javi Gracia.

“If we analyze the game, I tell you that we have to improve a lot of things. We can defend better. We played against a very good team with very good players.

“Now we have time to enjoy the win and we can prepare with more confidence.

“You know the points are really important and you need them. There are 11 games left and all games are like a final for us.”


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