Raul Jimenez’s deflected strike clinched Wolves a 1-0 win at Leeds and catapulted them up to sixth place in the Premier League table.
The Mexico striker’s tame second-half effort wrong-footed Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier after hitting Kalvin Phillips on the head to seal his side’s third league win of the season.
Wolves had seen an earlier effort from Romain Saiss ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside.
Find. A way. To win.
— Wolves (@Wolves) October 19, 2020
But Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, rewarded for an improved second-half display, were fortunate to leave Elland Road with all three points having been outplayed in the first period.
Leeds made a flying start. Bamford’s early header was ruled out for offside and they had a penalty appeal turned down after Helder Costa went down under Joao Moutinho’s challenge.
Rodrigo headed over and Costa dragged his effort wide after more slick build-up down the right, with Wolves pinned in their own half.
Luke Ayling, Leeds’ captain on the night following Liam Cooper’s late withdrawal due to a groin injury, saw his fierce shot blocked by Max Kilman and Rodrigo was wayward with another header.
53' VAR to the rescue! Wolves have the ball in the net, Saiss celebrates but Podence is offside in the build up. 0-0
— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 19, 2020
Twice in quick succession from Phillips’ corners, Rodrigo’s thumping drives were blocked as Leeds chased the opening goal they deserved.
Wolves served warning of their threat on the break in time added on at the end of the first half when a fierce Daniel Podence shot was well saved by Meslier.
The visitors enjoyed their best spell at the start of the second period and were denied the opening goal by the video assistant referee.
Saiss thought he had given his side a 54th-minute lead with a superb finish from the edge of the area, but VAR ruled Podence was in an offside position.
Meslier produced a flying save to turn away Podence’s effort shortly afterwards and Leeds all of a sudden had a different fight on their hands.
Wolves added more bite to every challenge and were rewarded for their extra aggression when Jimenez gave them the lead in the 70th minute.
He was allowed too much time to cut inside from the right and after switching onto his right foot, his shot deflected off Phillips’ head, wrong-footing Meslier and into the opposite corner.
Pablo Hernandez went close for Leeds soon after replacing Pascal Struijk in the 75th minute, but his effort was blocked by Willy Boly.
Leeds sent on latest signing Raphinha for Jack Harrison with eight minutes left and continued to press for the equaliser, but failed to carve out a clear opening and Wolves held on.