Leeds 0-1 Wolves: Nouha Dicko strike dents Whites' play-off hopes
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 17/04/17 6:48pm
Leeds United's play-off hopes suffered a blow as Nouha Dicko's strike gave Wolves a shock 1-0 win at Elland Road on Monday.
The forward scored the only goal of the game after 38 minutes as Garry Monk's side slipped out of the top six of the Championship following victories for both Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham.
As a result, Leeds have now dropped to seventh in the table, albeit only on goal difference, with just three games left to play this season, while Wolves remain 16th in the table.
Despite earning a creditable 1-1 draw at Newcastle United on Good Friday, Leeds knew they had to keep on winning in order to maintain their play-off hopes, although it was the visitors who started like the team eyeing promotion to the Premier League.
Andreas Weimann should have given Wolves the lead just past the quarter-hour mark after a mix-up at the back between two Leeds defenders, but with just Robert Green to beat, the Leeds No 1 stood up tall to block the Austrian's shot.
Moments later and Green was again called into action to keep out David Edwards's close-range strike low down at his near post as Paul Lambert's side continued to make all the running.
After Dicko had flashed a well-struck effort just past the left-hand post, however, the Mali striker did finally give Wolves a deserved lead seven minutes before half-time after being slid clean through on goal by Ben Marshall's defence-splitting pass.
And faced with just Green to beat, the 24-year-old kept his cool to place an accurate shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the net for his first away goal since April 2015.
It was the first time Leeds, who failed to have a shot on target in the first half, had conceded at home since Bristol City scored on February 14 as the visitors led at the break.
In fact, it took the home team until 17 minutes from time to have their first effort on goal as Andy Lonergan, who kept his place in Wolves' goal with Carl Ikeme still out with a hamstring injury, reacting brilliantly to tip substitute Souleymane Doukara's close-range header over the bar.
There was one final scare for the visitors with just a minute to go when Kemar Roofe's loping header back across goal appeared to be dropping into the back of the net.
However, a posse of backtracking Wolves defenders got back to clear the ball off the line as Leeds' recent run of 10 wins in their previous 12 home games came to an abrupt end.
Leeds boss Garry Monk:
"We're disappointed with that result. mWe didn't want that to happen at this stage of the season. But we've had the mentality for so long where we've been in the play-offs quite comfortably and have kind of been in that protective mode of trying to stay in there.
"Now we have to change that mentality to be a team that goes on the hunt and lets it all go. It's still a really good situation for us. We've got no time to feel sorry for ourselves, that doesn't get you anywhere.
"This is the interesting part. We spent so long in there with the points advantage and we don't have that luxury anymore. Now we have to go on the hunt. Sometimes it's easier and there's less pressure when you're on the hunt. When you're in there, there's a different pressure. These are three of the biggest games of our lives."
Wolves boss Paul Lambert:
"We were excellent and should have been two or three up in the first half. We were strong defensively in the second half and a threat on the break."