Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui has claimed that his side "didn't deserve to lose" as he slammed the officials for failing to give his side a "very clear" penalty and for Jonny's "unlucky" red card vs Leeds United.
Leeds ran out 4-2 winners in a thrilling match at Molineux that saw the Whites climb out of the relegation zone.
VAR was called upon on numerous occasions throughout the match and Lopetegui bemoaned its application over what he saw as controversial decisions.
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“I am with a big frustration because we didn’t deserve to lose this match," the Wolves boss said after the match. "For a lot of reasons, but this is football and the right thing doesn’t always happen in football. I think we suffered very early and that was the only chance they had in the first half and we had a lot of chances, in a very good first half.
“It’s true that we missed a lot of chances and in the second half, we suffered two goals too easily, and we don’t have to concede these goals because we are working in a good way and we are able to change the score in the second half, but the two goals made it more difficult. It became a crazy match and we scored two goals and again we had a lot of chances to draw the match.”
Shortly after Jack Harrison had put Leeds 1-0 up, Nelson Semedo went to ground under a challenge from Junior Firpo inside the penalty area. A penalty was not awarded on the field nor by VAR, but Lopetegui could not understand why his side were not awarded a spot-kick.
“We should have had a penalty," he said. "It was very, very clear, but I don’t know what’s happening with us again. These fans deserve the same respect as all the other teams in the Premier League, so I don’t know why it’s us, because it’s one other decision. I can tell you very clearly about five other penalties [Wolves should have had this season].
“It's about opinion. You have to have an opinion and I have to give you my opinion as a coach, and the penalty I have seen is clear. It’s very, very clear, he [Firpo] didn’t touch the ball, he touched [Semedo’s] knee.
“I had to change him in the second half for this injury, so it’s very clear that he didn’t touch the ball. In the last match it was a penalty, but we only received and apology, but we don’t want apologies, we want fairness.”
Things went from bad to worse for Wolves late on in the match as Jonny was shown an initial yellow card that was subsequently upgraded to red after the referee was sent to the monitor by VAR following a nasty-looking ankle-high challenge on Luke Ayling. Yet the Wolves manager disagreed that his player should have been sent off.
He said: “We suffered the third goal after a very clear fault. I don’t know why the referee went to see the VAR for the red card with Jonny, maybe he lost the ball, but there wasn’t any intention to damage the opposition.
“Then he didn’t give a very clear foul on Adama [Traore, in the build up to Rodrigo's goal], but we have to change our luck. I don’t know what we are doing here, but we are unlucky and the fans of Wolves deserve the same respect as the rest of the teams.
“There are always mistakes in football, but when you have the same mistakes always against the same team – then, I don’t know.”
After Rodrigo scored in the 97th minute to make it 4-2, unused substitute Matheus Nunes was shown the second red card of the afternoon in the 100th minute for his protests over the decision to allow the goal to stand. Another decision that Lopetegui disagreed with.
“I have seen the red card for Matheus Nunes and I think they are going to review because he was complaining to the linesman, but the linesman walks back into him. I don’t know, but I think they will change this red card."
Leeds are now just a point behind Wolves and their coach was far from pleased that the Whites were able to walk away with three points in what is such a tight relegation fight this season.
“We’re not happy because we lost three important points, against a direct rival, but we have to continue to in a big race and continue to work like it’s 10 finals, but finals you can only play one by one.
“We have to put the focus in the next one knowing we have done very good things in this match too, knowing that we didn’t deserve to lose today, but knowing that it’s not enough.”
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