Premier League
LeicesterLeicester City0WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers0

Leicester 0-0 Wolves: Leander Dendoncker has goal ruled out by VAR decision

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport
Leander Dendoncker
Leander Dendoncker thought he had scored his third Premier League goal, but it was ruled out

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said video assistant referee decisions are affecting "the spirit of the game" after his side had a goal ruled out in their scoreless draw at Leicester.

Joao Moutinho's right-wing corner was headed goalwards by Leander Dendoncker and hit the arm of Wolves' Willy Boly at close range before Dendoncker shot the rebound past Kasper Schmeichel from eight yards out.

But, after one minute and 38 seconds and a VAR review, the goal was disallowed by on-field official Andre Marriner, with Leicester fans cheering when no goal was announced via the stadium's big screens.

Premier League
The Premier League tweeted to explain why the goal had been cancelled

"What I'm concerned about is, let's not ruin the game," said Nuno.

"It's what fans come for, to celebrate a goal, not to celebrate a no goal - that's not the real celebration of football.

"It's not good for the atmosphere of football. The Leicester fans were celebrating the no goal. That's not the mindset of the game. Six months ago it would've been a goal, so that is an issue for VAR.

"We have such a nice Premier League, such a product, we cannot lose that. Two minutes the game stopped. The anxiety of us celebrating, then we waited - it's not the spirit of the game."

VAR moment overshadows game

These two sides have been tipped as potential challengers to the Premier League's top six, but this game did not sparkle, with only three shots on target in total, and Leicester having to wait 83 minutes before their solitary goal-bound chance.

Foxes substitute Harvey Barnes had a curling effort well held by Rui Patricio, and Wolves' best legal effort fell to Raul Jimenez, but he shot straight at Schmeichel.

But the main controversy came early in the second half when Dendoncker put the ball in the back of the net and Wolves were celebrating before the goal was overturned.

"I thought it was a goal, we were ready to start again and VAR [on the big screen] said it might've seen something and I was surprised," said Dendoncker.

"Willy Boly was just jumping and I had no clue it was a handball. It's a new rule so we have to adapt to it and get used to it."

Confirmation that Wolves' goal had been ruled out was cheered by Leicester supporters

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers joked he "was a massive fan of VAR, especially today", but also added: "I've said all along that it will work really well in the game and that some will go for you, like it did today, and some will go against you, like it has done for Nuno today.

"It has to always be consistent and if there's a handball and that leads to a goal, it gets ruled out.

"The officials are trying to work it the best they can. It's not perfect yet but as long as you get to the right decision, that's what we want."

Leicester 0-0 Wolves: Nuno Espirito Santo unhappy with length of VAR delay

Rodgers praises Maguire replacement Soyuncu

Earlier this week, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha was confirmed as Leicester's new chairman and was introduced to the King Power Stadium crowd in an emotional moment before kick-off, with the Foxes supporters giving him a large round of applause.

Aiyawatt succeeds his late father Vichai, who was one of five people who died when his helicopter crashed outside the stadium last October.

After kick-off on Sunday, the hosts were the most wasteful side in the opening half. Ben Chilwell, Ricardo Pereira, Wilfred Ndidi and Youri Tielemans all shot wide, while Jamie Vardy failed to get a touch from close range on a low cross fizzed in from the right side of the six-yard box by Tielemans.

For Wolves, Diogo Jota should have done better than drag a shot wide from a central position just outside the penalty area, and only an excellent last-ditch challenge from Jonny Evans denied Ryan Bennett a shooting chance six yards out.

Within seconds of the restart, Jimenez, who scored 13 Premier League goals last season, shot straight at Schmeichel after a quick counter-attack.

Wolves had a round trip of more than 6,000 miles for their Europa League tie on Thursday against Armenian side Pyunik, but Nuno's side ended with more shots on target than Leicester, with Jimenez again denied by Schmeichel.

The visitors brought on striker Patrick Cutrone, an £18m summer signing from AC Milan, but they could not find their way past a well-organised Leicester defence. Caglar Soyuncu, who came in for Harry Maguire after the England international's £80m move to Manchester United, was among those impressing.

"Caglar was excellent," said Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers. "He got a round of applause at the end from his team-mates and it's not easy to come in for a special player like Harry, but Caglar was strong and comfortable on the ball."

Man of the match - Willy Boly (Wolves)

Willy Boly
No player made more blocks than Willy Boly's eight. He also made three tackles, gained possession eight times and won 75% of his duels, including all of his aerial duels - even if his handball did lead to the goal being ruled out

'Every point is important' - what they said

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers told Match of the Day: "It was a good game, two well-matched teams. At this time of the season it's never going to be perfect but I'm really pleased with the attitude. Sometimes in these games you can lose 1-0 but we kept fighting to the end.

"At this level every point is important and if you cannot win you take a point and work hard to improve next week."

Leicester 0-0 Wolves: Brendan Rodgers a 'massive fan' of VAR'

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo told Match of the Day: "We did OK. We were very organised, a very good shape.

"Leicester are a very good team, well-managed and know what to do. We had very good situations in counter attacks.

"Both teams compete and that's fantastic. Both managers will say 'maybe I could've had it' but the boys worked very hard and I'm proud of them."

Leicester fail to win season opener again - the stats

  • Leicester have won their opening Premier League match of a season just once in their last 11 attempts (drawn five, lost five) - against Sunderland in 2015-16.
  • Wolves have drawn 0-0 in their opening game of a top-flight season for the first time since 1951-52.
  • Wolves had failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their previous 15 away league games before today - a run stretching back to a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace in October 2018.
  • Each of the last two occasions in which a side has faced no more than one shot on target despite having less than 30% of possession in a Premier League game have been Wolves - against Leicester today and against Arsenal in April 2019.
  • Leicester didn't have a shot on target until the 83rd minute, courtesy of substitute Harvey Barnes - their latest first attempt on target in a Premier League game since May 2018 v West Ham (86th minute).
  • Leicester have failed to score in each of their last three games - this is only the second time a Brendan Rodgers side has done so, after a run of three games with Swansea City in November 2011.
  • Jamie Vardy failed to attempt a single shot in a home Premier League game in which he started for just the seventh time - the last occasion was also against Wolves in August 2018.

What's next?

On Thursday, Wolves play the second leg of their Europa League third qualifying round tie against Pyunik (19:45 BST), but Nuno Espirito Santo may have a chance to rest some of his players after his side's 4-0 opening leg win.

They are at Molineux again four days later, on Monday 19 August, when they host Manchester United in their first home Premier League game of the season (20:00 BST).

Leicester have a week off before they play at Chelsea on Sunday (16:30 BST) in Frank Lampard's first home game in charge of the Blues.



Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 6Evans
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 3Chilwell
  • 25Ndidi
  • 17PérezSubstituted forAlbrightonat 76'minutes
  • 8Tielemans
  • 20ChoudhurySubstituted forBarnesat 61'minutes
  • 10Maddison
  • 9Vardy


  • 2Justin
  • 5Morgan
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 15Barnes
  • 26Praet


Formation 3-5-2

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 5Bennett
  • 16Coady
  • 15Boly
  • 2Doherty
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 8NevesBooked at 60minsSubstituted forSaïssat 81'minutes
  • 28João Moutinho
  • 19Castro OttoBooked at 31mins
  • 9Jiménez
  • 18JotaSubstituted forCutroneat 76'minutes


  • 7Neto
  • 10Cutrone
  • 17Gibbs-White
  • 21Ruddy
  • 27Saïss
  • 29Vinagre
  • 37Traoré
Andre Marriner

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamWolves
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leicester City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leicester City 0, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfred Ndidi.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Willy Boly.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Romain Saïss tries a through ball, but Patrick Cutrone is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonny Evans (Leicester City) left footed shot from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Ben Chilwell following a corner.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ryan Bennett.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Maddison (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Youri Tielemans.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jonny.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Youri Tielemans.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Romain Saïss replaces Rúben Neves.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Maddison (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

  14. Post update

    Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Patrick Cutrone (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton replaces Ayoze Pérez.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Patrick Cutrone replaces Diogo Jota.

  19. Post update

    Youri Tielemans (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers).


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