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Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Leicester City: VAR denies hosts chance to close on top four

Wily Boly heads past Kasper Schmeichel
Boly's header was the fourth goal Wolves have had disallowed by VAR this season. Only Sheffield United (five) have had more

Wolves missed out on the chance to close the gap on the top four as they were held to a goalless draw by 10-man Leicester City amid more VAR controversy.

Just before half-time, Willy Boly looked to have opened the scoring for the hosts after a short corner routine but his close-range header was ruled out with Pedro Neto judged to be offside in build-up.

Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury was sent off 14 minutes from the end of normal time after collecting two bookings in the second half.

But in a game full of incident and goalscoring chances, the main talking point was Boly's disallowed effort.

Only Sheffield United, with five, have had more goals ruled out by VAR decisions in the Premier League this term than Nuno Espirito Santo's side and the decision was greeted with derision by the home supporters who chanted 'What a load of rubbish' and 'Is it football anymore?'

The result leaves Leicester third in the table, a point behind Manchester City.

However, Wolves move up to seventh, three points behind Sheffield United in fifth, and well-placed to compete for a Champions League place next term, if City's ban from European club competitions is upheld and England retains four clubs in the competition.

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Wolves 0-0 Leicester: Nuno Espirito Santo admits VAR could lead to 'robot' players

Strikers draw blanks

While the early parts of this game suggested the sides could emulate the seven-goal thrillers that have marked their last two Premier League meetings at Molineux, that hope fizzled away largely due to poor finishing.

Raul Jimenez was chief culprit for the hosts, heading three excellent opportunities either over or wide of the Leicester goal and slashing woefully at a left-foot shot that drifted wide of Kasper Schmeichel's and remained in play.

When Wolves did hit the target, Schmeichel was there to deny them, brilliantly stretching out his left leg to prevent Diogo Jota from scoring and blocking Adama Traore's stinging stoppage-time shot at point-blank range.

Jamie Vardy fared no better for the visitors. After the hour mark the Premier League's leading marksman had touched the ball just seven times on his 200th Premier League appearance for the Foxes.

And the 33-year-old's evening did not get any better as he failed to register a single shot, meaning he has now gone six Premier League games without a goal - his longest run without a top-flight goal since he went seven games between December 2016 and February 2017.

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Wolves 0-0 Leicester: Brendan Rodgers pleased with draw

Winter break woes?

While Brendan Rodgers gave his squad seven days off after their 2-2 draw with Chelsea on 1 February and Wolves took their players on a warm-weather training trip to Spain, at times the purpose of those breaks - to recharge - did not look to have worked.

Both sets of players appeared to run out of ideas and legs at times on a spongy Molineux surface.

Nine of the 11 Foxes players to start the game had made over 20 Premier League starts this term but, while Brendan Rodger's consistency of selection has helped them to third in the table, they struggled to find their previous spark.

Wolves, who playing their 42nd game of the season, started with eight players who have started 20 Premier League games or more.

The Foxes have now taken five points from the last available 15, while Wolves have managed six in the same period.

Man of the match - Jonny (Wolves)

Wolves Jonny tackles Marc Albrighton
Jonny made the most tackles of any player (six)

'I thought we deserved a point' - what they said

Wolves manager Nuno Espirto Santo to BBC Match of the Day: "It is not about frustration but realising what we did in the game and now analyse to say 'we could (have won)'.

"Leicester had possession in the first half but did not create, we scored in the first half and dominated a very good team. The boys created many chances but it requires more work from us to complete the actions.

"Raul Jimenez was there, (it will happen for him) in the next game. The work rate he did was amazing. He did not put it inside the net but his it is amazing how he works and creates for the team. We go again on Thursday and hope things will happen.

"I saw a lot of energy from the players and this is what I am happy about, we are ready for the tough cycle."

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers speaking to BBC Match of the Day: "I thought we deserved a point. They are always a threat on the counter. It was impressive for us to keep a clean sheet with 10 men.

"We probably could've been quicker around the attack - the build-up play was good - but away from home you expect to come under pressure and it ends up being a very good point and keeping the gap to 14 points between us."

On the VAR decisions: "I think his big toe was offside! It's unfortunate. We're disappointed to give the corner away. We've had a number that have gone for and against and you just have to keep the team calm.

"I didn't think it was a red card for us, so it's unfortunate."

Firing blanks - the stats

  • Wolves have drawn consecutive league games without scoring for the first time since April 2010, when they drew 0-0 against Stoke and Fulham.
  • Two of Leicester's three goalless draws in the Premier League under Brendan Rodgers have come against Wolves.
  • Since returning to the Premier League in 2014-15, Leicester have received 19 red cards - the joint-most of any team in that time (level with Everton and Watford).
  • Only Aston Villa (6) have seen their opponents receive more red cards in Premier League games this season than Wolves (5).
  • Since joining Leicester, Jamie Vardy has played more league games against Wolves without scoring than any other side (6).
  • Vardy became only the second Leicester player to make 200 Premier League appearances for the club, after Muzzy Izzet (222). Aged 33 years and 34 days, Vardy is the oldest Englishman to reach 200 appearances in the competition since Alan Stubbs (35y 323d) in August 2007.

What next?

Wolves travel to Norwich next Sunday, 23 February (14:00 GMT), while Leicester host Manchester City on Saturday, 22 February (17:30 GMT) knowing a win will send them above Pep Guardiola's side into second.

Line-ups

Wolves

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 15Boly
  • 16Coady
  • 27Saïss
  • 2Doherty
  • 32DendonckerBooked at 55mins
  • 8NevesBooked at 45minsSubstituted forJoão Moutinhoat 81'minutes
  • 19Castro Otto
  • 7NetoSubstituted forTraoréat 64'minutes
  • 18JotaSubstituted forCastelo Podenceat 78'minutes
  • 9Jiménez

Substitutes

  • 10Castelo Podence
  • 17Gibbs-White
  • 21Ruddy
  • 28João Moutinho
  • 37Traoré
  • 49Kilman
  • 59Buur

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 21Ricardo Pereira
  • 6Evans
  • 4Söyüncü
  • 3ChilwellBooked at 88mins
  • 20ChoudhuryBooked at 76mins
  • 17PérezSubstituted forAlbrightonat 68'minutes
  • 8TielemansSubstituted forPraetat 75'minutes
  • 10MaddisonBooked at 36mins
  • 15BarnesSubstituted forMorganat 90+4'minutes
  • 9Vardy

Substitutes

  • 2Justin
  • 5Morgan
  • 7Gray
  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 14Iheanacho
  • 26Praet
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
31,682

Match Stats

Home TeamWolvesAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home15
Away9
Shots on Target
Home3
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away0
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0, Leicester City 0.

Full Time

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

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Çaglar Söyüncü.

Attempt blocked. Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adama Traoré.

Attempt saved. Adama Traoré (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by João Moutinho.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Wes Morgan replaces Harvey Barnes.

Offside, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Willy Boly tries a through ball, but Daniel Podence is caught offside.

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

Attempt blocked. Dennis Praet (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonny Evans with a headed pass.

Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Daniel Podence (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Attempt missed. Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by João Moutinho with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Marc Albrighton.

Booking

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ben Chilwell (Leicester City).

Adama Traoré (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. João Moutinho (Wolverhampton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Doherty.

Attempt missed. Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by João Moutinho with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Çaglar Söyüncü (Leicester City).

Adama Traoré (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. João Moutinho replaces Rúben Neves.

Attempt missed. Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Adama Traoré with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Daniel Podence replaces Diogo Jota.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City) for a bad foul.

Foul by Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City).

Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Dennis Praet replaces Youri Tielemans.

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Ben Chilwell.

Attempt blocked. Jonny (Wolverhampton Wanderers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Conceded by Çaglar Söyüncü.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Marc Albrighton replaces Ayoze Pérez.

Attempt blocked. Harvey Barnes (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ricardo Pereira with a cross.

Hand ball by Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Substitution

Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Adama Traoré replaces Pedro Neto.

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

Foul by Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

Foul by Jonny Evans (Leicester City).

Diogo Jota (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool25241060154573
2Man City25163665293651
3Leicester26155654262850
4Chelsea2512584334941
5Sheff Utd2610972824439
6Tottenham2510784032837
7Wolves2681263532336
8Everton26106103438-436
9Man Utd259883629735
10Arsenal2561363234-231
11Burnley2594122838-1031
12Newcastle2587102436-1231
13Southampton2594123146-1531
14Crystal Palace2679102332-930
15Brighton2669113138-727
16Bournemouth2675142640-1426
17Aston Villa2574143247-1525
18West Ham2566133043-1324
19Watford2659122440-1624
20Norwich2546152447-2318
View full Premier League table

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