Wolverhampton Wanderers were subjected to a shock comeback by Leeds United at Molineux on Friday night as Bruno Lage’s side squandered a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2.
First-half goals from Jonny Otto and Francisco Trincao had the hosts on course for a third consecutive victory in the Premier League before Raul Jimenez’s red card completely turned the game, with goals from Jack Harrison, Rodrigo and Luke Ayling completing a sensational comeback for Jesse Marsch’s team.
The defeat is a major dent in Wolves’ hopes of securing European football for next season, with the performance certainly being a disappointment, and the display of Willy Boly was particularly under par in the West Midlands.
The centre-back has had a wretched time with injury, having made his first Premier League appearance of the season against Watford recently, with Friday being just his second top-flight outing in 2021/22.
However, according to SofaScore, the Frenchman gave the ball away on 18 occasions, and having had 71 touches, he lost possession once every 3.9 touches in what was a disappointing performance.
Moreover, the 31-year-old maintained a pass completion rate of 75% and completed just three out of 13 attempted long balls, a success rate of 23%. From a defensive point of view, there was little to boast about either, with the defender making just one tackle and one interception whilst failing to record a single block.
However, one positive was that Boly won over half of his duels, with a 54% success rate.
Of course, the Frenchman wasn’t the only player to contribute a below-par showing on Friday night as Wolves threw away a fantastic chance to climb into sixth and put pressure on Tottenham and West Ham once again.
The defeat now keeps them in eighth ahead of the remaining Premier League matches, with Spurs having two games in hand and a two-point advantage, leaving the Old Gold’s European hopes dangling by a thread.
It would have been particularly disappointing to see Boly struggle after a long period out of action, with the defender certainly being a fan favourite at Molineux. The 31-year-old was a kingpin in Wolves’ promotion season in 2017/18 and has since gone on to make 81 appearances in the top flight for the Black Country outfit.
Wolves’ defence has been largely excellent season, with Lage’s men conceding just 26 goals in 30 matches, the fourth-best record in the Premier League.
It will be a record that the manager will be keen to preserve for the remainder of the campaign, but it appears as though Boly could harm the team’s chances of maintaining such a fine concession rate.
The regular trio of Conor Coady, Romain Saiss and Max Kilman have formed an impressive alliance as the season has progressed. However, Kilman was relegated to the bench against Leeds, and that now appears to have been a costly error by Lage.
With eight games to go, the West Midlands outfit will need to put an excellent run together in order to ensure that they will be playing in European competition next season, and to that end they will require better performances than what Boly delivered last night. Unfortunately, the 31-year-old failed the test presented to him by his manager upon being thrown into the team against Leeds.