The Joe Edwards debrief - Wolves 1 Leeds 0

Wolves put in an encouraging, entertaining 90-minute performance to keep up the momentum with a win over Leeds.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Pedro Neto and Adama Traore celebrate (PA)
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Pedro Neto and Adama Traore celebrate (PA)

A month is a long time of football and, without getting carried away, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side appear to be heading in the right direction.

Tactical triumph

Playing Pedro Neto and Adama Traore as inverted wingers, yet again, worked a treat.

First seen in the second half at Southampton, Nuno went with it from the start against Marcelo Bielsa’s men – and it has made them so much more unpredictable in attack.

No longer is it just a case of the widemen surging to the byline and hopefully floating crosses over.

Traore is now picking the ball up in much more dangerous areas and getting shots off, with his thunderbolt crashing off the crossbar and off Illan Meslier’s back to win it.

Neto was not afraid to try his luck from distance either, going close on a few occasions in the first half.

Getting nearer striker Willian Jose, there is far greater scope for intricate play between the three forwards.

They are working towards being on the same wavelength and linking up to good effect.

Credit to Nuno, that switch has turned the front three into a more cohesive and productive unit which should be able to trouble most teams moving forward.

The attitude and application, from the team as a whole, was very pleasing as well.

Willian’s work

He may remain goalless, but this was a brighter display from Jose.

Dropping deep at times, he played a decent through-ball to set up a chance for Nelson Semedo and, overall, linked up play nicely.

The Brazilian was also a bit unfortunate not to be found by Neto shortly into the second half, with the winger opting to shoot when he probably should have squared it across goal.

Leeds United's Pascal Struijk and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Willian Jose battle for the ball (PA)

Jose is different to the absent Raul Jimenez in that he seems to be more reliant on quality service, as where the exceptional Jimenez is able to produce moments of magic out of nowhere.

The Real Sociedad loanee is still in the adjustment phase, and Wolves are in the process of working out how to get the best out of a traditional target man, too.

He does, though, certainly bring a presence and this was more like it.

Fingers crossed, it is just a matter of time until he opens his account.

Steady Semedo

It has not been smooth sailing for Semedo since his big bucks arrival from Barcelona last summer.

Replacing Matt Doherty who was tailor-made for Nuno’s style of play and system, he was always going to be in for a tough task and the first half of the season was very up and down for him.

But the Portuguese now appears to be finding his feet. Against Leeds, he supported attacks throughout and also did a solid defensive job against the tricky Jack Harrison.

He will be hoping to get off the mark in gold and black soon, having seen a couple of close-range attempts saved by Meslier.

His outing was not a one-off either. For several weeks, Semedo has looked more confident.

And with Neto happy to cut inside, he has the freedom of the right flank to show his energy and quality.

We are seeing why so much money – £27.5million before bonuses – was spent on him. Compatriot Rui Patricio was also magnificent, making a series of vital saves and coming away with a thoroughly-deserved clean sheet.

Positive run

So, suddenly, Wolves are four unbeaten in the top flight. They have also enjoyed back-to-back wins, done the double over Leeds and moved up to 11th in the table.

For a while, there was talk of Nuno’s pack perhaps being sucked into a fight towards the bottom.

But now they are only seven points off sixth-placed Liverpool, the reigning champions. Football is bonkers, isn’t it?

Of course, Wolves still have their problems. They look particularly fragile at set pieces and need to tighten up in that regard quickly – Patricio having to bail them out several times on Friday.

Fernando Marcal also limped off with yet another injury issue and it seems Wolves will have to take a serious look at that area in the summer.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rayan Ait-Nouri comes on for Marcal (PA)

Can the Brazilian be relied upon as Jonny Castro Otto’s deputy if he is out so often? And is £20m for Rayan Ait-Nouri too much for somebody who will be back-up?

Finally, though, some consistency seems to be forming.

They were able to name the same XI for the second game running – a rarity this season – and, ultimately, there were far more positives than negatives to take from this game.

The next stop is Newcastle and, who knows, Wolves may still have a fair amount to play for this term.

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