When the American was brought in to build on Marcelo Bielsa’s work, making the craziness of EL Loco’s team even more crazy was probably not what Leeds had in mind.
If Sunday’s 2-1 win over Norwich City was dramatic, last night’s 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers took it to new levels.
There was a lot wrong with the Whites but they more than made up for it with incredible strength of character to kick off the weekend seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Just as it looked like Dan James and substitute Charlie Cresswell had blown good chances to win it, Luke Ayling did, winning his header at a deep free-kick and before Wolves could clear, drilling a shot through Jose Sa.
At the other end, debutant Kristoffer Klaesson pulled off some wonderful saves.
Carlsberg do not do first halves but if they did, they would be the complete opposite of Leeds’s.
Seeing that they were making their own problems, Lady Luck gleefully piled in to kick the hapless Whites when they were down.
By the interval they had lost two goals, three players to injury and it seemed like the game.
Before long, goalkeeper Illan Meslier would go off injured too and Stuart Dallas limped around for the final 25 minutes after his team scored twice in the blink of an eye.
Mateusz Klich, Diego Llorente and most demoralisingly Patrick Bamford went off injured before the half-time oranges. To judge by the upset on Bamford’s face, it was nothing trivial.
But Leeds did not help themselves.
They played with an energy led by James, starting on the right but quickly moved down the middle. But Bamford pulled a great chance created by a James interception wide in the 12th minute and when the Welshman was released after Ayling’s intervention, his cross was woefully overhit.
That was the least of it.
At the other end, Leeds showed all the bad defensive habits horribly exposed in Bielsa’s final days.
There were only six minutes on the clock when Llorente tried to dribble past Rayan Ait-Nouri suicidally close to his own byline and was relieved to see Adam Forshaw dispossess Daniel Podence. Llorente was fortunate Joao Moutinho was unable to make anything of his 19th-minute donation of the ball.
Bamford had pulled up playing the ball wide earlier when he tried to control Rodrigo’s ball over the top from an offside position and ended his night after 22 minutes. Sam Greenwood was preferred to Joe Gelhardt as the replacement.
Ruben Neves was limping by then but his substitution for Trincao worked far better.
A minute after coming on the Portuguese got in behind Dallas and pulled the ball back for a Jonny Otto goal.
Ayling was lucky to get away with dribbling across his area and Trincao robbed Klich.
Dallas swept up but his backpass to Meslier was not appreciated.
Llorente went off with a back injury then Trincao hit a post with Meslier narrowly beaten.
Bad got worse at the start of the second half when Meslier rushed into a 50-50 with Jimenez. Both went off, Jimenez for a second yellow card having fouled Robin Koch before the break, Meslier a hip injury. Klaesson was soon called upon by Trincao.
When Ayling hit a post in the 63rd minute and saw his follow-up cleared off the line by Conor Coady, Jack Harrison netted.
Four minutes later Leeds scored a remarkable equaliser. James’s lob hit high on Sa’s right-hand post and his follow-up was saved but Wolves sliced their clearance, Greenwood kept the ball alive, and Rodrigo scored. All the while, Dallas lay injured, caught in the knee by a very high Moutinho tackle.
James let Harrison’s cross pass him before Romain Saiss put it behind, and when Sa tipped Harrison’s 87th-minute shot wide, Cresswell headed onto the roof of the net from the corner.
Just when you thought it was not going to happen, Ayling pounced. The Leeds substitutes ran behind the goal to celebrate.
Still it was not over, Klaesson leaving his best save until the sixth added minute to tip over from Trincao.
Other than that, not much happened.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sa; Boly, Coady, Saiss; Jonny (Kilman 90), Neves (Trincao 25), Moutinho, Ait-Nouri; Dendoncker (Silva 90); Podence (Hwang 78), Jimenez. Unused substitutes: Marcal, Oliveira, Ruddy, Gomes, Cundle.
Leeds United: Meslier (Klaesson 54); Ayling, Llorente (Koch 40), Struijk, Dallas; Klich (Cresswell 45), Forshaw; James, Rodrigo, Harrison; Bamford (Greenwood 23). Unused substitutes: Cooper, Phillips, Gelhardt, Summerville, Kenneh.
Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).