Leeds 2 – 1 Wolves

Jesse Marsch’s new-look Leeds side got off to the perfect start as they came from behind to beat Wolves 2-1 at Elland Road.

Leeds fell behind early on after Daniel Podence’s half-volleyed effort (6) and were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty as Jose Sa took out Rasmus Kristensen in the penalty area.

Rodrigo Moreno was on hand to equalize (24), beating Sa at his near post with his weaker right-foot, before an own goal by Rayan Ait-Nouri (74) ensured Leeds secured the three points.

Team news

  • Rasmus Kristensen, Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Marc Roca made their Leeds debuts
  • Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo started for Leeds
  • Nathan Collins was preferred in defense for Wolves ahead of Everton target Conor Coady
  • Morgan Gibbs-White started for Wolves after multiple rejected bids from Nottingham Forest

How Leeds secured opening weekend victory

Wolverhampton Wanderers'  Daniel Podence celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game
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Podence wheels away after his sixth-minute opener

Wolves were effective with the few chances they created in the first half and took the lead through Podence’s effort – after a Hwang Hee-Chan nod down – bounced into the ground and cruelly over Leeds goalkeeper Islan Meslier.

There was a contentious moment less than 10 minutes later as Sa took out Kristensen in the area after recklessly coming off his line to claim a cross. Neither the referee nor the VAR deemed it a foul to the amazement of Clinton Morrison, who told Soccer Saturday: “I have no faith in VAR”.

Marsch’s side responded well and put Wolves under intense pressure and it paid off as Aaronson, who was a live wire throughout, won the ball back inside the Wolves box to create the opportunity for Rodrigo to fire the ball underneath Sa at his near post.

Leeds United's Rodrigo Moreno celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game
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Rodrigo celebrates his equaliser

Wolves increased their width in the second half and looked like a new side, creating dangerous moments through Podence and Pedro Neto on numerous occasions, with Leeds right-back Kristensen producing a last-ditch challenge to deny a goalscoring opportunity.

For all the Wolves pressure, it was Leeds that got the all important goal as Patrick Bamford delivered an early low cross for Aaronson at the back post. The USA international, who arrived from RB Salzburg, wheeled away as if he had swept home, but it was subsequently awarded as an Ait-Nouri own goal.

What’s next?

Leeds have a favorable opening run of fixtures, facing only two of the ‘big six’ – Chelsea and Manchester United – in their first 10 matches. They travel to Southampton on Saturday August 13; kick off 3pm.

On the same day and time, wolves host newly promoted Fulham at Molineux.

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