Five Memorable Opening Day Games

Five Memorable Opening Day Games

A look at some of the standout moments from previous seasons

As a new season quickly approaches, Leeds United's 2023/24 Championship fixtures will be revealed at 9am on Thursday.

As we wait to find out who the Whites will face in Game Week 1, we take a look at five memorable opening day matches since 1991, from Rodrigo's strike against Wolves to Gary McAllister kicking off our march to the First Division title.


Jack Harrison and Brenden Aaronson celebrate scoring against Wolves

Our last opening day fixture saw Leeds United kick off the 2022/23 campaign at home, as we welcomed Wolves to Elland Road.

Wolves took the lead after just six minutes, when Hee-chan headed a cross into the path of Podence, whose shot bounced off the turf and over a diving Meslier. 

Leeds' equaliser would arrive 18 minutes later, as a scramble in the visitor's area saw the ball deflected to Rodrigo, who quickly fired a shot beyond the reach of Sa.

The three points were sealed in the 74th minute, when Brenden Aaronson and Rayan Aït-Nouri rushed in, with Bamford's pass connecting with the latter's leg and going past Sa for an own goal.


Our 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship title-winning season got off to a fine start away to Bristol City, when the Whites defeated Lee Johnson's side 3-1 at Ashton Gate.

Pablo Hernandez took just 26 minutes to open his tally for the season, with a stunning 20-yard curling strike, before setting up Patrick Bamford in the second half to make it 2-0.

Jack Harrison sealed the win in the 72nd minute for the Whites, Mateusz Klich's strike deflecting off Jack Hunt and falling to the Leeds winger to convert from close range.

Marcelo' Bielsa's side would score 77 goals during our last season in the Championship, the win against Bristol City being our first of 28.


Robbie Keane celebrates after scoring against Man City

Having finished the previous season fifth in the Premier League, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League and appointing former England manager Terry Venables, much was expected from Leeds heading into the 2002/03 season.

Summer signing Nick Barmby scored after just 15 minutes for the Whites in the opening fixture against Kevin Keegan's Man City. Mark Viduka struck before half-time, before Robbie Keane completed the rout to make it 3-0, 14 days before the Irish striker moved to Tottenham.

Despite a season which started brightly with wins against Man City, Newcastle and Man United early on, Leeds would end the season flirting with relegation, eventually finishing 15th.


Before his stunning strikes against Liverpool and Wimbledon, there was Tony Yeboah's opening day rocket against West Ham!

Having joined seven months earlier, Yeboah kicked off his sophomore season in spectacular fashion, scoring a brace against the Hammers at Upton Park.

Danny Williamson gave the hosts the lead after 5 minutes, before Gary Kelly floated in a swinging cross, which connected brilliantly with Yeboah's head to bring the scores level. Nine minutes later, Kelly and Yeboah linked up once more, as the former launched a ball forward, Yeboah burst threw the defence, and volleyed it past keeper Ludek Miklosko.

Leeds would finish 15th in the Premier League and runners-up in the League Cup that season, with Tony Yeboah finishing top goalscorer with 19 goals in all competitions.


Gary McAllister celebrates against Forest

Having won promotion two years previously, finished fourth in our first season back in the top flight, there was only way Howard Wilkinson's men were going during the 1991/92 season... up!

With a host of summer signings ranging from Tony Dorigo to Rod Wallace, over 29,000 Leeds fans would watch as Leeds United faced Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest on the opening day.

As the game reached the 13th minute, David Batty launched a throw-in into the Forest area, Lee Chapman flicked it on to McAllister, who on the edge of the area struck the ball sweetly, watching as it went underneath the body of Mark Crossley as he attempted to dive on top of it.

The 1-0 win kick-started a 10-game unbeaten run, as Leeds clinched the First Division title ahead of arch rivals Manchester United, finishing on 82 points before the competition was rebranded to the Premier League the following season.