REPORT: BOLTON WANDERERS 2-3 LEEDS UNITED
Leeds begin the season with three points.
Sky Bet Championship
Bolton Wanderers 2 (Madine 39, Le Fondre pen 67) Leeds United 3 (Phillips 7, 42, Wood 30)
Thomas Christiansen’s Leeds United started the new Sky Bet Championship season with victory at Bolton Wanderers, in a five goal thriller at the Macron Stadium.
Leeds got off to the perfect start, Pablo Hernandez did well to win United a corner and from the set-piece he crossed low, in a well worked move and Kalvin Phillips struck first time and superbly found the left corner to celebrate his new contract in style.
United then continued to press for a second, Luke Ayling put a good cross in looking for Chris Wood, but the New Zealand striker couldn’t make the desired contact with his header.
Bolton enjoyed some good pressure after Wood’s chance, Mark Beevers went closest from a corner, but he couldn’t get the better of Felix Wiedwald in the United goal.
Leeds doubled the lead on the half an hour mark, Kemar Roofe crossed, Ezgjan Alioski headed back across goal and Chris Wood found the back of the net via the crossbar, with an instinctive header.
United were then dealt a blow when Gaetano Berardi was forced off with a dislocated shoulder, which he had popped back into place in the Leeds changing room.
That blow deepened when Bolton pulled a goal back from a corner in the 39th minute, with Gary Madine heading home.
However Leeds restored the two goal cushion less than three minutes later, Hernandez played in Wood who beat the offside trap and the New Zealand striker unselfishly teed up Phillips who slotted home his second of the afternoon.
The Whites could have gone further ahead before the break when Roofe teed up Alioski, but the Macedonian international could only fire over from close range.
Half Time: Bolton Wanderers 1-3 Leeds United
Leeds started the second half well, Roofe broke down the right wing and crossed low, Alioski fired on goal from a narrow angle, but he couldn’t get the better of Mark Howard who made a good save.
Some nice build up play from Leeds led to substitute Vurnon Anita to strike on goal from distance and he forced Howard into another decent stop.
Bolton’s hopes of a comeback were enhanced in the 66th minute, substitute Conor Shaughnessy conceded a penalty for a shirt pull on Madine and Le Fondre smashed home from 12 yards.
Straight from the restart, Leeds almost scored a fourth, Hernandez hit a superb strike, which rattled the crossbar and the rebound was just too high for Wood to head home.
Bolton pressured for an equaliser from set-piece and Josh Cullen went close, striking over from range.
Leeds continued to hold on and had a great chance to seal it in the fourth minute of added time, Hernandez did brilliantly to tee up Wood, but his effort was blocked by a last gasp challenge.
After a long stoppage due to an injury to Bolton’s Josh Vela, United held on, to give Christiansen a winning start to his regime at the club.
Full Time: Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Leeds United
Bolton: Howard, Taylor, Dervite, Beevers, Vela, Karacan (Buckley 64), Le Fondre, Madine, Cullen, Darby (Armstrong 84), Wheater (Burke 53). Subs not used: Alnwick, Robinson, Osede, Wilbraham.
Leeds: Wiedwald, Ayling, Cooper, Pennington (Shaughnessy 64), Berardi (Anita 38), O’Kane, Phillips, Roofe, Hernandez, Alioski (Sacko 85), Wood. Subs not used: Green, Saiz, Klich, Ekuban.
Referee: S. Hooper
Booked: Buckley (Bolton)
Venue: Macron Stadium
Attendance: 19,857 (4,832 Leeds)