Report: Leeds United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Whites begin the season with three points!
Leeds United 2 (Rodrigo 24’, Aaronson 74’)
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 (Podence 6’)
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Koch, Aaronson (Summerville 85’), Roca (Greenwood 73’), Bamford (C) (Gelhardt 84’) Harrison, Adams, Llorente, Rodrigo (Klich 65’), Struijk, Kristensen. Subs not used: Klaesson, Gyabi, Hjelde, Drameh, Gray.
Wolves: Sa (GK), Ait-Nouri, Collins, Neto, Neves (C), Podence, Hwang (Campbell 85’), Gibbs-White, Jonny, Kilman, Dendoncker. Subs not used: Sarkic (GK), Mosquera, Boly, Coady, Ronan, Cundle, Hodge, Bueno.
Venue: Elland Road
Referee: Robert Jones
Booked: Adams, Harrison (Leeds)
Jesse Marsch’s side got off to the perfect start to the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, defeating Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road.
The Whites had to come from behind to seal the three points, after the visitors had taken an early lead. However, goals from Rodrigo and debutant Brenden Aaronson saw United begin the new season with a win.
The atmosphere was electric inside Elland Road as always, but the home crowd had to rally their team after going behind when Hwang Hee-Chan cleverly cushioned the ball down in the box for Daniel Podence to fire into the back of the net.
The crowd and Leeds responded well and immediately set-off on the attack. Aaronson looked a major threat down the right wing, whilst Rasmus Kristensen was unfortunate to see his header cleared from under the goal-line by Ruben Neves.
Hwang had tested Illan Meslier and forced the ‘keeper into a good save after seeing Bamford test Jose Sa down the opposite end moments earlier, then the Whites did find their equaliser.
Spanish international Rodrigo continued his fine goalscoring form over pre-season, to find space on the right of the box and drill a low effort into the back of the net despite Sa’s best efforts! Elland Road erupted, and the Whites were back on terms.
Before the interval, Meslier would again be called into action to ensure the teams went in level. First he stopped well from Pedro Neto, before making a stunning save to deny Leander Dendoncker’s dangerous effort.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Coming out in the second 45, both teams continued to search for a winner in the match and set off looking lively. Tyler Adams was involved all over the pitch, showing energy and desire to win the ball back and then start attacks when he had succeeded in doing so.
Meslier was continuing with his impressive display as he forced another top save from Dendoncker’s header, whilst Kristensen put in a huge tackle on Rayan Aït-Nouri who had found a way into the box, with Wolves pushing forward for a large spell.
Marsch opted for a change in his midfield, bringing off goalscorer Rodrigo for the experience and calmness of Mateusz Klich. The change worked well and would pay off within a matter of minutes, changing the course of the game.
A superb team move which involved Adams, Klich and Patrick Bamford allowed the Leeds number nine to cross into the box where the onrushing Aaronson turned home and sent Elland Road into a frenzy, with 15 minutes to play!
The lead was so nearly extended shortly after, with the Whites refusing to just accept and rest on their advantage. This time it was Jack Harrison with the cross in from the left, pinpoint for Bamford who leapt highest but Sa would produce a stunning tip over the bar.
In what had been a largely entertaining match with quality and chances at either end, the final few minutes were played out with no major concerns, just as Leeds United and the large percentage of the 36,347 strong crowd would have wanted.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers