For the third game in a row, Leeds avoided defeat by Wolves after falling behind
Leeds United's soft reboot under manager Jesse Marsch got off to a winning start as Rayan Ait-Nouri's own goal gave them a comeback victory over Wolves in a lively game at Elland Road.
It has been a summer of change for the Whites, leading to Marsch fielding four debutants on Saturday as part of a remodelled side looking to produce the effective pressing and direct play the American favours.
They were dealt an early blow when Daniel Podence's bouncing effort found its way over goalkeeper Illan Meslier to give Wolves a sixth-minute lead.
But the home side rallied and levelled through Rodrigo's low, angled drive midway through a first half in which they were roared on by a hostile home crowd.
Despite a depleted attack lacking the injured Raul Jimenez, Wolves came out swinging in the second half and set home nerves jangling by threatening a winner of their own.
But instead Leeds struck, with Ait-Nouri poking Patrick Bamford's superb low cross into his own net from close range under pressure from excellent debutant Brenden Aaronson.
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Display upon which Leeds can build
Having helped rescue Leeds from relegation last season over 12 high-pressure games in which performances were secondary to points, Marsch is now under the managerial microscope.
The dozen matches he oversaw to conclude 2021-22, culminating in a dramatic last-game escape at Brentford, veered from bland to ridiculous, often within a single game. Little could be ascertained about Marsch's style or vision amid the madness.
Having had a summer to revamp the squad and start to mould them to his taste, he must now be a man with a visible plan - and there was certainly that inside a lively and expectant Elland Road.
Tyler Adams and Marc Roca kept it largely simple in the midfield berth left by Kalvin Phillips, Rasmus Kristensen provided all-action width from full-back and Patrick Bamford returned to give glimpses of why he was on the fringe of the England squad before injury struck last season.
The standout performer was Aaronson, though, who was a constant source of energy and endeavour during his time on the pitch.
He lacks the outright flair of Raphinha - the man he was brought in to help replace - but in his own industrious way could prove as effective.
As Marsch pointed out before the game, the team may have lost two stars, but in general is stronger.
It was far from a perfect opening display, with chances going begging at one end - Bamford should have made the conclusion more comfortable with a header Jose Sa clawed away - and a prolonged period at the start of the second half when they couldn't get a foot on the ball.
But it is a positive start and something upon which Marsch and his new-look team can build.
More to follow.
Player of the match
with an average of 8.31
- LeedsLeeds UnitedLeeds UnitedWolvesWolverhampton WanderersWolverhampton Wanderers
Leeds UnitedAvgSquad number7Player nameAaronsonAverage rating
Squad number19Player nameRodrigoAverage rating
Squad number43Player nameKlichAverage rating
Squad number11Player nameHarrisonAverage rating
Squad number30Player nameGelhardtAverage rating
Squad number42Player nameGreenwoodAverage rating
Squad number10Player nameSummervilleAverage rating
Squad number12Player nameAdamsAverage rating
Squad number25Player nameKristensenAverage rating
Squad number9Player nameBamfordAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameRocaAverage rating
Squad number21Player nameStruijkAverage rating
Squad number5Player nameKochAverage rating
Squad number14Player nameLlorenteAverage rating
Squad number1Player nameMeslierAverage rating
Wolverhampton WanderersAvgSquad number10Player nameDaniel PodenceAverage rating
Squad number7Player namePedro NetoAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameRúben NevesAverage rating
Squad number4Player nameCollinsAverage rating
Squad number11Player nameHwang Hee-ChanAverage rating
Squad number18Player nameGibbs-WhiteAverage rating
Squad number23Player nameKilmanAverage rating
Squad number32Player nameDendonckerAverage rating
Squad number19Player nameJonnyAverage rating
Squad number1Player nameJosé SáAverage rating
Squad number3Player nameAït-NouriAverage rating
Squad number77Player nameCampbellAverage rating
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
- 1Meslier25Kristensen5Koch14Llorente21Struijk8RocaSubstituted forGreenwoodat 73'minutes12AdamsBooked at 90mins7AaronsonSubstituted forSummervilleat 85'minutes19RodrigoSubstituted forKlichat 65'minutes11HarrisonBooked at 20mins9BamfordSubstituted forGelhardtat 84'minutes
1Malheiro de Sá19Castro Otto4Collins23Kilman3Aït-Nouri32Dendoncker8Neves10Podence18Gibbs-White7Neto11Hwang Hee-Chan
- 1Malheiro de Sá19Castro Otto4Collins23Kilman3Aït-Nouri32Dendoncker8Neves10Podence18Gibbs-White7Neto11Hwang Hee-ChanSubstituted forCampbellat 85'minutes
Referee:Robert JonesMatch StatsHome TeamLeedsAway TeamWolvesPossessionHome39%Away61%ShotsHome12Away15Shots on TargetHome4Away6CornersHome6Away4FoulsHome13Away9Live TextPost update
Match ends, Leeds United 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.
Second Half ends, Leeds United 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.
Tyler Adams (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jonny (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tyler Adams (Leeds United).
Hand ball by Rayan Aït-Nouri (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Maximilian Kilman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mateusz Klich (Leeds United).
Jonny (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joe Gelhardt (Leeds United).
Chem Campbell (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Diego Llorente (Leeds United).
Attempt missed. Sam Greenwood (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Foul by Daniel Podence (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Jack Harrison (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Chem Campbell replaces Hwang Hee-Chan.
Rayan Aït-Nouri (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Crysencio Summerville (Leeds United).
Substitution, Leeds United. Crysencio Summerville replaces Brenden Aaronson.
Substitution, Leeds United. Joe Gelhardt replaces Patrick Bamford.
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