Leeds United started the season off on the right foot after a 2-1 victory over Wolves. It seemed like it might be a long day when Wolves got on the board only six minutes in, but a goal from Rodrigo and an own goal from Rayan Aït-Nouri proved to be the difference. After almost being relegated last season, three points to kick off the season will please Jesse Marsch as the team aims to not be in that situation again.
There wasn’t much wrong with Wolves performance and on another day they very well might win the match, but without Joao Moutinho, they were unable to control midfield for extended periods of time. It’s concerning that this is a sustained issue when Moutinho is 35 and they’ve done nothing to get an appropriate backup for him. Nathan Collins has been the only new signing, but he’s not going to help control play and the team already saw last season that just defending well isn’t enough in a league of this quality.
Wolves pay heavily for every defensive breakdown and Leeds’ opener was a good example of that. Jack Harrison fought to keep play alive before the ball found Rodrigo who beat Jose Sa at his near post.
Leeds would push on to cause more issues before the half but Wolves were able to take advantage of the imbalance in midfield created by Rodrigo being on the pitch without full defensive support behind him. Luckily, Illian Meslier was strong in net so that it didn’t hurt them. Meslier made five saves on the 15 shots that he faced holding up against a few chances from close range. Marsch would notice the midfield issues bringing Mateusz Klich and Sam Greenwood into the match for Rodrigo and Marc Roca.
Only a minute later Klich rewarded Marsch by threading a through ball to Patrick Bamford whose cross ended up in the back of the net. Originally the goal was given to Brenden Aaronson which would’ve been a cherry on top of a good debut but Aït-Nouri actually turned it into the net for an own goal. Aaronson says he’s claiming it though.
For Leeds, they all count the same as Marsch took four debutants and defeated an established Wolves side. Tyler Adams wasn’t asked to do a lot in midfield, while his center backs stepped up to make critical interceptions but it’s a great start to lay a foundation for a budding Leeds side. Lage may be hitting the panic button soon if Wolves can’t put together a good performance though.
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