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Leeds United 1 - 0 Wolves: Whites fight hard to clinch all three points

(Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Neil Warnock's new look Leeds United side fought hard to take all three points against early favourites Wolves at Elland Road.

New signing Lee Peltier was confirmed as the new club captain before kick-off with many fancying Jason Pearce, David Norris or Ross McCormack. Warnock chose to stick with the same side that played against Shrewsbury in the 4-0 Capital One cup win over Shrewsbury Town.

United faced a tough task earlier on with Wolves fancied to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking. The Whites started well with the ball and could have taken the lead when United peppered the goal with several players' shots been blocked by the Wolves defence.

The home side then went close again when the Wolves defence failed to clear and Ross McCormack was whiskers away from flicking Becchio's header into the back of the net.

The goal did come moments later thanks to some brilliant build up play by Leeds. Paddy Kenny's long-range pass found Ross McCormack on the left wing before the Scot curved the ball into Becchio who dived low to head in the bottom corner. The crowd erupted into raptures as Becchio attempted a 'Klinsmann' before being jumped on by David Norris and co.

Leeds' midfield and Becchio worked tirelessly after the goal as Wolves looked to force their way back into the game. Paul Green, David Norris and Rodolph Austin were throwing themselves into tackles to thwart the Wolves attack. Jason Pearce, Lee Peltier and Sam Byram were also doing a fantastic job at the heart of the defence. Pearce and Peltier were solid in the air against the lacklustre Doyle and Ebanks-Blake. Young Byram was looking mature beyond his years as Matt Jarvis fell into his back-pocket perfectly.

As the half-time whistle approached Leeds were forced into making a change as Paul Green couldn't shake off a niggling knee injury. Green was replaced by Diouf but the half-time whistle blew and the players were greeted by a round of applause by the Elland Road faithful.

The second-half started with Wolves having more of the ball but United's defence continued to hold out and prove its worth. The searing heat from the sun was causing a few problems for the players who were tiring as the clock ticked on. Winger Luke Varney did have a chance to give Leeds a two goal cushion after he was sent clean through goal. The former Blackpool player's poor touch cost him the chance to test Ikeme and Wolves cleared any danger.

Towards the end of the game Byram, Varney and Becchio were all booked for challenges with Varney lucky to stay on the field of play with a high elbow.

Tom Lees was thrown on to add some height to the defence and he replaced McCormack with Sam Byram moving into midfield. The youngster went close with a powerful effort from outside the box but it went just wide of the upright. Five added minutes were played and Wolves missed a few crucial opportunities to take a point and Leeds came out on top.

My thoughts:

With such a hard game to start the season off we have to be very pleased with how the lads did today. The defence once again looked very solid and composed. Byram was outstanding...18 years of age against Matt Jarvis and the England international didn't have a chance. Pearce and Peltier were resilient and big at the back. Aidy White really needs removing from left-back but that's for another day.

Green played well until his injury and Austin was living up to his name with some big tackles in the centre of the park. Norris was a little quiet today but put some hard yards in running tirelessly throughout the game. Varney and Ross caused problems with their speed and Becchio was a handful and took his goal well.

Kenny's pass to Ross was a moment of brilliance and the keeper barely had a save to make all day.

Overall a brave and hard victory against one of the early favourites for the season. We have 45 games to go so it's a long season but if we play like that and give our all then Leeds fans can't ask for anymore. A potential takeover is needed for us to push on and add extra quality to a team that is lacking in depth.

A great start but Blackpool will be tough. Marching on Together.

UNITED 1 (Becchio 17) WOLVES 0

United: Kenny, Byram, Peltier, Pearce, White, Green (Diouf 45), Austin, Norris, Varney, McCormack (Lees 75), Becchio. Subs: Ashdown, Drury, Kisnorbo, Brown, Gray.

Wolves: Ikeme, Stearman (Edwards 83), Henry, Ebanks-Blake, Ward, Johnson, Jarvis, Zubar, Forde, Doumba, Doyle. Subs: Peszko, Hunt, Sigurdarson, Berra, Davies, de Vries.

Referee: T Bates

Booked: White, Byram, Varney , Becchio (United) Doumbia, Peszko (Wolves).

Att: 23,745