Leeds United picked up a crucial three points on the opening day of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, dispatching Wolves in front of a packed Elland Road.
But it was Wolves who made the blistering start, opening the scoring in the sixth minute when Kristensen tried to tank Neto off the ball with Llorente out of position behind him. Neto held himself up, taking the ball past Kristensen and crossing toward the back stick. The ball headed back across goal sat up nicely for Podence who hit the ball into the ground, looping out of Meslier’s reach and across the line off the underside of the crossbar.
Leeds responded quite well, with Aaronson providing the first sniff of danger before a penalty shout came from Jose Sa’s clash with Rasmus Kristensen. The Denmark international got on the end of a free-kick from the far side, heading the ball back across the penalty area before being clattered by the Wolves goalkeeper, with no avail from the referee nor VAR.
It was a tightly contested affair in the first half, but Leeds made a spell of intense pressure count. Rodrigo didn’t manage to get on the end of Harrison’s initial through ball, but Aaronson managed to rob Ait-Nouri on the edge of the box. It eventually broke for Rodrigo on the right channel, and he turned into the by-line before smashing the ball through the near post and past Sa in the Wolves goal.
The home side kept pushing but it was Wolves who might’ve entered the break with a lead intact. From a Leeds throw in the Wolves third of the pitch, the visitors countered with a long ball, ending with Dendoncker attacking Meslier’s goal at point-blank range, with the Leeds keeper pulling an excellent save out the bag to keep the scoreline level at half-time.
Wolves started the second 45’ much stronger, keeping Leeds under the cosh for an extended period in which The Whites struggled to get a grip of possession. Kristensen made a huge tackle on 68 minutes when Ait-Nouri broke into the box following a defensive breakdown from the midfield and centre-back pairings, but the Dane’s last-ditch tackle superbly kept Ait-Nouri at bay before unleashing the shot on goal.
After riding out the storm, Leeds hit back with the winning goal. Tyler Adams picked up the ball in midfield and found substitute, Mateusz Klich in the Wolves third who turned well and slotted the ball through to Bamford on the left channel. The Leeds number nine got his head up, looking to pick out Brenden Aaronson at the back post, but Ait-Nouri was the one to made contact, prodding the ball into the net at the Kop end.
BRENDEN AARONSON SCORES A PREMIER LEAGUE GOAL FOR LEEDS pic.twitter.com/81TJnaGjfS— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) August 6, 2022
The Whites still looked the most dangerous after going ahead, with Bamford forcing a fantastic save from Jose Sa having got his head on the end of Jack Harrison’s magnificent cross into the penalty area. Wolves asked some questions of the Leeds defence late on, but not really enough to trouble them in the end.
A great win for Leeds United on the opening day, though it did expose some defensive issues. The impact of Mateusz Klich cannot be understated as the Poland international showed he still has plenty of quality still to give to Jesse Marsch and his team. Brenden Aaronson was a real thorn in the side of Wolves though, and he is our pick for Man of the Match.