Leeds came back from behind to clinch a 2-1 victory on the opening weekend of the 2022/23 Premier League season.
Premier League football returned in style for ‘The Peacocks’ who certainly look to avoid relegation in more convincing fashion, the board has backed the manager and the fans looked to do their part filling Elland Road.
However, it was false ‘9’ Daniel Podence who opened the scoring in a highly contested affair with a half-volley effort after Wolves came out the blocks zooming.
Bruno Lage’s Wolves have transitioned into a back four, against an infamously aggressive and attack minded Leeds side which made for a very open game, something Wolves fans became estranged to. The first half brought plenty of action and emotion as well as sights at goal. Spanish international forward Rodrigo made the most of this.
Left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri dallied on the ball and after fashioning space, Rodrigo drilled a low effort past Jose Sa’s near post. 1-1 going into half-time.
Wolves dominated a less intense second half, taking control and slowing down the tempo, but always seeming to lack end product and that final ball – perhaps a sign of missing talisman Raul Jimenez to injury.
An impressive Elland Road crowd was about to erupt, as debutant Brenden Aaronson capitalised onto a fine team move and found the back of the net from close range.
The goal was initially awarded as an Ait-Nouri own goal; however, Aaronson later got the justice he believed he deserved, exclaiming after the game in light-hearted fashion "I'm taking credit for it, it came off my shin somewhere in there!"
Many believe a contentious moment overshadowed the occasion when Portuguese goalkeeper Sá collided with Leeds’ Kristensen in the box, coming off his line to claim a cross. Neither referee Robert Jones nor VAR saw it to be a foul to the criticism of many.
A tired Wolves side with inexperienced options on a weakened substitutes bench strived for an equaliser, but it was not meant to be, with the final whistle being blown, somewhat overshadowed by a heated discussion between managers (Jesse Marsch of Leeds and Bruno Lage of Wolves) – later to be deemed ‘nothing’ by Marsch and being equally brushed aside later by Lage.
Daniel Podence, Pedro Neto and Ruben Neves the standouts for a slightly weakened Wolves side with the late exclusion of veteran maestro Joao Moutinho, meanwhile Marsch’s choice to bringing on Mateusz Klich ended up being a masterstroke inspiring a winner and balancing the midfield of Leeds, while Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen inspired the right side of the Yorkshire attack.
A fixture with positives to be taken away for both sides, and a great spectacle for all those watching.