Leeds United make winning start to season after Wolves own goal

Rayan Ait-Nouri's mistake hands Jesse Marsch's team three points at Elland Road

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Leeds United shrugged off the loss of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha over the summer as they defeated Wolves 2-1 in their season opener at Elland Road on Saturday.

Daniel Podence fired Wolves into an early lead before Jesse Marsch's men fought back impressively.

Rodrigo blasted in from a narrow angle to level before Rayan Ait-Nouri's own goal decided the game 16 minutes from time.

Leeds manager Marsch handed Premier League debuts to four of his summer signings. Right-back Rasmus Kristensen and midfielders Brenden Aaronson, Marc Roca and Tyler Adams were in the starting line-up.

But it was Podence who fired Wolves into a sixth-minute lead, volleying home off the underside of the crossbar following Hwang Hee-chan's knockdown.

Leeds, however, equalised in the 24th minute when Rodrigo fired in a low angled shot between Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa and his near post.

Then an own goal by defender Ait-Nouri gave Leeds victory. The winning goal was initially assigned to Aaronson, but closer checks showed that as Ait-Nouri attempted to clear Patrick Bamford's pin-point ball across the face of goal, he came under fierce pressure from Aaronson.

Ait-Nouri then diverted Bamford's low cross into his own net. It was tough luck for Wolves, who had been the better side for most of the second half.

Bamford, captain for the day in the absence of the injured Liam Cooper, then saw his header from Jack Harrison's cross saved by Sa as Leeds swept forward again.

Aaronson and Bamford made way for substitutes Crysencio Summerville and Joe Gelhardt in the closing stages and Leeds held on to clinch all three points.

It was a positive result for Marsch who started his first full season in charge of the Premier League club after replacing the hugely popular Marcelo Bielsa in February and then helping the team narrowly avoid relegation on the final day of the campaign.

There was a distinct American flavour to the match. US international Aaronson played a key part in the winning goal. He and fellow American international Adams made their first start for Leeds, which turned out to be a victorious one.

Updated: August 06, 2022, 4:36 PM
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