Leeds United 2 Wolves 1: Whites get to the point to claim opening-day victory & More Live News

There was a beautiful simplicity about the way they scored the winning goal in a 2-1 opening-day victory. The only thing that spoiled it a fraction was the Premier League’s insistence that it be marked down as a Rayan Ait-Nouri own goal, not the deserved Brenden Aaronson strike it looked like at the time.

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WINNER: Brenden Aaronson celebrates with Jack Harrison

You would think they might have better things to do with their time.

Leeds certainly did not play so well as to put the doubters’ minds at rest but a win is a win for a team which should need time to find its feet given the changes this summer. Four players were making Premier League debuts and you could hear how happy Elland Road was when the full-time whistle blew.

In the first half the Whites were physical, feisty and frenetic but lacked the guile to score goals unless Wolverhampton Wanderers helped them.

At the start of the second, the game looked to have run away from them until a goal that was direct, but not in the sense that it was a brainless hump downfield.

Tyler Adams picked the ball up and played a short, straight pass forwards to Mateusz Klich, recently introduced in the No 10 role. He did the same for Patrick Bamford, who had run into the inside-left channel. When the cross came over, all Aaronson – the pick of the home debutants – had to do was tap it in. Ait-Nouri did it for him.

“USA! USA!” chanted the Kop in tribute to the man who started the move, the man who finished it, and the man whose substitution greased the wheels.

Marsch’s team do not play the most beautiful football you will ever see, but it is a style their fans can get behind – especially when it produces wins.

It is also guaranteed to pump up the Elland Road volume and the way Wolves players threw themselves to the ground – Ruben Neves and Hwang Hee-Chan twice and Ait-Nouri once, right in front of a livid Marsch – under minimal contact only threw extra fuel on the fire during the first half.

The way Leeds pressed a Wolves side who did their best to play it cool and ended up looking like Del Boy trying to lean on a bar at times, only added to the whole spectacle.

If you want pure, tippy-tappy football, probably best to give Elland Road a swerve this season. If you want the raw passion English football is so famous for, join the long online queues for tickets chief executive Angus Kinnear was apologising for in the pre-match programme.

Forcing home backs against the wall only stirs the old ground up even more, so the Whites dutifully gave their visitors a headstart.

Wolves have abandoned their usual three at the back this season and the shape in its place caused a few problems. In front of the banks of four and three (featuring former Sheffield United loanee Morgan Gibbs-White), Pedro Neto played as a left winger, Hwang at centre-forard but rather than going onto the right wing, Daniel Podence tended to play off him, leaving Pascal Struijk with no one to mark, and the central midfielders with plenty to do.

Podence shot a bouncing ball wide within two minutes and opened the scoring after seven.Long balls over the top were another problem for Leeds, and from the seventh-minute one, Neto outmuscled debutant Rasmus Kristensen and crossed.

Hwang nodded it back and Podence volleyed into the ground and over Sa.His defending seems to be the main think Kristensen needs to work on as he adapts to Premier League life. A brilliant, warmly-received slide tackle on Ait-Nouri in the second half showed he has it in him.

Aaronson was aleady showing glimspes of his quality, such as the 13th-minute turn and shot which went out for a corner off Neves.

Sa came stretching for a cross and clipped Kristensen’s head but Robert Jones, who already seemed to have lost control of the game, was not interested in awarding a penalty despite the appeals.

Captain-for-the-day Bamford shot at Sa, Adams at a defender, whilst Hwang made Robin Koch the Hendry to his Gascoigne as he flicked the ball over his head, but the volley was more Bamber than Paul.

Eventually – in the 24th minute, to be exact – Leeds’s persistence paid of, and Wolves’s lackadaisicalness bit them.

Ait-Nouri tried to turn in his penalty area and Neves’s clearance was blocked by Rodrigo who made space to shooot and somehow put it beneath Sa.

When he had another shot blocked a couple of minutes later, the volume turned up to 11.

Wolves did not learn, Sa nearly dribbling a backpass over his own line as Bamford harrassed him. The striker very nearly stretched to a Jack Harrison cross from yards out too.

Illan Meslier needed a great take to stop Hwang getting on the end of a cross, but Bruno Lage still felt the need to get his tactics board out as the striker received treatment.

Leeds lost control of the second half – Neves cutting across a shot, Podence having one blocked and Meslier tipping over a Leander Dendoncker header – until Klich came on for Rodrigo. Sweating on a World Cup place, the Pole could leave this summer but he certainly showed his value, helping Leeds back into the game before his part in the goal.

It could have been even better, Bamford’s header forcing a saving from Harrison’s cross. After last season’s trauma, though, it was good enough for starters.

Leeds United: Meslier; Kristensen, Llorente, Koch, Struijk; Roca (Greenwood 73), Adams; Harrison, Rodrigo (Klich 65), Aaronson (Summerville 85); Bamford (Gelhardt 85).

Unused substitutes: Klaesson, Gyabi, Hjelde, Drameh, Gray.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sa; Jonny, Collins, Kilman, Aït-Nouri; Gibbs-White, Neves, Dendoncker; Neto, Podence; Hwang (Campbell 85).

Unused substitutes: Sarkic, Mosquera, Boly, Coady, Ronan, Cundle, Hodge, Bueno.

Referee: R Jones (Merseyside).

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