Leeds struck late to beat Wolves 2-1 at Elland Road, with USMNT star Brenden Aaronson heavily involved on his Premier League debut.
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After Daniel Podence had given Wolves an early lead, Rodrigo equalized for Leeds in the first half with Aaronson doing well to win the ball back.
Aaronson then popped up late on to put pressure on Rayan Ait-Nouri to score an own goal from Patrick Bamford’s cross, which sealed a big three points for Jesse Marsch’s side.
At the final whistle Marsch and his opposite number Bruno Lage went at it as they clearly had a difference of opinion about Leeds’ comeback win.
What we learned from Leeds vs Wolves
Controversy over Jose Sa challenge as fiery Leeds get it done
He clattered into Leeds’ new right back Rasmus Kristensen and a penalty kick should have been given. He totally missed the ball, got their late and took Kristensen out. How on earth did Jose Sa get away with that? Leeds were not happy with that and up until the 70th minute they probably weren’t pleased with their overall performance. Jesse Marsch’s side were sliced open too many times and last-ditch defending, fine stops from Ilan Meslier and slack Wolves finishing left them off the hook. Then they punished Wolves. At the final whistle Marsch and Lage were far from friends and the American coach was not happy at all with something the Portuguese coach had said or done. Perhaps it all stemmed from that challenge from Sa? We will find out very soon.
Wolves’ new formation helped them pour forward
Their first goal perfectly summed up why Wolves have switched to a 4-3-2-1 formation as Pedro Neto found Hwang Hee-Chan and he nodded down for Daniel Podence to finish. It was exactly what Bruno Lage wants from his attack and their movement and fluidity was exceptional throughout and caused Leeds all kinds of problems. However, they were susceptible themselves on the counter and that is the danger with moving from a 3-5-2 formation.
Leeds’ USMNT duo find their feet quickly
Brenden Aaronson was involved in Leeds’ opener as his pressing led to the ball being won back and Rodrigo firing home at the near post. He then forced the winner as he would have scored had Ait-Nouri not tapped home and the ‘Medford Messi’ kept popping up in smart areas. Tyler Adams was comfortable on the ball and played a great forward pass in the build-up to Leeds’ winner. Both looked unfazed and at home in the Premier League. The brute strength of the Premier League may be too much for them at times but both showed they can make their mark quickly.
Both teams set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and this was a very even encounter. Wolves are usually rock solid (if not spectacular) and Leeds want to find that kind of defensive consistency. Wolves’ new-look 4-2-3-1 formation (the 3-5-2 is gone) gave them more of an attacking threat and when Raul Jimenez returns, he will have plenty of support around him in attack. Leeds’ press worked well, when it worked, but Jesse Marsch’s side are still finding the balance and after they went ahead late on they looked far more confident to be on the front foot.
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Stars of the show
Daniel Podence: Scored a beauty, wriggled away from so many challenges and at the hart of everything good Wolves did.
Brenden Aaronson: Helped force the move which led to Leeds’ opener and was influential in the second. A special word for Meslier too, as he made a few stunning stops and was always ready to fly off his line.
Leeds are away at Southampton next Saturday, Aug. 13, while Leeds host Fulham on the same day. Can Leeds make it two wins from two? Can Wolves bounce back? Both will fancy their chances of picking up three points.