Leeds United 2-1 Wolves: Rayan Ait-Nouri’s 74th-minute own goal gifts hosts victory as they come from behind after Daniel Podence had fired Bruno Lage’s side into an early lead
- Daniel Podence’s half-volleyed opener off the crossbar came in the sixth minute
- Leeds then equalised through Rodrigo’s strike at the near post on 24 minutes
- Leander Dendoncker had a great opportunity saved by Illan Meslier on half-time
- Rasmus Kristensen’s last-ditch tackle stopped Rayan Ait-Nouri on 68 minutes
- Ait-Nouri then scored an own goal to give Leeds a late win in the 74th minute
- The defeat for Wolves means that they now have 10 losses in their last 15 games
Rayan Ait-Nouri’s second-half own goal secured Leeds a 2-1 home win against Wolves in their opening Premier League game of the season at Elland Road.
Ait-Nouri diverted Patrick Bamford’s low cross into his own net to complete Leeds’ fightback after Rodrigo had cancelled out Daniel Podence’s early effort before half-time.
It was tough luck on Wolves, who had been the better side for most of the second half before Ait-Nouri turned the ball past his goalkeeper Jose Sa.
Rayan Ait-Nouri turned the ball into his own net late in the game to gift the hosts the perfect start to the 2022-23 season
Ait-Nouri’s 74th minute own goal was initially credited as a goal for debutant Brenden Aaronson
Jesse Marsch’s side won just their second game in their last six in a record stretching back to last season
As the French left-back attempted to clear Bamford’s pin-point ball across the face of goal, he came under fierce pressure from Leeds’ summer signing Brenden Aaronson, who was initially credited with the winner on an impressive debut.
Podence had already flashed an early shot wide for Wolves when he fired them into a sixth-minute lead.
Leeds right-back Rasmus Kristensen, one of four summer signings making his debut for the Yorkshire club, came off second best in a chase for a long ball over the top with Pedro Neto and Wolves ruthlessly took advantage.
Rodrigo then equalised 18 minutes later to send an already bouncing Elland Road into a frenzy
Rodrigo’s strike beat Jose Sa at his near post for pace and power to bring Leeds back level
Neto’s cross to the far post was met by Hwang Hee-Chan’s cushioned header and Podence’s volley span off the turf and in off the underside of the crossbar.
The home fans in a sell-out Elland Road crowd demanded a response and USA midfielder Aaronson went close to an equaliser in his first Premier League appearance when his neat turn and shot was deflected for a corner.
Hwang served warning of his forward threat with a neat flick over Diego Llorente, but he shot straight at Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier with the goal in full sight and, soon after, Leeds equalised.
Leander Dendoncker had the chance to put the visitors ahead on the cusp of half-time but Meslier stood firm in his way
Hwang Hee-Chan was removed in the second half after struggling with an injury sustained in an earlier challenge
Wolves defender Ait-Nouri was caught dithering in his penalty area and, when the ball broke to Rodrigo on the right edge of the box, the Spain forward drilled a low angled shot inside goalkeeper Sa’s near post.
Meslier kept Leeds level in first-half stoppage time when he kept out Leander Dendoncker’s close-range effort following another deft Hwang assist.
Wolves took control at the start of the second period and Meslier came to Leeds’ rescue again as he tipped Dendoncker’s header from a corner over the crossbar.
Aaronson was hugely impressive on his debut following his move from RB Salzburg in the summer
Having made several fine saves throughout the match Jose Sa was given no chance after Aaronson’s strike came off Ait-Nouri from close range
Leeds struggled to retain possession and, as Wolves probed in a bid to regain the lead, Kristensen’s superb last-ditch tackle denied Ait-Nouri a clear run on goal.
Whites boss Jesse Marsch sent on Mateusz Klich and later Sam Greenwood for Rodrigo and debutant Marc Roca respectively and the changes sparked his side into life.
They strung together their first fluent attack since the interval and snatched a 74th-minute lead when Ait-Nouri turned Bamford’s pinpoint low cross from five yards into his own net to make it 2-1.
With a brilliant start to the 2022-23 season Marsch’s side can begin to put the disappointment of last term behind them
Wolves manager Bruno Lage was visibly incensed at the final whistle after another disappointing loss for his side
Lage’s side have now lost 10 of their last 15 games after a horrendous finish to last season saw a seventh-placed finish slip away
Bamford, skipper for the day in the absence of injured defender Liam Cooper, then saw his header from Jack Harrison’s cross brilliantly 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 in their season’s opener.
Full report to follow.
LEEDS vs WOLVES MATCHFACTS
LEEDS (4-2-3-1): Meslier, Kristensen, Llorente, Koch, Struijk, Roca (Greenwood 72′), Adams, Aaronson (Summerville 84′), Rodrigo (Klich 64′), Harrison, Bamford (Gelhardt 84′)
Goals: Rodrigo 24′, Rayan Ait-Nouri OG 74′
Booked: Jack Harrison, Tyler Adams
Manager: Jesse Marsch
WOLVES (4-2-3-1): Sa, Jony, Collins, Kilman, Ait-Nouri, Dendonckey, Neves, Podence, Gibbs-White, Neto, Hwang Hee-Chan (Campbell 85′)
Goals: Daniel Podence 6′
Manager: Bruno Lage
Referee: Robert Jones
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