New-look Leeds come through baptism of fire to down Wolves



After selling their two best players this summer it appeared impossible for Leeds United to be stronger at the start of this campaign, yet those departures were a distant memory as their new signings celebrated this comeback victory.

Jesse Marsch’s team have a different look, a new system and are no longer reliant on Raphinha or Kalvin Phillips. They fought back from a baptism of fire for their new signings to claim victory. They look stronger for the changes, a balanced team than the one that started last season under Marcelo Bielsa.

Brenden Aaronson had a hand in both goals, winning possession for Rodrigo’s equaliser and sliding in to force Rayan Ait-Nouri to put the ball in his own net.

While they have lost Phillips’ control in front of the back four, they have compensated with numbers. Tyler Adams and Marc Roca protected the defence and they looked more solid for it. Instead of replacing the irreplaceable in a 4-1-4-1, Marsch has a new formation.

Raphinha landed his dream move to Barcelona and Aaronson enjoyed a dream debut as his replacement. It took him a while to get to grips with English football but his effort never wavered. He chased down a ball that resulted in Rodrigo’s equaliser, cancelling out Daniel Podence’s early goal.

The American midfielder kept making his runs into the penalty area and he was rewarded with the winning goal 16 minutes from time, tapping in from Patrick Bamford’s cross. Adams was involved in the build-up, making it a promising first afternoon for Leeds’ new signings.

Earlier they were caught cold by Wolves as they felt their way into the season. Podence volleyed in off the underside of the bar after swift counter-attack that saw Rasmus Kristensen, another new signing, brushed off the ball moments earlier.

While the focus was on how Leeds’ new signings fared, it was a worrying afternoon for Wolves without club captain Conor Coady, who was on the bench and has an uncertain future. Coady is behind Nathan Collins and Max Kilman in the pecking order now, despite starting every game last season.

Wolves could have done with Coady’s organisation when their backline was robbed by Aaronson, with Rodrigo scoring at the near post. With Everton looking at a deal, he could be one of the bargains of the window.

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