Match ends, Leeds United 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.
As the final whistle blew on Leeds' feisty and fierce opening-game victory over Wolves, the Elland Road crowd roared their delight, the players punched the air and manager Jesse Marsch almost came to blows with opposite number Bruno Lage. 'I Predict A Riot' has never felt a more appropriate soundtrack.
The Kaiser Chiefs song, with its growling depiction of menace and confrontation on the streets of the band's hometown, is now an anthem at Elland Road following home victories - and could well be a template for how Marsch wants his team to front up.
In this soft reboot of the determined but ragged side that salvaged safety on the final day of last season, there was energy, endeavour and more than a little appetite for a fight as they battled their way back from Daniel Podence's early goal to seal victory.
Rodrigo fired them level with an angled drive in the first half and Ryan Ait-Nouri found his own net for the winner. In between there was a lot of harrying, high pressing and hearty tackles.
There was also a wobble, when Wolves came on strong and perilously close to exposing the weaknesses in Marsch's side for 25 minutes after half-time.
Had the visitors a more ruthless centre-forward - such as the injured Raul Jimenez - to fire the ammunition provided by Podence and Pedro Neto, they would likely have three points themselves.
Instead, though, Leeds had the final word on the pitch, leaving Marsch and Lage to argue over who would claim it on the touchline.
'The three points validate our work'
After the game, Marsch played down the argument, describing it as "nothing, really" and "normal in a lot of ways".
This left the Portuguese boss to provide greater clarity on something that had been brewing throughout the match.
"In the first half, there were things that we cannot say, especially in these days, and I heard that. So if someone wants to apologise to me, it should be in that moment, not in the end when you've won the game," he said.
"There were plenty of moments between the first half and the end of the game when we could have shaken hands and apologised - it didn't happen and in the end it's more difficult to accept because there was a long time to do that.
"There's nothing wrong between the managers. Life goes on."
What is clear from the end of last season and the early stages of this is that Marsch is not a man to take a backward step, nor does he expect his teams to do so.
There is a famous image from his playing days with Chivas USA of the then midfielder nose-to-nose with LA Galaxy's David Beckham after having booted the ex-England player in the stomach. Undaunted by his rival's reputation, Marsch stands his ground.
One thing he will not be is cowed by the managerial microscope under which he now sits, stripped of the shielding set of dire circumstances which surrounded the club when he was appointed.
Marsch deserves huge credit for his role in driving Leeds to the points they needed to survive relegation in 2021-22 - often seemingly through determination rather than design - but now he needs to be a man with a plan.
With four debutants on the field and a fit-again Patrick Bamford to lead the attack, there were certainly clearer signs of one.
Some parts worked better than others. Tyler Adams and Marc Roca showed signs they can complement each other in midfield as successors to Kalvin Phillips, the former tasked with the winning the ball, the latter to distribute pinpoint forward passes.
Rasmus Kristensen was all-action at full-back, but may need greater help in such a narrow formation against sides like Wolves with wide players eager to double up in attack.
Most impressive of all was Brenden Aaronson, who was a constant source of energy and endeavour, some of which he used to dart into the box and force Ait-Nouri to score the winner into his own net from Bamford's cross.
He lacks the outright flair of Raphinha - the man he was brought in to help replace - but in his own industrious way could prove as effective.
As Marsch pointed out before the game, the team may have lost two stars, but in general it has become stronger, helped by the recent arrival of three players who have operated under the American before in Aaronson, Adams and Rasmussen.
It wasn't perfect and at times threatened to topple over as Wolves came on strong after the break, but there was enough there for Leeds to believe they can avoid the trauma of last season's relegation fight.
"I am really pleased that we look like a team that understands what the tactics and ideas are with the ball much better than we did last season," said Marsch. "It was a big struggle to implement tactically what we want to achieve.
"We still have a lot of work to do but the three points validates the pre-season we have had and the work we have done."
'The club are talking with players'
Wolves' deficiencies are clear to see. So are their qualities.
Nathan Collins remains their only significant signing of the summer, with the ex-Burnley man making an efficient debut at Elland Road in the middle of a back four that did not include stalwart Conor Coady.
With Jimenez sidelined for a few more weeks and Fabio Silva out on loan, they desperately need some firepower to complement the creative powers of their wide forwards.
They finished 10th last season after having scored the fewest goals of any club to remain in the division, but to gamble on a repeat would be foolhardy.
Lage was pleased with his side's performance - one that would have yielded greater reward but for key misses by Hwang Hee-chan and Leander Dendoncker - but is aware of the need for reinforcements.
"I think we did a good game," Lage said. "I think we were the better team, we created a lot of chances, and we didn't score. I'm happy with the performance, but not happy with the result.
"I said before the game that we came here with big confidence, and we'll score goals because the pre-season was good and we have confidence to play in this system. I was right to feel that confidence, and we continued to play."
He added: "It's time to be patient because we are talking with players. I know the club are talking with players and those players can come and increase the level of the team and the squad.
"They will give solutions that we didn't have today."
- 8RocaSubstituted forGreenwoodat 73'minutes
- 12AdamsBooked at 90mins
- 7AaronsonSubstituted forSummervilleat 84'minutes
- 19RodrigoSubstituted forKlichat 65'minutes
- 11HarrisonBooked at 20mins
- 9BamfordSubstituted forGelhardtat 84'minutes
- 1Malheiro de Sá
- 19Castro Otto
- 11Hwang Hee-ChanSubstituted forCampbellat 85'minutes
- Robert Jones
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Leeds United 2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1.
Tyler Adams (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jonny (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tyler Adams (Leeds United).
Hand ball by Rayan Aït-Nouri (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Maximilian Kilman (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mateusz Klich (Leeds United).
Jonny (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joe Gelhardt (Leeds United).
Chem Campbell (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Diego Llorente (Leeds United).
Attempt missed. Sam Greenwood (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Foul by Daniel Podence (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
Jack Harrison (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Wolverhampton Wanderers. Chem Campbell replaces Hwang Hee-Chan.
Rayan Aït-Nouri (Wolverhampton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Crysencio Summerville (Leeds United).
Substitution, Leeds United. Joe Gelhardt replaces Patrick Bamford.
Substitution, Leeds United. Crysencio Summerville replaces Brenden Aaronson.
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