Championship
LeedsLeeds United3StokeStoke City1
By Steve MarshallBBC Sport
Leeds celebrate Liam Cooper's goal
Leeds won their opening Championship match for the second successive season, after beating Bolton 3-2 last term

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross conceded that the Potters were "miles off" as the Championship pre-season promotion favourites were well beaten at Leeds.

City, relegated from the Premier League last season, were second best as goals from Mateusz Klich, Pablo Hernandez and Liam Cooper were enough to give new Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa the perfect start.

"It's a massive wake-up call after a tough, hard pre-season," defender Shawcross told BBC Radio Stoke. "We thought we were ready but we couldn't compete with their intensity or hard work.

"Leeds were the better team. It's disappointing, but it's only one game and there are lots of games ahead so although there will be a lot of negativity about this game, we are a positive camp.

"The manager (Gary Rowett) has pulled no punches and told us what he thought. We knew it was going to be a difficult season but that was the wake-up call some of us might have needed."

Leeds, starting the season with a new boss for the eighth successive year, deservedly led when Klich, starting his first league game since last September, seized on Samuel Saiz's defence-splitting pass and stroked the ball past Jack Butland.

Hernandez doubled the lead just before the break when his 18-yard shot squirmed under the England goalkeeper.

Benik Afobe, one of four Stoke debutants following his move from Wolves, reduced the arrears from the penalty spot straight after the interval when Barry Douglas was judged to have fouled Tom Ince.

But the Scottish full-back, who topped the Championship's charts for assists in helping Wolves to the title last season, made amends when his corner was headed in by Cooper to cap an impressive Leeds display.

Leeds' pressing puts Stoke on back foot

Former Argentina boss Bielsa showed no emotion in the dugout as his new side dominated the first half and Stoke struggled to come to terms with Leeds' pressing and incisive passing.

The Potters' only effort on goal in that opening 45 minutes came when Ince hit the bar with a speculative shot from 30 yards.

In contrast, Leeds could have scored more than their two before the break as Butland produced fine saves to deny Kemar Roofe and Ezgjan Alioski, only for his error on the stroke of half-time to give the home side breathing space.

Afobe's penalty gave Stoke, also under new management following Rowett's move from Derby, some hope - only for Cooper to soon extinguish it.

And although Stoke saw Leeds keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell save James McClean's free-kick and Bruno Martins Indi head on to the roof of the net, they never threatened a comeback.

Leeds' effort pleases Bielsa - post-match reaction

Stoke boss Gary Rowett told BBC Radio Stoke:

"It was something we warned the players about. A step down in divisions sometimes means you have to settle very quickly.

"It's a different type of football. Leeds looked like they had more intensity and aggression about them, and for vast parts of the game our basic defending as a team was very poor. It was too easy for Leeds to create opportunities.

"It certainly hasn't come as a culture shock to me. What you hope is that some of the players that have Premier League quality impart that onto the game. I don't think enough players did.

"There were some bright performances - Tom Ince looked very good, James McClean worked incredibly hard, I was pleased for Benik to get his first goal. After that, I think quite a few of the players were just a little bit surprised by how intense the game was."

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa told BBC Radio Leeds:

"It's too soon to make any analysis either positive or negative [on whether Leeds can challenge this season].

"It was a game with high intensity, our players were very ambitious and they put in a great physical effort. The physical effort pleased me, the productivity was very high.

"We had the hope and the ambition to win. We have a dynamic team, an offensive team. We took risks when we were moving the ball."

Line-ups

Leeds

  • 1Peacock-Farrell
  • 2Ayling
  • 28Berardi
  • 6Cooper
  • 3Douglas
  • 23Phillips
  • 19Hernández
  • 14SáizSubstituted forBakerat 88'minutes
  • 43KlichSubstituted forDallasat 76'minutes
  • 10AlioskiSubstituted forHarrisonat 89'minutes
  • 7Roofe

Substitutes

  • 9Bamford
  • 11Roberts
  • 15Dallas
  • 18Jansson
  • 22Harrison
  • 27Blackman
  • 34Baker

Stoke

  • 1Butland
  • 2Bauer
  • 17Shawcross
  • 15Martins Indi
  • 3Pieters
  • 4Allen
  • 6B NdiayeSubstituted forBojanat 63'minutes
  • 8EteboSubstituted forFletcherat 63'minutes
  • 7Ince
  • 9AfobeSubstituted forCrouchat 76'minutes
  • 11McClean

Substitutes

  • 5Williams
  • 18Diouf
  • 24Fletcher
  • 25Crouch
  • 27Bojan
  • 30Edwards
  • 32Federici
Referee:
Scott Duncan
Attendance:
34,126

Match Stats

Home TeamLeedsAway TeamStoke
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home12
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leeds United 3, Stoke City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leeds United 3, Stoke City 1.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City).

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Allen (Stoke City) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Stoke City. Conceded by Gaetano Berardi.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Jack Harrison replaces Ezgjan Alioski.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Lewis Baker replaces Samuel Sáiz.

  8. Post update

    Samuel Sáiz (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City).

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Peter Crouch (Stoke City) header from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Bojan.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).

  12. Post update

    Darren Fletcher (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Dallas (Leeds United).

  14. Post update

    Darren Fletcher (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Bruno Martins Indi (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Peter Crouch with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. James McClean (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Stuart Dallas (Leeds United).

  18. Post update

    Darren Fletcher (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Stuart Dallas replaces Mateusz Klich.

  20. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

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