Championship
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Bristol City 1-3 Leeds United: Marcelo Bielsa's side start Championship season with win

Pablo Hernandez scores for Leeds
Pablo Hernandez, who scored 12 goals for Leeds last season, scored his first of the new campaign at Ashton Gate

Promotion favourites Leeds United began their Championship season in fine style, putting in an impressive performance to win convincingly at Bristol City.

Leeds deserved their 1-0 half-time lead, which came courtesy of a curling 20-yard effort from Pablo Hernandez into Dan Bentley's top corner.

The veteran Spaniard spearheaded their attacking threat at Ashton Gate and created their second goal for Patrick Bamford, dribbling past Callum O'Dowda before crossing for the striker to nod in at the near post.

As City pushed for a reply, they were caught on the counter-attack and Leeds winger Jack Harrison added a third from close range.

The visitors' high-pressing, high-intensity style, which has become their trademark under boss Marcelo Bielsa, limited Bristol City to few clear chances.

The hosts were guilty of too many loose passes in the final third, but grabbed a late goal when Andreas Weimann fired into the bottom corner.

That goal started a brief rally and lifted the spirits of the home support, but Leeds were good value for their win.

Leeds impress in opening game

After a third-place finish and a play-off semi-final defeat by Derby last season, Leeds began their 16th consecutive season outside the Premier League on Sunday.

They have been tipped to overcome that disappointment this term, and answered any doubts about their status as favourites to go up with a dominant display in their opening fixture.

"We managed both halves very well in the first 30 minutes, but at the same time, in the last 15 minutes we conceded too much possession," Bielsa told BBC Radio Leeds.

The Argentine stuck largely with the players that got them so close to the top flight, but gave centre-back Ben White his debut and brought on another loan signing, Wolves' Portuguese winger Helder Costa, from the bench.

Ben White
Ben White had never appeared at Championship level or above before an assured Leeds debut at Ashton Gate

The days leading up to Thursday's transfer deadline could be important to their promotion chances, however.

Bielsa will be looking to strengthen his squad further, while last season's leading scorer Kemar Roofe has been linked with a move to Vincent Kompany's Anderlecht and rumours of Kalvin Phillips being targeted by Premier League clubs persist, despite Leeds recently opening talks with the 23-year-old over a new contract.

Phillips was exceptional in midfield against the Robins; breaking up City attacks, keeping possession smartly and spreading the play with passes to wide areas.

Towards the other end of the experience scale, 34-year-old Hernandez continued the superb form that has made him a fans' favourite at Elland Road by playing a pivotal role in the first two goals.

City signings expected before deadline

Like Leeds, there is genuine hope from Bristol City that they can challenge for promotion, but they must improve on their opening-day showing if they are going to better last season's eighth place.

Head coach Lee Johnson told BBC Radio Bristol: "We were honest, we worked our socks off, but inevitably they had more quality than us. We didn't cope with their relentless pressing.

"We need a bit more quality, which hopefully we'll get in the next few days.

"It's a good standard for the lads to feel, because if [Leeds] keep that XI fit, they are top, top for the Championship. They were better than us and we have to be honest about that."

City have been one of the bigger spenders in the second tier this summer, although much of their business has been to tie up players who impressed during loan spells last season on long-term deals.

However, it is likely that more new faces will be added before the transfer window closes.

Owner Steve Lansdown confirmed before kick-off that City are in talks to sign French teenager Han-Noah Massengo from Monaco for a fee reported to be 8m euros (£7.3m).

He also said he will look to reinvest some of the £20m raised by the sale of defender Adam Webster to Brighton on Saturday, meaning there could be a busy few days ahead.

Line-ups

Bristol City

  • 1Bentley
  • 2Hunt
  • 22Kalas
  • 23Moore
  • 3Dasilva
  • 21PackBooked at 47mins
  • 8Brownhill
  • 14Weimann
  • 45PalmerBooked at 55minsSubstituted forEliassonat 64'minutes
  • 11O'DowdaSubstituted forPatersonat 63'minutes
  • 9DiédhiouSubstituted forTaylorat 80'minutesBooked at 88mins

Substitutes

  • 6Baker
  • 10Taylor
  • 17Szmodics
  • 19Eliasson
  • 20Paterson
  • 25Rowe
  • 38Wollacott

Leeds

  • 13Casilla
  • 15Dallas
  • 5White
  • 6Cooper
  • 3DouglasSubstituted forAlioskiat 79'minutes
  • 23Phillips
  • 19HernándezBooked at 54mins
  • 4ForshawBooked at 48mins
  • 43KlichSubstituted forHélder Costaat 76'minutes
  • 22HarrisonSubstituted forDavisat 85'minutes
  • 9Bamford

Substitutes

  • 10Alioski
  • 17Hélder Costa
  • 30Miazek
  • 40Davis
  • 44Bogusz
  • 47Clarke
  • 53Gotts
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
23,553

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol CityAway TeamLeeds
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home13
Away18
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home8
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Bristol City 1, Leeds United 3.

Full Time

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

Attempt missed. Jack Hunt (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Josh Brownhill with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Kalvin Phillips.

Attempt blocked. Taylor Moore (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marlon Pack.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Liam Cooper (Leeds United).

Attempt missed. Josh Brownhill (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jay Dasilva.

Attempt missed. Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Attempt blocked. Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ezgjan Alioski.

Attempt missed. Hélder Costa (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Liam Cooper with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Taylor Moore.

Booking

Matty Taylor (Bristol City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kiko Casilla (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matty Taylor (Bristol City).

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Stuart Dallas.

Hélder Costa (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matty Taylor (Bristol City).

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Leeds United).

Tomas Kalas (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Leif Davis replaces Jack Harrison.

Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Niclas Eliasson (Bristol City).

Attempt missed. Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Niclas Eliasson with a cross.

Attempt missed. Jamie Paterson (Bristol City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).

Jamie Paterson (Bristol City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Matty Taylor (Bristol City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Hunt.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol City. Matty Taylor replaces Famara Diédhiou.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Ezgjan Alioski replaces Barry Douglas.

Goal!

Goal! Bristol City 1, Leeds United 3. Andreas Weimann (Bristol City) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Niclas Eliasson.

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Stuart Dallas.

Attempt blocked. Famara Diédhiou (Bristol City) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Niclas Eliasson with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Leeds United. Hélder Costa replaces Mateusz Klich.

Attempt missed. Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.

Attempt missed. Famara Diédhiou (Bristol City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Niclas Eliasson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Bristol City. Conceded by Kiko Casilla.

Goal!

Goal! Bristol City 0, Leeds United 3. Jack Harrison (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a fast break.

Attempt blocked. Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Stuart Dallas.

Foul by Patrick Bamford (Leeds United).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds11003123
2Sheff Wed11003123
3Wigan11003213
4Charlton11002113
5QPR11002113
6Swansea11002113
7West Brom11002113
8Barnsley11001013
9Birmingham11001013
10Millwall11001013
11Luton10103301
12Middlesbrough10103301
13Derby00000000
14Huddersfield00000000
15Cardiff100123-10
16Blackburn100112-10
17Hull100112-10
18Nottm Forest100112-10
19Stoke100112-10
20Brentford100101-10
21Fulham100101-10
22Preston100101-10
23Bristol City100113-20
24Reading100113-20
View full Championship table

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