Jesse Marsch on Bruno Lage spat, penalty shout and Leeds United performance in win over Wolves

Jesse Marsch was delighted that his substitutes added the necessary impetus to give Leeds a winning start to the new Premier League season against Wolves.

Wolves took control of the early stages of the second half and then Marsch rang the changes, with Mateusz Klich showing his worth by introducing energy and a lovely pass that allowed Patrick Bamford to pass the ball across the area for Brenden Aaronson to crash home the winner. The goal was later, somewhat cruelly, credited instead to Wolves defender Rayan Aït-Nouri.

But nothing could take the shine off an opening day win as Marsch begins his first full season in charge at Elland Road.

“We've talked a lot about good starts,” said the head coach.

"And to be fair, I actually thought we had a good start. But we just happened to give up a little bit of a strange goal. We talked that they'd like to play a lot of chips to the second post and we don't deal well with that one. And it takes a weird bounce, which doesn't allow Illan to have a real good read on it, but I thought even after going down that early we responded the rest of the half and pushed the game.

"We find the goal in some ways a little bit unlucky not to find the second in the first half.

"Then to give credit to Wolves they pushed the game really hard and for the first 15 minutes we weren't at our best, we were running too much.”

Marsch identified the need for replacements and turned to his bench, sending Klich on initially, before Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville and Joe Gelhardt made their entrances.

WINNING GOAL - Brenden Aaronson was not credited with Leeds United's winner but he played a big part in a win over Wolves on his Elland Road debut. Pic: Simon Hulme

“We didn't seem to have our legs and I knew at that point that making the right subs and having guys really prepared was going to be important,” he said.

"Klichy came in for me and made a big difference. And then Sam Greenwood as well. So it was good to see those guys come into the match and make a difference and then to see us be resilient, like we know we are, and find a way to validate the work with a good three points.”

Klich’s Elland Road future is far from certain, with Marsch recently highlighting the importance of the World Cup for the Poland international, but his second half cameo suggested he could yet be important to the Whites.

“One of Klichy’s qualities is he can run and I knew we were struggling to cover spaces a little bit where Neves was and to pick up some second balls, and right away when he came to the match, he helped settle things down a little bit and he was in some good spaces,” said Marsch.

"I thought he was disciplined with his positioning and then he made some good plays with the ball, including the second goal action. It was good.”

The likes of Pascal Struijk and Brenden Aaronson also came in for praise from the boss, the former for his performance in what is still an unfamiliar role at left-back and the latter for the danger he created.

Marsch also spoke up for Rasmus Kristensen who lost out in a 50:50 with Pedro Neto that led to Wolves’ opener, insisting the Dane was unlucky in that moment.

Kristensen was also involved in one of the game’s only moments of real controversy. Having cleanly won a back-post header in the Wolves area, the right-back was clattered by keeper Jose Sa. Marsch had not seen the incident replayed but felt it should have been a penalty.

"I have to see it again, [but] I felt live like Rasmus was, after the ball was gone, just taken out. A lot of times they give the goalies the benefit of doubt if you touch a goalie when you go to challenge him as an outfield player, it's always a foul. It looked like to me that Rasmus headed it and then he was taken out by the goalkeeper. If that's a defender, I think it might go down as a penalty. So I'm not sure, I haven't seen it again, but I'll say yes, should have been a penalty.”

Another flash point centred around Marsch himself after a touchline spat with his opposite number Bruno Lage. Round one came in the first half, shortly after Hwang Hee-chan went to ground holding his face in front of the Leeds dugout. At full-time Marsch approached the Wolves boss to shake hands but was dismissed by Lage and the pair engaged in a heated argument.

Marsch laughed the incident off but noted that it wasn’t the first time the pair had clashed.

"Well, you can go back to at Wolves last year,” he said.

"I mean there's emotion in these moments. So I wanted to be respectful afterwards but it didn't quite go that way. But I'm okay. I think he's okay too.

"It's normal in some ways. I respect Bruno a lot. He does a great job with his team, so no problem.”