Bolton 2-3 Leeds: Kalvin Phillips double sees off the Wanderers
By James Kilpatrick
Last Updated: 07/08/17 10:22am
A Kalvin Phillips double and a Chris Wood header was enough for Leeds to secure an opening-day win against newly-promoted Bolton at the Macron Stadium.
Two strikes from Phillips (7, 41), either side of Wood's close-range finish (30), gave Leeds enough of a lead over a hard-working Bolton side who pulled goals back through Gary Madine (39) and an Adam Le Fondre penalty (67).
Phillips curled in a strike from a Pablo Hernandez corner early on to put Leeds in front, before Wood had the simple task of nodding in a pegged-back header from impressive debutant Ezgjan Alioski.
Madine netted with a header at the back-post from a corner, but Phillips tapped in what proved to be the decisive goal, despite Le Fondre's penalty putting further pressure on the visitors after converting his spot-kick.
Leeds handed debuts to goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald, Ezgjan Alioksi and Matthew Pennington, with Vurnon Anita coming off the bench. Meanwhile, for Bolton, Andrew Taylor, Stephen Darby, Josh Cullen were all in Gary Parkinson’s starting XI. Adam Le Fondre also started. Loanee Reece Burke, Adam Armstrong and Will Buckley made their debuts as substitutes.
After a slow start from both sides, Leeds found a goal through 21-year-old Phillips, who made a smart run to the edge of the box to pick up Hernandez's low corner and sent a curling effort, which deflected off Jem Karacan, into the bottom corner.
Despite Bolton's best efforts to get back into the game, Leeds doubled their lead through their prolific talisman Wood, who is reportedly wanted by a host of clubs around Europe.
Kemar Roofe beat Andrew Taylor for pace on the right flank and curled a ball to the back post. Alioski met it at the back post and cushioned his header for the New Zealand international, who nodded the ball off the crossbar and into the net.
Leeds were looking comfortable, but just under ten minutes later Bolton found a reply through Madine. Josh Vela's corner was met at the back post by the physically-imposing 26-year-old, who easily outmuscled Roofe before simply tapping the ball into the net.
Just two minutes later, Leeds restored their two-goal cushion through Phillips. Hernandez slotted a ball through to Wood, who stayed onside, before he was just about able to poke the ball to Phillips, who had the easy task of tapping the ball into the empty net.
After a scrappy opening to the second half, which saw Matthew Pennington go off injured, Bolton grabbed their second goal through Le Fondre, who converted his penalty straight down the centre of the goal after Madine was pulled down in the box by Leeds substitute Conor Shaughnessy.
Bolton reverted to long-ball football as they went in search of an equaliser, but they were not able to fashion out any clear-cut chances which saw Leeds hold on to an opening-day win, and their first under new head coach Thomas Christiansen.
Bolton: Howard (6), A Taylor (5), Dervite (6), Beevers (6), Vela (6), Karacan (5), Le Fondre (6), Madine (7), Cullen (6), Darby (5), Wheater (6)
Subs: Burke (6), Buckley (6), Armstrong (n/a)
Leeds: Wiedwald (6), Berardi (6), Cooper (6), Pennington (7), Ayling (6), O’Kane (6), Phillips (9), Alioski (7), Hernandez (8), Roofe (7), Wood (9)
Subs: Anita (6), Shaughnessy (4), Sacko (n/a)
Man of the Match: Kalvin Phillips
Thomas Christiansen: "I have to be happy with the win. It's our first win in the league and a good start to the season.
"It was the first corner and it went in but I believe in the first half we played good football, creating good opportunities. We received that goal in the set-piece. In the first half we had bad luck with the two injuries, that complicated the situation, but the team managed to fight and keep the situation controlled."
Phil Parkinson: "It was a disappointing first half, especially with the goals we conceded. 3-1 is always tough going into half-time but saying that I thought we showed character to keep going and we gave everything to try and get something from the game.
"The character was good and we're pleased with the response but a lot of things in the first-half we were disappointed with. We're a team not normally used to conceding early goals and we conceded three and every goal you can always do something better with."
Bolton head to Crewe on Wednesday for a Carabao Cup first-round clash, before travelling to Millwall for their second Sky Bet Championship outing of the new season. Leeds, meanwhile, take on Port Vale in their first home game at Elland Road.