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2018/19 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Mateusz Klich (15')
  • Pablo Hern├índez (45'+1')
  • Liam Cooper (57')
  • Benik Afobe (52' PEN)

Marcelo Bielsa begins Leeds reign with 3-1 win over Stoke

Former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa watched his new Leeds United side open the season with an impressive 3-1 home win over Championship promotion favourites Stoke City on Sunday.

The 63-year-old Bielsa, who coached Argentina between 1998 and 2004 and signed a two-year deal at Elland Road in June with an option for another year, showed little emotion on the bench as his side began the season in convincing style.

Leeds, three-times English league champions, took the lead when Polish midfielder Mateusz Klich beat Jack Butland from close range before Pablo Hernandez added a second before halftime as his shot deceived the keeper at Elland Road.

Benik Afobe, one of four Stoke players making their debuts after joining on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, got a goal back for the visitors with a penalty after the break when Barry Douglas fouled Tom Ince, who had hit the bar in the first half.

But Scotland defender Douglas made up for his error when his corner was headed home by captain Liam Cooper to complete a fine display and give new Stoke boss Gary Rowett plenty to ponder.

Bielsa, who has managed clubs in Argentina, Spain and France plus Chile's national team, replaced Paul Heckingbottom, who was sacked after Leeds finished 13th in the second tier last term.

Rowett, 44, was appointed Stoke manager in May on a three-year contract after Stoke agreed a compensation package with Derby County, whom he had led into the playoffs last season.

Stoke sacked Mark Hughes in January and parted company with his replacement Paul Lambert after the Midlands club's 10-year stay in the top flight came to an end last term.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 West Bromwich Albion 11 +8 22
2 Nottingham Forest 11 +7 22
3 Preston North End 11 +11 21
4 Swansea City 11 +7 21
5 Leeds United 11 +8 20
6 Bristol City 11 +5 20
7 Fulham 11 +10 19
8 Sheffield Wednesday 11 +7 19
9 Queens Park Rangers 11 -1 19
10 Charlton Athletic 11 +3 18
11 Cardiff City 11 0 16
12 Birmingham City 11 -3 16
13 Derby County 11 0 15
14 Blackburn Rovers 11 -2 14
15 Millwall 11 -4 14
16 Hull City 11 -2 13
17 Brentford 11 0 12
18 Luton Town 11 -5 11
19 Wigan Athletic 11 -7 11
20 Middlesbrough 11 -5 10
21 Huddersfield Town 11 -6 8
22 Reading 11 -6 8
23 Barnsley 11 -14 6
24 Stoke City 11 -11 5