Mark Jackson’s side earned three points on the opening day in an eventful match away at Crystal Palace.
Goals from Crysencio Summerville, Liam McCarron and Sean McGurk were enough to secure the win.
A frantic opening to the match saw the hosts go close more than once inside the opening five minutes. The only effort that will have worried Kristoffer Klaesson was from the lively Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, but it went over the bar.
It took just eight minutes for the Whites to get their first goal of the season, and it was an excellent move. Jack Jenkins switched the ball out wide for Summerville, who controlled on his chest and ran in goal, before sliding into the bottom corner.
Just a couple of minutes later, Palace were level. A deep corner whipped in by Scott Banks saw Jake O’Brien rise highest and head home at the back-post.
In a thoroughly lively opening 20 minutes, Leeds were then given the chance to retake the lead. Joe Gelhardt and Amari Miller both had efforts blocked on the line, but it was adjudged that the latter’s had been handled by David Boateng who was sent-off.
Gelhardt stepped up to take the penalty, but Joe Whitworth between the posts for the Eagles guessed the right way and kept his penalty out of the net, keeping the game level.
Whitworth would once again impress the onlookers at Selhurst Park, which included a healthy contingent of travelling Leeds fans. When Cody Drameh broke down the right, his cross was deflected towards his own goal by Jaroslaw Jach, but the ‘keeper tipped it over the bar at full stretch.
Gelhardt and Rak-Sakyi had further chances on goal towards the end of the half, but the two teams went in level at the whistle.
HALF TIME: Crystal Palace 1-1 Leeds United
Jackson made two changes at the break, with Charlie Cresswell and the goal-scorer, Summerville coming off for Sean McGurk and Nohan Kenneh.
Ten-man Palace were looking to keep solid and hit the Whites on the counter in the second half and their tactics were almost rewarded, but for Klaesson making a smart stop from Rak-Sakyi.
With 20 minutes remaining, Leeds were rewarded for their patience. An excellent team goal involving many in White meant the ball was played into space for Drameh on the wing, who controlled and played a pinpoint ball across the middle for McCarron to arrive and slot into the back of the net.
Two became three just minutes later, when when Miller this time found space down the wing to cut the ball into the box where the onrushing McGurk showed composure to control, the fire home right-footed on his debut.
The action didn’t there, in what had been an enthralling opening game to the season. Drameh was then involved at the wrong end, as he was penalised for a foul on David Omilabu in the box. The Palace forward stepped up to take the penalty himself, but like his opposite number in the first half, Klaesson guessed the right way and saved.
Both ‘keepers were forced into further saves before the match had finished in what had been a busy evening between the posts, but no further goals arrived and the Whites had claimed a thoroughly deserved three points when the whistle was blown to end the game.
FULL TIME: Crystal Palace 1-3 Leeds United
Venue: Selhurst Park
Booked: Cresswell, Kenneh, Drameh, Jenkins (Leeds) Street, O’Brien, Wells-Morrison, Banks (Palace)
Sent off: D. Boateng (Palace)
Crystal Palace 1 (O’Brien 11’)
Leeds United 3 (Summerville 8’, McCarron 70’, McGurk 74’)
Palace XI: Whitworth (GK), D. Boateng, Hannam, M. Boateng, O’Brien (c), Jach, Banks (Quick 24’), Kirby, Street, Wells-Morrison, Rak-Sakyi (Omilabu 78’)
Subs not used: Goodman, Omilabu, Robertson, Rolls.
Leeds XI: Klaesson (GK), Drameh, McCarron, Jenkins, Cresswell (c), Moore, Summerville (McGurk 45’), Forshaw (Greenwood 60’), Gelhardt, Bate, Miller.
Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel, Allen.