Action Images/John Clifton
There was an unfamiliar air of anticipation at Elland Road as Leeds United surpassed all expectations by putting on a dominant and authoritative performance to give Stoke an unhappy return to a division they last played in over a decade ago.
Before the fixture kicked off, many punters had touted Stoke City to be favourites for the division. A by Championship standards lavish transfer window had seen a group of players arrive at the club, many of whom have experience of the second tier of English football.
However, the pressing and intelligent offensive interplay of Leeds, orchestrated by the legendary Argentinian tactician Marcelo Bielsa, was more reminiscent of the top class football adopted by his devotees, Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola, than of the agricultural division that Stoke had left behind when they made their way into the Premier League - a league which counted John Gregory, Gary Megson, Phil Brown and Iain Dowie amongst its practitioners.