Leeds United

Leeds United


Jesse Marsch claims Leeds were ‘better’ than Arsenal despite them being ‘the best team in the league’

Ben Stewart
Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch speaks to his players

Leeds manager Jesse Marsch was proud of his team’s performance, despite being on the losing end against league leaders Arsenal.

The game had been scheduled to kick off at two o’clock, but play was halted after just 23 seconds due to a power cut at Elland Road. Players and officials returned to the pitch around 20 minutes later for a warm-up, and the game was able to restart at 14:40.

Leeds found themselves behind after just 35 minutes, as Bukayo Saka found the back of the net for the Gunners. Rodrigo was guilty of giving the ball away in his own half and Arsenal pounced on the mistake.

Patrick Bamford was brought on as a half-time substitute and he almost had an instant impact. The 29-year-old had the ball in the back of the net but was judged to have fouled Gabriel in the build-up.

The Leeds forward went close to equalising soon after, but Aaron Ramsdale was level to his effort on goal.

Despite a higher tempo to their play, Marsch’s side were guilty of being wasteful in the second half.

Bamford was presented with the perfect opportunity to equalise as Leeds were awarded a penalty. He skewed the ball wide of the post and his miss summed up Leeds’ entire afternoon.

The home side were on the receiving end of some controversial VAR decisions as a late penalty and Gabriel red card were overruled.

The result leaves Leeds sat 15th in the Premier League, just one point above the relegation zone.

Marsch proud of the performance

After the game Marsch explained how he saw the game and the controversial decisions that went against his side.

He told Sky Sports: “It was a really good performance from us. Discipline, concentration over the entire match even with the late start, which was strange on the day.

“A performance that showed that when we play the way we want to play, we can be very good. That’s the best team in the league right now and today we were better.

“We’re making it hard on ourselves and not capitalising on moments when we’re on top in games. We could have scored four or five goals and we’d walk out of here feeling like it was the perfect match.

“But that’s where we are right now. I’m not discouraged. The goals will come. If we keep playing like that and keep believing in what we’re trying to achieve, we have big potential this season.”

Bamford is yet to get off the mark with a goal this season, but Marsch was quick to defend his striker.

He added: “We practice penalties every week. Patrick’s one of our best guys in training.

“It’s disappointing he couldn’t finish it, I think it would have changed the game. At 1-1, I think we could have pushed the game. It’s a funny game sometimes.”

Marsch was tight-lipped when questioned on the controversial VAR decision at the death, as he added: “I didn’t see it, I don’t know what happened.”

READ MORE: Leeds, Everton chasing one of 2023’s ‘most coveted free agents’, but lethal striker deal must run Euro gauntlet first