By Sean Fisher

13th Nov, 2022 | 2:47pm

Jesse Marsch decision in Leeds United v Tottenham was 'difficult to defend' - BBC pundit

Leeds United came within minutes of taking all three points against Tottenham, but a late brace from Rodrigo Bentancur saw them leave empty-handed.

Just a week after a 4-3 win over Bournemouth, Leeds were again involved in a frantic 4-3Premier League match but this time came out on the wrong side of the scoreline.

The Whites found themselves 3-2 up with just over 10 minutes to go, but Spurs produced a late comeback through Bentancur to inflict Leeds a seventh defeat of the season.

Marsch’s decision-making when trying to defend the lead has been slammed by BBC pundit Jon Newsome, who was left baffled by the American’s tactical change.

Speaking to BBC West Yorkshire Radio, Newsome said: “It’s difficult to defend that. Difficult to go against that. We got a really good vantage point and you could see the angles, you could see how the game was playing out.

“I personally didn’t understand why you go to a back five when they’ve only got [Harry] Kane up there who keeps dropping into the midfield. They were hurting us in the middle of the park.

“They were winning more second balls, they were passing the ball around us, they were picking us off, they were keeping possession in the middle of the park.”

Hindsight

Marsch’s decision to bring on Luke Ayling late on backfired massively. The 31-year-old looked lost at centre-back and could’ve done more for both of the final goals.

In hindsight, it’s obviously a substitution that Marsch would go back and change, but who can blame the American for trying to tighten things up?

From the very first minute in north London the game was frantic and full of chances. After taking a late lead through Rodrigo, Marsch probably instructed his side to kill the game and absorb pressure.

It’s something that Leeds often struggle with, but with such a poor defensive record Marsch was likely just trying to flood the box with as many defenders as possible.

It’s a decision that he’d be praised for if he got right, so it’s only fair to criticise him when it goes wrong. But it was a risk he took with good intentions and he’ll learn from it moving forward.

In other Leeds United news, Michael Owen is left shocked by one Leeds player as footage emerges v Tottenham