Jesse Marsch hails a ‘really big point’ as Leeds hold Crystal Palace to draw

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Leeds boss Jesse Marsch hailed a hard-fought goalless draw at Crystal Palace as a “really big point” in the battle to avoid Premier League relegation.

A forgettable, if sometimes fiery, 90 minutes at Selhurst Park could yet have yielded a pivotal result for Leeds, who sit 16th in the table.

They are now five points clear of Everton, who currently occupy the final relegation berth, but have played a game more than the Toffees.

With their next three games coming against top-four sides in Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, taking a share of the spoils in south London was key for Marsch.

“I think it’s a really big point,” he said.

“It gets us closer to our ultimate goal. If you’d said to me five games ago that in the next five games you’d pick up 11 points, I’d have signed on the dotted line. We still have a lot of things to work on.

“The result is big. Every point is important, performance not our best but defensively very stable. Second clean sheet in a row, five games unbeaten.

“We just have to take the positives away. It wasn’t so easy with 16 days to keep match sharpness and that showed a little bit but the mentality of the group and the ability of the team to fight for every inch on the pitch I think really helped us earn the point.”

League leaders and defending champions City visit West Yorkshire on Saturday night, with Marsch already having faced Pep Guardiola’s men this season.

The American was in charge of RB Leipzig as the German side lost 6-3 at the Etihad in a Champions League group game last year and Marsch knows what to expect next time out.

Marsch and Guardiola met earlier this season in the Champions League.
Marsch and Guardiola met earlier this season in the Champions League (Martin Rickett/PA)

“Now comes to Elland Road, for me, the best team in the world,” he added,

“One of my teams this season has already played against Man City and I know what a challenge that game is.

“I know how difficult it is to limit their best players. We will have to be incredibly effective and clear with how we want to play against the ball and then we will have to find ways with the ball to try and control the ball a little more.”

The point for Palace ends a three-match losing streak for the Eagles, who still maintain hopes of a top-half finish.

Patrick Vieira pinpointed a lack of cutting edge in attack as the reason the home side did not take all three points.

“Our decision making,” he replied when asked if it was a lack of quality that cost his side.

“I think we were unlucky at times as well but I think we created enough situational chances to score and we didn’t today.

“It’s just about taking our chances and we have the quality, we know that the front-three can score goals.

“But yes, I will want them to score more regarding the number of chances that we are creating and today I think we were unlucky.

“I think the only thing that was missing in our game was that goal.”

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