Jesse Marsch had some strong words to say about Frank Lampard’s Everton time-wasting in their clash at Elland Road, though he was far more positive about three new Leeds players.
Anthony Gordon put Everton in front in the 17th minute after being picked out by Alex Iwobi. The winger, who is a target for Chelsea, ran onto the through ball and scored by sending it under Illan Meslier.
Everton showed what they were about in the 29th minute as Tom Davies tried to kick the ball out of Meslier’s hands. This saw the midfielder get shown a yellow card and also fired up the Leeds crowd against the visitors.
There was a big blow for Leeds later in the first half when Rodrigo seemed to dislocate his shoulder amid a tussle with Jordan Pickford.
Leeds went into the break 1-0 down but flew out of the blocks for the second half. Brenden Aaronson and Jack Harrison both had good chances for the home side.
And they were level by the 55th minute when summer arrival Luis Sinisterra found the bottom corner on his left foot. It marked his first ever Premier League goal, and just his second in a Leeds shirt.
Everton had a goal disallowed later on in the second half as things began to get heated. Everton controlled the pace of the game by slowing things down at every opportunity, preventing Leeds from getting into their best rhythm.
The game ended 1-1 and during a post-match interview with BT Sport (via BBC Sport), Marsch spoke about how Leeds dealt with the Everton threat.
Jesse Marsch analyses Leeds, Everton draw
“We know how dangerous they are on the counter,” he said. “I thought we did a good job of managing it in many moments, but it only takes one the other way to make the game more difficult.
“I just saw the offside goal [Demarai Gray’s] and it is really close, really lucky that didn’t count. But what I see with our team is one that is growing and getting better. We can be good with the ball and against the ball and we can be good in transition moments.
“Obviously, we need more goals. But I am pleased with the direction we are going and the players we have and the look of our team.”
Marsch then criticised Lampard and Everton for time-wasting at almost every opportunity and making it a less exciting watch for viewers.
“Yeah that was terrible,” the American said. “It is classic. For me, you can see when the players of Everton are kicking the ball away in the first minute of the game. It is clear they want to take the energy out of Elland Road.
“This is still an entertainment business and I wish the referee had handled that bit a little better. After it was 1-1 it became entertaining, but it was too late. The referee had the chance to affect the game and did not take advantage of that.”
When asked about goalscorer Sinisterra, Marsch praised him as well as fellow arrivals Marc Roca and Tyler Adams.
“We really like him. I also thought Marc Roca and Tyler Adams were excellent in the middle of the pitch,” he added. “Jack Harrison was dangerous all night. Joffy [Joe Gelhardt] came in in a difficult situation.
“We are hopeful Rodrigo is not too bad. It is one of those where the shoulder pops out. Pat [Bamford] came into the game and was dangerous. So yeah, I really like this team.”
Leeds midfielder Adams said: “After going down in the first half, it was not the start that we wanted. It’s important that we are able to grind out results and, at minimum, get a point out of that.
“It’s frustrating in the first half when they are already trying to kill time, especially when we want to play a high-tempo game. It is important then that we stay mentally focused and get the goal.
“It is important that he [Luis Sinisterra] is able to get minutes now and you saw there a little glimpse of what he is able to do. He will be an important player for us going forward.
“Rodrigo is a dangerous player for us and has scored a bunch of goals. I hope he is alright. I didn’t quite see what happened, I think it is his shoulder.
“This is a learning process for us – a lot of new guys coming into a new league and trying to adapt. It is important that we can pick up points early on in the season. We are only growing from here.”
Sinisterra reacts to first league goal
During a post-match interview with BBC Sport, Sinisterra said: “I have been working very hard for this moment. We worked for the three points but we couldn’t take it.
“It feels nice to score my first goal in the Premier League. I have to keep working as I am doing. It is amazing and I have to keep working to score many more.
“Everton played really good. They find the goal early so they drop and then wait for the counter. It was difficult for us to find the net. In the second half we could do it. I think we deserved a bit more, but we kept working.”
Meanwhile, Leeds could look north of the border to find a replacement for Tottenham target Dan James, according to a report.
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