Jesse Marsch’s job saved by Leeds’ turnaround victory over Bournemouth

November 5, 2022


As Sam Greenwood was introduced by Jesse Marsch on 54 minutes of their clash with Bournemouth at Elland Road, he could not have envisaged what a decision it would turn out to be.

When all was said and done, it was a decision that, in all likelihood, saved his job.

Despite their win at Liverpool last time out, Leeds could not contemplate defeat at home to Bournemouth, but that is exactly what was staring Marsch and his team in the face as they looked up to the scoreboard to remind themselves they were trailing 3-1.

With games against Tottenham, Man City, Newcastle and West Ham coming up, defeat would have been almost certainly been terminal for Marsch at Elland Road.

But Marsch brought on Greenwood, having already brought on Willy Gnonto at half-time, and it was these changes that turned the game on its head.

Greenwood came on after 54 minutes with Leeds 3-1 down and, in all truth, very much second best, and the one-time Arsenal youth curled home a superb goal. Suddenly, the whole game flipped.

Elland Road believed once again, Marsch believed and, most importantly, the players believed.

Greenwood was then again on hand, this time putting in the corner for captain Liam Cooper to head home and tie things up on the score sheet.

From being a lost cause, the game was only heading one way and that was a Leeds win. Marsch’s men obliged; this time Gnonto threading through a great ball for Crysencio Summerville to fire home.

Before the game, this match was billed as a six-pointer and indeed it was, but this was so much more for Marsch.

This game was 11 months to the day that RB Leipzig had decided the Marsch experiment was not working after just 21 games and a similar story was in danger of being played out at Leeds, but surely now he has won himself the chance to carry on well into 2023.

And it is not just about the result against Bournemouth; it is the passion, the belief and commitment he was able to generate from his players. If Leeds can start games as they finished against Bournemouth, then relegation talk will be just that, talk – but Marsch and Leeds need to kick on from this result and prove it.

After the game, Marsch admitted they need to produce like this on a regular basis: “Consistency is what we are lacking.

“Belief is still high, I could tell by the looks on their faces we could win this match.”