Villa Park was where Andrea Radrizzani looked down from the directors’ box and decided it was no good. “Something’s broken,” he told himself and others around him, and envisioning the only fix was the most embarrassing decision, The dismissal of Marcelo Bielsa.
That night, back in February, was a charged but stormy one, and the scores swung from 1-0 to Leeds to 3-1 for Villa and progressing at 3-3 full time. There were mixed assessments of Leeds, not least because their defense split horribly before half-time, but it was entertaining and from 3-1 the score went down as a good point. Radrizzani saw positive media coverage as the glass was half full. His reaction was the opposite: anxiety, faith waning, fear of the worst.
Yesterday was a different season, a different coach but in the same place and the same uncomfortable rush of adrenaline through my veins. Jesse Marsh displays the message that better things are to come But the visuals feel like a right hand to jaw, like reversing chapters that lead to a happy ending. Leeds waited until half an hour before temporarily succumbing to Villa on their final visit. Last night, they were on their way to defeat 2-1 After three minutes, the worst answer a coach can give when people ask when and how the corner will be turned.
There is a formula for scoring against Leeds and whether Marsh thinks so or not, there was no watching Villa’s opening goal and avoiding thinking that everyone watching had seen the jig before.
Mercenary attack mercilessly from Aston Villa! 🔥
It was Leeds’ corner that did it, their chance to attack and their kryptonite, high line positions where the numbers count against them and the kill counters count. Villa made their way out, Boubacar Camara The ball down a low defense caught the bodies and Leon Bailey went inside Pascal Strick To wrap his left foot around the ball and find the far corner. Color tones vary slightly but that’s the franchise, which always lurks in the shadows.
It’s a reality with this Leeds team that the things they do overshadow the things they do so well. If Bailey’s early strike was Villa’s call to riot, the memorandum failed to land on Unai Emery’s side. It was Leeds who pushed the pace before the end of the first half, and Leeds, who played high on the pitch and Villa, who walked cautiously towards the second half, were not helped by Marsoum from behind, who seemed to overextend their four backs.
The goal post was denied Rodrigo tie, late in the first half. Ridiculously good save from Amy Martinez Jack Harrisonalmost certain. Rodrigo’s recording offside flag ruled out. A slight shift in margins could have caused a shift in the scoreline. But a lot of seasons were lost because of that.
It encapsulates Leeds’ mental state, telling themselves that at some point he will transform or shift and commit to a degree that reinforces Marsh’s precarious job. They were better than Villa and joined more than Villa, allowing for the fact that Emery is fresh in the door at Birmingham.
The press was hungry and orchestrated and left the viewer conflicted, choosing a side that is a soft touch in some moments but hard to live with in others. It is fair, in criticizing Marsh, to acknowledge the points where he gets kicked where the distribution of wealth hurts him, and last night was one of those.
Leeds and Villa always bring out a little madness in each other, the latter being a rivalry that manifested itself unintentionally or without anyone realizing it was happening. Match was born Kemar Roof In the 93rd minute, the number one goal that made headlines globally, A.J Patrick Bamford A hat-trick and a second 3-3 at Villa Park last season which, unknown to most on the night, set the ball up for Bielsa.
Leeds are an emotionally volatile club but there is something to be said for living in peace or going through periods when, as Marsh said on Thursday, “we don’t have to talk off the table”. A year has passed with him as manager, almost, and the Premier League does not give the impression of being any more intimidating than it was by Leeds at the time.
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However, Villa found it difficult to get ahead, and were grateful when the VAR intervened to overturn an offside flag that had been held when Amy Buendía rebounded off Bailey’s shot midway through the second half. They needed breathing space 2-0 and the goal was like popping a balloon.
And suddenly Emery’s side found some flow. Suddenly, Marsh was kicking off Bamford for his debut in eternity, and Bamford, aided by the flair of Willy Junonto, came up with a late goal, his first since December 2021. A 2-1 defeat was to come anyway and the striker, like Leeds, could only pick up a bone. from the corpse.
In the morning, while Leeds was making final preparations for Villa, Georginio Rutter was starting medicine before his proposed move from Hoffenheim. His arrival couldn’t hurt, assuming the move goes as planned, and the club are considering pursuing his purchase with an assertive approach to Azizeddine Onahi, the Moroccan. world Cup hack player. They are deals that will change the complexion of the dressing room and, at this juncture, inject fresh blood that the perpetually struggling club needs.
But whatever new faces prepare, or whatever materializes in the market, the immediacy of the situation at Leeds will not go away and neither will the suspicion that the team is failing systematically on a regular basis.
Marsh called last night’s “most complete performance” under his captaincy and denied that, with the season approaching the halfway mark, Leeds could be classified as being in a relegation battle. More of this, he said, and the project will come well. The truth will soon take sides.
There were brief chants of ‘Marsch Out’ from the 2-0 lost finish and it was another evening where you would have given a penny to the thoughts of a man whose responsibility for Leeds United is final. The story of Villa Park was one of misfortune. But the general picture is not like that.
(Top photo: Jesse Marsh shows his frustration at Villa Park; James Gill/Danhouse/Getty Images)
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