Leicester beat Leeds in Marsch’s first game as boss

LEICESTER: Leeds manager Jesse Marsch suffered a 1-0 defeat here in his first game in charge of the Premier League strugglers, while Liverpool prepared for their chance to close the gap on leaders Manchester City later on Saturday.

Marsch has been hired to save Leeds from relegation after replacing Marcelo Bielsa.

But he was unable to spark an immediate improvement in Leeds’ fortunes as Harvey Barnes bagged the second-half winner in his 100th Premier League appearance.

The defeat was cruel on Marsch’s side, who dominated for long periods, but Leeds have lost their last five games and sit just two points above the relegation zone.

Marsch is just the second American to take charge of a Premier League club after Bob Bradley’s brief spell at Swansea in 2016.

The 48-year-old has already been derided in some quarters as Leeds’ own Ted Lasso, in reference to the hapless American appointed as manager of a fictional English team in a current television comedy show.

Few US coaches have succeeded in Europe and Marsch acknowledged this week that the Lasso character added to the stigma as he prepared for his first taste of the Premier League.

Marsch, dismissed by RB Leipzig in December after a disappointing five-month spell, has a massive job on his hands to change perceptions while keeping Leeds afloat.

Bielsa was worshipped by Leeds supporters after masterminding their club’s long-awaited return to the Premier League.

But, while Bielsa awoke the sleeping giant, his stubborn refusal to change his attacking game-plan was exposed in Leeds’ second season back in the top-flight.

There were signs in this well-drilled display that Marsch may be able to help shore up Leeds’ defence but time is running out to keep them up.

Making two changes to the Leeds line-up as Mateusz Klich and Rodrigo came in, Marsch nearly enjoyed a dream start when Daniel James forced a good save from Kasper Schmeichel early on.

Former Leeds keeper Schmeichel was forced into action again moments later to repel Jack Harrison’s effort.

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