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Leeds liability Luke Ayling almost cost Jesse Marsch first win

Leeds United ended a run of six straight league defeats with a crucial three points against one of their relegation rivals, though it could’ve been a completely different story.

It was also manager Jesse Marsch’s first victory in charge of the Yorkshire outfit, having replaced the departed Marcelo Bielsa only three games ago.

After Rodrigo opened the scoring early in the first half, the Whites looked to have been dealt a gutting blow in stoppage time when Kenny McLean found the net for visiting Norwich City.

But Raphinha had ice-cold composure with seconds to go as he rounded Canaries goalkeeper Tim Krul to set up substitute Joe Gelhardt with the easiest of finishes with effectively the last kick of the game, sealing the win.

Will Leeds stay up under Marsch this season?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

However, there were signs of the Leeds of recent weeks, where they have been awfully suspect defensively and one culprit was vice-captain Luke Ayling.

Back in his natural position at right-back, the 30-year-old was quite a liability throughout the 90-plus minutes he was on the pitch.

He could’ve easily been sent back to the changing room for a risky studs-up challenge in the first half, one that was reviewed by VAR, which always opens up the possibility of the worst happening.

Whilst he regularly misplaced passes, managing a disappointing passing accuracy of 63% from 43 attempts, via SofaScore.

Ayling very nearly conceded a penalty but thankfully, that decision was overturned by the video assistant referee, correctly too.

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Leeds were beaten by Spurs in their first game of 2021 but what was the scoreline?

Elsewhere, he failed to create any chances when bombing down the right flank, nor could he provide an accurate cross, whilst he was also dribbled past on two occasions by the Premier League’s weakest attack.

The long-serving former Arsenal graduate was also weak in his battles, losing possession a whopping 20 times and winning only eight of his 12 duels, as per SofaScore.

Earning around £35k-per-week at Elland Road, it was an off afternoon for the sloppy vice-skipper. He can’t afford too many displays like that with so much left to play for in the coming months.

AND in other news, Forget Gelhardt: Leeds “magician” who had 72 touches was Marsch’s true hero vs Norwich

Article title: Leeds liability Luke Ayling almost cost Jesse Marsch first win

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