Clip round the ear for Leeds United is no surprise - Graham Smyth's Verdict on Brighton loss
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The 1-0 defeat that transpired on the south coast was no knockout blow or a lopsided beating, although had Brighton taken their chances it might have been, it was simply a clip round the ear and a reminder that some Premier League teams are very good.
Brighton certainly are.
The Seagulls, like Marsch's Leeds, were soaring with seven points from nine. Both teams had confidence, form and a victory over a 'big six' side to boot.
Marsch and his opposite number Graham Potter spent much of the previous week scheming to impose their will and tactics on the other. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth, though.
Potter has previous with Leeds, a track record of coming up with a means of overcoming their style of play and a knack for making changes to confound whatever the Whites bring to the table.
Track records and history are still ahead of Marsch in the Premier League but the early signs this season have been good.
What's more, the seven points and Carabao Cup win had been accrued without several senior players.
Speculation over the possible returns of Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper proved premature - the game came too soon for Bamford and Cooper has a fresh niggle - yet Marsch would have been quite content to go with the side that bested the Blues.
This game, however, felt different from the off.
It was an ugly opening with challenges flying in, from the visitors mostly, that asked questions of referee Michael Salisbury. His decision to book Pascal Struijk early on did little to calm the game but it did leave the youngster walking a tightrope against Solly March, who started well and only ever grew in influence.
Eagerness to win the ball had been a key to victory six days prior for Leeds and at Brighton it fell foul of the host's nous and Salisbury's officiating. It was a free-kick that presented Brighton with the first real chance, one Adam Webster wasted by heading wide from close range having lost his marker. Diego Llorente rushed in to intercept a pass and only succeeded in forcing the ball to a blue and white shirt, Tyler Adams coming to the rescue in the nick of time.
It was difficult for Leeds to fire back because playing out, against the Seagulls' man-to-man marking, looked beyond them.
Llorente took the ball from Illan Meslier, looked up to see pressure and turned back, which in turn invited more pressure. Marsch's frustration with his side's 'freestyling' grew as the half wore on. He and René Marić spent a long time in conversation trying to find a fix, to little avail because if there was an outlet, their defenders failed to find it more often than not and Meslier's save to deny March was the first in a series.
Some quick one-touch stuff did allow Marc Roca to get on the ball and invite Rasmus Kristensen to bomb forward with a beautiful first-time switch but that was the exception rather than the rule.
All the good football was being played by Brighton, who looked perfectly at ease escaping Leeds' press and did everything the visitors wanted to do, without the finishing touch.
When Roca followed Struijk into Salisbury's notebook, Webster again squandered the moment by hooking the ball over the bar from the free-kick.
Leeds did finally find a way to spend some time in the right area of the pitch as the interval approached, a Rodrigo free-kick clipping the wall, however when the whistle went Rob Sanchez' goal was still untroubled.
The other side of the break, Pascal Gross put a Pervis Estupiñán the wrong side of the post, before Leeds briefly stopped Brighton at source and threatened to change the momentum.
They were pressing well, forcing mistakes and trying to take advantage of loose balls, but in doing so left themselves wide open for a smack.
A Rodrigo shot from distance was blocked, Gross looked up to see March on the march and released him through the middle to go clean through on Meslier and the Frenchman rushed out to make a huge stop.
March fired another back post chance over the top and Marsch fired Mateusz Klich and Luis Sinisterra into the fray, replacing Roca and Daniel James.
With the changes Leeds, again, appeared to wrestle the game back in their favour. Brenden Aaronson looked after the ball well throughout and it was his dribbling and determination that forced the ball to the back post where Sinisterra flew in to make contact, only to steer it wide.
Brighton bounced straight back off the ropes and landed the telling blow.
A ball played up to Danny Welbeck was held up and fed right by Trossard for Gross to calmly slot past Meslier.
There was Leeds pressure in the final stages and a couple of nice moments but nothing like the chances Brighton missed or the one they took in the game.
Potter put bodies between the visitors and the goal and the final whistle put a three-point gap between the hosts and Leeds.
Marsch put it down to Brighton's superior execution of their plan and chalked it up as one of those days. A black eye, nothing more. They happen in the Premier League and there will be more of them, but the American's express will not be derailed by one defeat at the Amex.
Brighton: Sanchez (GK), Webster, Dunk (C), March (Mwepu 70’), Mac Allister, Trossard (Colwill 79’), Gross, Welbeck (van Hecke 88’), Caicedo, Estupinan (Mitoma 79’), Veltman (Lamptey 70’). Subs not used: Steele (GK), Alzate, Undav, Ferguson.
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Koch, Aaronson (Gelhardt 82’), Roca (Klich 59’), Harrison (Forshaw 74’), Adams, Llorente, Rodrigo (C), James (Sinisterra 59’), Struijk, Kristensen. Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Summerville, Hjelde, Drameh, Greenwood.