Inside Jesse Marsch's nine-goal Man City thriller as Leeds United coach seeks Guardiola payback

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch has already faced Manchester City this season conceding six in the process

By Joe Donnohue
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 7:29 am

Jesse Marsch will hardly have been able to believe his luck the last time he faced Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.

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"I played them already," Marsch told broadcasters at Selhurst Park, referring to Saturday's opposition. "I know a little bit about the way Pep [Guardiola] likes to play. We'll try to create a game plan that that can be aggressive but can also help us find a way to get a result in the match."

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STANCE: Jesse Marsch [left] and Pep Guardiola [right] watch on as RB Leipzig lose 6-3 at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium (Photo: Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

The American insisted his side will 'go for it' against Man City; a bold ploy considering Marsch's last outing against Guardiola saw his side concede six.

RB Leipzig visited the Etihad Stadium last September during Marsch's brief, ill-fated spell at the helm of the German club.

While the 6-3 final scoreline appears far from flattering, the Bundesliga club were competitive for the vast majority of the game.

As to be expected, City would repeatedly find a way in front, but Marsch's Leipzig repeatedly pegged them back.

In the 75th minute, the difference was one goal and the game precariously perched at 4-3 to the hosts. That was until Joao Cancelo lined up an effort from range and lasered it beyond Peter Gulacsi.

Shortly thereafter, Angelino was sent off for a second bookable offence and Leipzig were beaten by the eventual three-goal margin.

On the night, City registered 2.79 xG (Expected Goals), while Leipzig totted up 1.10 xG of their own, suggesting a fairer, more representative scoreline would have been a more palatable 3-1 defeat for Marsch.

This is a far-cry

Leipzig gifted Nathan Ake a free header at a first-half corner, scored an own goal and conceded a penalty, given for handball after VAR consultation, all before the break - much of their woe was self-inflicted.

Marsch will be hoping his Leeds side are not tuned to self-destruct at Elland Road on Saturday, and no doubt hoping one of Daniel James, Raphinha, Jack Harrison or Rodrigo can turn in a similar performance to matchball-claiming Christopher Nkunku who netted all three of Leipzig's goals at the Etihad.

Admittedly, the chances of that happening are slim; Nkunku's tally for the season sits at 30 goals in 48 games, with 14 assists for good measure.

Marsch's visit to Manchester earlier this season was his sixth match in charge of energy drink giant Red Bull's principal club; Saturday afternoon will be his eighth as head coach of Leeds United.Whether he has been able to seed his philosophy and ideas within the United squad at a quicker rate than he managed in the east of Germany remains to be seen.

Not conceding six, or seven, would be a start.