Jesse Marsch reveals needless Leeds United error gave Cardiff hope before Whites FA Cup comeback

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Pride was Jesse Marsch’s overriding emotion at full-time of Leeds United’s FA Cup comeback against 10-man Championship side Cardiff City.

A dreadful first half performance saw the second tier’s 20th-placed side worth their 2-0 lead at Cardiff City Stadium, before the Whites came back thanks to goals from Rodrigo and Sonny Perkins.

The substitutes hit the net with a header and a flicked finish respectively, either side of a red card for home left-back Joel Bagan, who was given his marching orders for saving a Junior Firpo shot. Rodrigo missed the subsequent penalty.

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A 2-2 draw kept Leeds unbeaten in three and kept them in the hat for the fourth round. Beating Cardiff City in the replay at Elland Road on January 17 would pit Marsch’s men against either National League Boreham Wood or Accrington Stanley of League One

Pride,” said Marsch when asked what it was he was feeling.

"I think as always when you see the hearts that we show and I think eagerness to capitalise on the opportunity that's at hand when we get back to Elland Road.”

Leeds set up with three at the back in possession, Junior Firpo and Diego Llorente flanking Pascal Struijk, who wore the captain’s armband in the absence of Liam Cooper, but Marsch felt his skipper was at the centre of a moment that took the game in Cardiff’s direction.

“We wanted to be more vertical, we wanted to play braver, and often find our wing backs in good positions to that attack because we thought they'd be compact. We didn't do well enough with that. We invited them. I think a big turning point in the matche is when Pascal plays unnecessarily back to Joel [Robles] that goes out for a corner kick and now they have a chance to feel like they can come into the match. And the crowd can get into the match. And then once they feel like they can they have a chance, the game starts to change. They get two goals so credit to them, credit to them for pushing, but obviously we're still struggling to handle these moments appropriately.”

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RESCUE JOB - Leeds United came back from two goals down against 10-man Championship side Cardiff City and Sonny Perkins was the man to grab the stoppage time equaliser. Pic: GettyRESCUE JOB - Leeds United came back from two goals down against 10-man Championship side Cardiff City and Sonny Perkins was the man to grab the stoppage time equaliser. Pic: Getty
RESCUE JOB - Leeds United came back from two goals down against 10-man Championship side Cardiff City and Sonny Perkins was the man to grab the stoppage time equaliser. Pic: Getty

Marsch was, however, pleased with the impact of substitutes Rodrigo, Max Wober and Cody Drameh and highlighted the role of more than 6,000 away fans in the comeback.

"I have to also thank our fans today because I think without them being behind the goal where we were pushing and having so many of them and having their energy to stay in the match, I don't think we get ourselves back in, so I think the fans deserve a lot of credit. But if we've learned one thing it's that if you don't show up and you're not ready to play from the beginning, you cause yourself problems.”