Jesse Marsch pleased with Leeds United's 'step forward' against Everton

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Jesse Marsch was pleased with the way his Leeds United team responded to going a goal down to earn a point from their home game with Everton.

The Whites trailed to a 17th minute Anthony Gordon goal and initially struggled in a feisty game not helped by questionable time wasting tactics from the visitors.

But they improved significantly after the break with their intensity level going up along with the crowd noise and after levelling through impressive summer signing Luis Sinisterra could have gone on to win.

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They remain unbeaten at home, though, and the head coach saw the performance as a step up.

Luis Sinisterra celebrates scoring his equaliser for Leeds United against Everton.Luis Sinisterra celebrates scoring his equaliser for Leeds United against Everton.
Luis Sinisterra celebrates scoring his equaliser for Leeds United against Everton.

He said: "I'm pleased with our team.

"It wasn't easy when we went down a goal and that against Everton can make your life a lot, lot worse.

"But I saw a team that was smart and pushed and inserted themselves more and more in the match in the right way.

"We did well to get the equaliser and it could have gone both ways after that. But in general I think it was a step forward for our team."

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On the frustrations caused by Everton's tactics to slow the game down, Marsch added: "It was less entertaining that it could have been because Everton played the game to slow things down.

"It can be an intelligent tactic, coming to Elland Road and trying to keep things quieter, but I thought the referee could have handled it better.

"It was clear from the first minute they were kicking balls away and were trying to delay."

It took 17 minutes for the first shot of the game and it brought the opening goal for Everton as Gordon took advantage of a defensive error from Diego Llorente to collect Alex Iwobi's pass to score with a shot that went under the body of advancing keeper Illan Meslier.

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Leeds were shocked into action with Jack Harrison's low ball in almost turned in by Rodrigo at the near post.

Rodrigo was then picked out in the box by Brenden Aaronson, but sent his header wide.

The Spanish international forward's game was ended soon after as he raced onto Sinisterra's through ball, but fell awkwardly in a challenge with keeper Jordan Pickford and suffered a dislocated shoulder.

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The rest of the first half saw little goalmouth action with referee Darren England the centre of attention with some strange decisions and his inability to deal with Everton's spoiling tactics.

But the second half was much more entertaining with United upping their level straight away with Aaronson's shot forcing a first real save from Pickford.

Harrison was found in the area soon after only for his shot from 12 yards out to be directed straight at Pickford.

Sinisterra had more joy on 56 minutes when he appeared to mis-hit his left foot shot from the edge of the box, but the ball dribbled right into the corner of the net with Pickford rooted to his spot.

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With the roof coming off Elland Road it was becoming fiery as witnessed when Gordon – who had been lucky to escape a booking in the first half for appearing to goad the home fans when he scored and more than one attempt to illegally slow the game down – came head to head with right-back Rasmus Kristensen.

The pair clashed after Gordon pushed the Leeds man and they were both yellow carded.

The Whites got back to their football with Robin Koch heading straight at the keeper from Aaronson's cross.

Everton made a rare break with Dwight McNeil shooting just wide from the edge of the box and caught the home team out again with Demarai Gray putting the ball in the net only to be inches offside.

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But United exerted more pressure as Joe Gelhardt made space in the area only to shoot wide and Llorente headed wide from Harrison's corner.

Gelhardt was then put through, but saw his shot well saved at close range by Pickford.

The visitors came close as Amadou Onana's shot was blocked by Kristensen and they could have won it seven minutes from time when right-back Nathan Patterson was played in, but he saw his shot well saved by Meslier.

It was Leeds with the last chance, but Harrison's 20-yard shot went wide when the better option perhaps would have been to have slipped the unmarked substitute Patrick Bamford through.

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Leeds United 1(Sinisterra 56)Everton 1(Gordon 17)Tuesday, August 30, 2022Premier LeagueAttendance: 36,338Leeds: Meslier; Kristensen, Koch, Llorente, Struijk; Adams, Roca; Sinisterra (Klich 64), Aaronson (James 76), Harrison; Rodrigo (Gelhardt 31, Bamford 76).Everton: Pickford; Patterson, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko; Onana, Davies, Iwobi, McNeil, Gordon; Gray.Referee: Darren England