Leeds United’s U23s were fifteen minutes into their 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night when the club officially announced the arrival of Jesse Marsch.
The American joins as the club’s new head coach, replacing much-loved figure Marcelo Bielsa, who was sacked on Sunday February, 27.
Marsch will no doubt catch up with a re-run of the youngsters’ latest outing in PL2 Division 1, and may well be impressed by what he saw.
Throughout 90 minutes at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Leeds demonstrated their fight and determination, stemming periodic flows of Spurs attacking, whilst sustaining and creating danger of their own.
A 61st minute penalty from returning forward Sam Greenwood gave the Whites a second half lead after a tense opening 45 minutes.
The 20-year-old recently underwent surgery on his knee and has spent the past seven weeks on the sidelines.
However, it was not to be a perfect comeback as Spurs equalized late in the day to deny Leeds what would have been a hard-fought but well-earned three points.
Jez Davies’ towering header at a set-piece provided Spurs with a share of the spoils in north London.
Here are LeedsLive’s full-time player ratings from Tottenham Hotspur U23s 1-1 Leeds United U23s.
Kristoffer Klaesson – 7
One of Klaesson’s better performances in a Leeds shirt. Claimed several whipped deliveries during the first-half, but will be disappointed to concede so late on.
Harvey Sutcliffe – 6
A reasonable showing from Sutcliffe who supported attacks, got around McKinstry down the right but also showed his engine to track back when needed.
Jeremiah Mullen – 7
Substituted midway through the second half after tweaking something, Mullen tried to carry on but eventually needed to withdraw from the contest. As one of the youngest players on the pitch, he stood up to the challenge well and communicated with his centre-back partner.
Nohan Kenneh – 7
Kenneh made a decisive tackle shortly before half-time to deny Spurs a clear goalscoring opportunity, then at the other end rose highest at a corner, only to see his effort flash wide of the post. Organized and effective.
Liam McCarron – 7
At an outlet down the left-hand side, McCarron complemented Amari Miller well. Lots of high intensity running and took care of the ball even when targeted by Spurs in the second half.
Lewis Bate- 6th
Substituted at the break after a solid first 45 minutes. One or two sloppy concessions of the ball, but mostly kept possession secure and had an influence on Leeds’ tempo when the game became increasingly end-to-end.
Charlie Allen- 6th
Another calming presence with the ball in midfield on the night. Allen contributed to attacking phases with forward passes and his ball-carrying. Always looked to play passes quickly and sharply.
Stuart McKinstry – 6th
Unfairly booked during the first-half which reduced its effectiveness somewhat, but combined well with Harvey Sutcliffe throughout and contributed to Leeds’ build-up play.
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Sam Greenwood – 7
A positive evening for Greenwood on his return from injury, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way at the spot-kick. He did concede the foul which led to Spurs’ equaliser and was a touch overzealous in the tackle once or twice, but nevertheless reassuring to see he has made a full recovery.
Amari Miller – 8
Carried the ball well down the flanks and looks a real menace when running at full tilt, in and out of possession. He continues to impress with possession and without it.
Dean had chances during the first-half, and despite the fact he didn’t convert them, it is encouraging to see him getting into spaces where can carry a threat. Physically, he caused Spurs’ defenders problems and used his body well to win the penalty which Sam Greenwood ultimately converted.
Sean McGurk- 6
Not famed for his tenacity and ball-winning, McGurk acclimatized to the competitive nature of the game following his second-half introduction. Less of an impact in the final third but more than played his part in what may end up being a good point away from home.
Kris Moore – N/A
Replaced Jeremiah Mullen with 20 minutes remaining.
Jack Jenkins- 6th
Introduced at the break and booked during the second half, Jenkins added stability to the Whites’ midfield. Tried the occasional through-ball but for the most part recycled possession well.