Premier League
LeedsLeeds United1BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion1

Leeds 1-1 Brighton: Jesse Marsch makes survival pledge after late Pascal Struijk goal

By Luke ReddyBBC Sport
Struijk headed level and then raced to celebrate with Leeds' fans
Struijk headed level and then raced to celebrate with Leeds' fans

Leeds manager Jesse Marsch says his side will "invest everything" in a final-day push for Premier League survival after Pascal Struijk's injury-time equaliser secured a vital draw against Brighton.

Marsch's side toiled at a raucous Elland Road but looked to be edging nearer to relegation after Danny Welbeck coolly finished to give Brighton a deserved first-half lead.

But the home support defiantly roared Leeds on and Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez brilliantly denied Mateusz Klich in each half, while also turning away a Raphinha free-kick as pressure built.

Leeds striker Joe Gelhardt had gone close early on but his persistence was rewarded at the death when he bundled space in the area to lift a ball across goal, where substitute Struijk nodded home before diving into home supporters in celebration.

It means Leeds move a point above the bottom three with just a trip to Brentford remaining, while Burnley drop to 18th but have two games to play and a substantially better goal difference.

"The point shifts the pressure a bit," Marsch said after the frenetic draw. "This is a psychological battle we are in. What you see is we are put in difficult situations and the resolve of our team.

"We need to be able to show that at the beginning of matches too. It is a fight. Nothing comes easy for us. We seem to dig holes and then have to find a way to dig out. We are ready. We are going to invest everything we have in this last match and see if we can do this."

Frenzied, desperate and crucial

Leeds 1-1 Brighton: Late equaliser 'shifts pressure' on to Burnley - Jesse Marsch

Survival is still out of Leeds' hands but the outpouring of emotion when Struijk - who came on in the 83rd minute - scored, underlined how there is still hope.

Everton - a point above Leeds - have two games to play and can lift themselves clear of trouble. But this scrappy Struijk header could prove priceless as it means Burnley now travel to Aston Villa on Thursday knowing a defeat would mean it is Leeds who have Premier League survival in their own hands on the final day.

In recent weeks, Marsch's side have arguably fallen foul of playing with too much emotion. Red cards in a defeat at Arsenal and at home to Chelsea proved crucial and screamed of a side playing on the edge in their quest to secure top-flight status.

They started with conviction and were unfortunate when Gelhardt saw a goal-bound shot cleared off the line by a team-mate as the effort struck Liam Cooper's face.

But too often Leeds played in a frenzied, sometimes desperate way, forcing passes and snatching at openings with frequency as they found the target just five times with 19 shots on the day.

Crucially, they used the emotion of the day positively late on to snatch something. They clocked 5km more in distance covered as a team and 20 sprints more than Brighton - evidence of a response to the passionate support on offer.

Only Manchester City - on nine - have scored more goals than the seven Leeds have managed in added time this season and Marsch deserves praise for his changes and for keeping his side so positive.

Leeds deserved the point for their second-half improvement, though they had come close to being finished off moments before equalising when Welbeck headed wide from six yards.

On such fine margins seasons can turn and Leeds can only hope this memorable late leveller will indeed prove significant.

Impressive Brighton let points slip

Danny Welbeck scores
Welbeck took his first-half goal cleverly by lifting the ball over Illan Meslier

Not for the first time in recent weeks, Brighton offered a mix of craft and quality, especially in a first half that saw Solly March fire wide when one-on-one and Pascal Gross force a save when well placed.

The side that beat Wolves by three and Manchester United by four in recent weeks were simply too poised for Leeds early on, constructing passes in the home half while Marsch's side played with far more panic.

Welbeck turned Diego Llorente two ways before flicking the ball over home keeper Illan Meslier for a fine opener having picked up a pass from the impressive Yves Bissouma.

Bissouma completed 91% of his passes on the day but was equally adept without the ball as he made more clearances than anyone in a Brighton shirt.

Late substitute Tariq Lamptey pulled an opening wide moments after Leeds had levelled but Brighton boss Graham Potter will likely be frustrated in dropping points so late on.

In truth his side waned after the break and were pegged back by a team who found the kind of sharpness that so often materialises when everything is on the line.

Leeds 1-1 Brighton: Seagulls 'needed a second goal' to seal win - Graham Potter

Player of the match

StruijkPascal Struijk

with an average of 7.63

Leeds United

  1. Squad number21Player nameStruijk
    Average rating

    7.63

  2. Squad number30Player nameGelhardt
    Average rating

    6.12

  3. Squad number42Player nameGreenwood
    Average rating

    5.93

  4. Squad number46Player nameShackleton
    Average rating

    5.71

  5. Squad number23Player namePhillips
    Average rating

    5.63

  6. Squad number1Player nameMeslier
    Average rating

    5.55

  7. Squad number10Player nameRaphinha
    Average rating

    5.49

  8. Squad number5Player nameKoch
    Average rating

    5.40

  9. Squad number22Player nameHarrison
    Average rating

    5.37

  10. Squad number43Player nameKlich
    Average rating

    5.35

  11. Squad number6Player nameCooper
    Average rating

    5.24

  12. Squad number14Player nameLlorente
    Average rating

    5.04

  13. Squad number3Player nameFirpo
    Average rating

    4.59

  14. Squad number19Player nameRodrigo
    Average rating

    4.56

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck
    Average rating

    6.78

  2. Squad number3Player nameCucurella
    Average rating

    6.29

  3. Squad number1Player nameSánchez
    Average rating

    6.26

  4. Squad number11Player nameTrossard
    Average rating

    6.13

  5. Squad number8Player nameBissouma
    Average rating

    6.09

  6. Squad number25Player nameCaicedo
    Average rating

    6.09

  7. Squad number10Player nameMac Allister
    Average rating

    6.04

  8. Squad number5Player nameDunk
    Average rating

    5.95

  9. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating

    5.93

  10. Squad number20Player nameMarch
    Average rating

    5.93

  11. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating

    5.88

  12. Squad number4Player nameWebster
    Average rating

    5.64

  13. Squad number14Player nameLallana
    Average rating

    5.59

  14. Squad number2Player nameLamptey
    Average rating

    5.17

Line-ups

Leeds

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 5KochSubstituted forShackletonat 68'minutes
  • 14Llorente
  • 6CooperBooked at 84mins
  • 3FirpoBooked at 71minsSubstituted forStruijkat 83'minutes
  • 43KlichSubstituted forGreenwoodat 83'minutes
  • 23Phillips
  • 10Raphinha
  • 19RodrigoBooked at 81mins
  • 22Harrison
  • 30Gelhardt

Substitutes

  • 13Klaesson
  • 21Struijk
  • 26Bate
  • 33Hjelde
  • 35Cresswell
  • 42Greenwood
  • 46Shackleton
  • 54Kenneh
  • 63Gray

Brighton

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Sánchez
  • 34Veltman
  • 5Dunk
  • 3Cucurella
  • 20MarchSubstituted forWebsterat 62'minutes
  • 8Bissouma
  • 25CaicedoBooked at 65minsSubstituted forLallanaat 74'minutes
  • 11TrossardSubstituted forLampteyat 87'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 13Groß
  • 10Mac Allister
  • 18Welbeck

Substitutes

  • 2Lamptey
  • 4Webster
  • 9Maupay
  • 14Lallana
  • 17Alzate
  • 23Steele
  • 24Duffy
  • 57Offiah
  • 58Ferguson
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
36,638

Match Stats

Home TeamLeedsAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home19
Away15
Shots on Target
Home5
Away6
Corners
Home8
Away1
Fouls
Home16
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Leeds United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Leeds United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Yves Bissouma.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! Leeds United 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Pascal Struijk (Leeds United) header from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joe Gelhardt.

  5. Booking

    Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Hand ball by Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  7. Post update

    Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Marc Cucurella.

  8. Post update

    Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Pascal Struijk (Leeds United).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Tariq Lamptey replaces Leandro Trossard.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Danny Welbeck (Brighton and Hove Albion) header from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Leandro Trossard with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Brighton and Hove Albion. Leandro Trossard tries a through ball, but Danny Welbeck is caught offside.

  13. Booking

    Liam Cooper (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Post update

    Yves Bissouma (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Liam Cooper (Leeds United).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Sam Greenwood replaces Mateusz Klich.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Leeds United. Pascal Struijk replaces Junior Firpo.

  18. Post update

    Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Jack Harrison (Leeds United).

  20. Booking

    Rodrigo (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

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