Leeds: Jesse Marsch handed 'bad news' at Elland Road

Leeds manager Jesse Marsch in the Premier League against Manchester City

Luke Ayling being ruled out for the rest of the season is “bad news” for Leeds, according to Mirror journalist David Anderson.

The stand-in captain was sent off in the Whites’ 2-1 defeat at Arsenal last weekend and he is now serving a three-match suspension.

What happened to Ayling?

Ayling was wearing the armband in place of the injured Liam Cooper, but the right-back far from led by example as he received the first red card of his Leeds career in north London.

Two Eddie Nketiah goals put the Gunners in cruise control before the defender’s moment of madness just before the half-hour mark all-but ended the game as a contest.

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Clearly frustrated about how the opening 27 minutes had panned out, Ayling inexplicably two-footed Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli and was eventually given his marching orders via the help of VAR.

As a result, with just two games remaining, Ayling is banned for the remainder of the season and is therefore unable to help his teammates in their battle against relegation.

What did Anderson say about Ayling?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s just bad news on bad news for Leeds, and all you can think is that it’s the pressure of the relegation battle.

“Luke Ayling is not a dirty player, he’s wholehearted and committed, but he’s just lost it because he wants to win the ball, he was so desperate to win to help Leeds stay up and unfortunately, that’s the upshot of it.”

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Can Leeds avoid relegation?

Leeds looked home and dry when they beat Watford last month, but just one point from a possible 12 available in recent weeks has left them in a precarious position.

And the defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday means that the Elland Road outfit now need a positive points return from their two remaining fixtures, while also relying on favours from elsewhere to avoid the drop.

Only goal difference is keeping them inside the bottom three, but crucially, Burnley and Everton have a game in hand, meaning Leeds need to hope those two slip up somewhere along the line.

In the short-term, Marsch’s charges need to focus on themselves, though, because another defeat against Brighton will ensure they head into the final day sitting inside the relegation zone, or worse, already relegated, if Burnley and Everton win one of their two matches before then.

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