Jesse Marsch

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Marsch: ‘We will be proud eventually’ after loss to Liverpool

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It stings right now, but Red Bull Salzburg and its American coach can be proud of its UEFA Champions League group stage effort this season.

Jesse Marsch’s men couldn’t make some early chances work and Liverpool came to life in the second half of a 2-0 win on Tuesday in Austria, a win which pushed the reigning UCL champions into the knockout rounds and sent Salzburg into the Europa League.

[ RECAP: Salzburg 0-2 Liverpool ]

His Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp offered lots of praise for Salzburg, and the Austrian club’s first half performance was good enough to threaten a lead.

Marsch was asked whether he was proud or disappointed.

“It is a bit of both,” he told ProSoccerUSA’s Manuel Veth, via Twitter. “We had that moment with Hwang and Haland and normally that is a goal. … We are disappointed but will be proud eventually.”

Marsch admitted that Haland was playing injured, and that substituting him late was a tough decision.

The American said that Salzburg can win the Europa League, so the team won’t be dropping its heads despite its lack of place in the UCL Round of 16.

Marsch has certainly exceeded expectations in his maiden voyage as Salzburg boss, drawing Napoli and twice beating Genk while providing plenty of worry to Liverpool in two losses.

He also proffered this gem below:

Marsch beams as Salzburg win sets up show-stopper v. Liverpool

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An American manager and his Austrian club stand between Liverpool and its defense of the UEFA Champions League crown.

Red Bull Salzburg can advance to the knockout rounds with a defeat of Liverpool in Austria on Dec. 10, one that doesn’t come with three or more goals from the Reds.

[ RECAPS: Liverpool-Napoli | Valencia-Chelsea ]

That’s because they smashed Genk 4-1 in Belgium on Wednesday. They now have 16 goals in five group stage matches, eight coming courtesy of 19-year-old Erling Braut Haland. The player is now the first teenager to score eight goals in a group stage.

Here’s Marsch, via Sky Sports Austria:

“It was perhaps our best performance of the season so far. It was clear from the beginning that we were the better team. I’m proud of the guys. Against the ball it was difficult for Genk. An important goal for us is more stability and today was a big step in the right direction.”

A place in the knockout rounds for Salzburg would be magnificent, and for Marsch to author it would be a banner American fans would be thrilled to wave in celebration.

The ex-New York Red Bulls coach is now 17W-4D-2L as Salzburg boss, the only losses coming against Napoli and Liverpool. He’s unbeaten in league play, and targeting these moments as milemarkers.

“This team needs big games. This is important for the development of the talent in this squad. We are hungry, every day. That’s a big part of our success.”

LIVE, UCL: Liverpool 1-1 Napoli after Chelsea draws Valencia

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Both Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur secured a berth in the Champions League knockout stage yesterday, and now the Premier League looks to Chelsea and Liverpool to do the same.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Chelsea has an early 12:55 p.m. ET kick as they head to Spain, an absolutely vital match as Chelsea sits level on seven points with both today’s opponent Valencia and group leaders Ajax. While they cannot officially secure advancement today, victory at Mestalla Stadium would be a massive step towards doing so, leaving them at the brink of qualification.

Christian Pulisic starts again for the Blues with N’Golo Kante and Tammy Abraham also in the lineup as Frank Lampard looks to secure a significant advantage over a clogged Group H crowd.

Liverpool is home against Napoli where victory would indeed clinch a spot in the knockout stage. A draw would also do the trick should Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg fail to win on the road in Belgium. The Reds suffered a 2-0 loss in Italy back in mid-September and will look for revenge against a Carlo Ancelotti side in slight turmoil, having failed to win any of its last six matches across all competition.

Elsewhere, Barcelona can also clinch a knockout round spot with victory at the Nou Camp against Borussia Dortmund. Marco Reus is back from injury for Dortmund, but Paco Alcacer is not with the squad to face his former club after suffering a gash to his knee. These two teams played to a 0-0 draw back in mid-September but the German side will know that a draw here could leave them vulnerable in Group F with Inter hot on their trail with a visit to Slavia Prague.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League schedule

Group E
Liverpool v. Napoli
Racing Genk v. Red Bull Salzburg

Group F
Barcelona v. Borussia Dortmund
Slavia Prague v. Inter Milan

Group G
Zenit St. Petersburg v. Olympique Lyonnais (12:55 p.m. ET)
RB Leipzig v. Benfica

Group H
Valencia v. Chelsea (12:55 p.m. ET)
Lille v. Ajax

Champions League wrap: Barcelona, Napoli hold group leads

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Antonio Conte‘s Inter Milan got a necessary win, while several other notable teams had a lot of work on their hands on the way to three points in the UEFA Champions League.

Lionel Messi set another record, Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg put another scare into a big name, and both Lille and RB Leipzig puts difference-making wonder strikes on the board.


[ MORE: Genk 1-4 Liverpool | Ajax 0-1 Chelsea ]


Slavia Prague 1-2 Barcelona

Lionel Messi’s third minute goal didn’t send the Czech hosts running for cover, and Slavia Prague got a leveling goal through Jan Boril. It was deserved, too, with the hosts taking double the shots as their visitors when they made it 1-1. An own goal finished off the scoring in Prague.

Messi’s goal made him the first player to score in 15 Champions League tournaments. He’s good.

Red Bull Salzburg 2-3 Napoli

Jesse Marsch’s men know a bit about comebacks after last month’s memorable match in Liverpool, and Erling Braut Haland scored to make it 1-1 after Dries Mertens gave the favored visitors a lead. Haland answered another Mertens goal but the magic ran out for the hosts after Lorenzo Insigne provided the winner.

Lille 1-1 Valencia

Russian winger Denis Cheryshev looked like he’d see his goal stand up as a winner despite a late Valencia red card, but my goodness this equalizer from Jonathan Ikone:

Inter Milan 2-0 Borussia Dortmund

Make it six goals for Lautaro Martinez in 11 appearances for Inter Milan, who looked well-drilled at home under Antonio Conte. Roman Burki was sensational to keep the score 1-0, saving a penalty amongst several other timely interventions, but BVB couldn’t muster a goal. Antonio Candreva added the consolation marker.

Benfica 2-1 Lyon

Rafa Silva was in the right place to deposit a fourth minute goal, and Benfica rode the lead until Memphis Depay leveled in the 70th minute. Enter Pizzi, who scored with five minutes left to give Benfica a needed win. Last place Benfica is three points back of leaders RB Leipzig.

RB Leipzig 2-1 Zenit Saint-Petersburg

Yaroslav Rakitskiy gave the visitors a halftime lead against the run of play but Konrad Laimer leveled the score line and then — clear the deck — Marcel Sabitzer did this:

WATCH: Jesse Marsch reacts to yellow card, Salzburg’s fight back at Liverpool

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Jesse Marsch continues to make a name for himself, as the Red Bull Salzburg manager oversaw a valiant comeback effort at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

The American saw his team down 3-0 but rally to equalize against the European champions. Mohamed Salah denied Salzburg its point, but not its honor.

[ MORE: Match recap | Salah reacts ]

“There’s more pride,” Marsch said (see video below). “The game is an important lesson and story for us. We talked a lot about having confidence and not being afraid and going after the opponent and the first half we didn’t really play like us.

“We had a couple tactical things to talk about at halftime but the biggest message was, ‘Come on, let’s play like us. Let’s get after them,’.”

Salzburg came after them indeed, and turned a 3-1 halftime deficit into a deadlock with Erling Braut Haland’s 60th minute goal off the bench.

Marsch also came off the bench to join in a wild celebration, earning a yellow card.

No regrets.

“I’ll take the yellow card in that situation,” Marsch said. “The emotion and the pride I had in the team is what led to that celebration.”

Marsch said his team will learn from the experience at Anfield, and also from its first loss of the season. With a pair of group-defining matches against group-leading Napoli ahead, that’ll be huge.

“What’s most important for us is learning from this and applying this to the next two games against Napoli, another very very good team,” he said. “But we have to know we can play with Napoli and if we want to be successful we have to play our brand of football.”

For what it’s worth, Marsch won’t catch Jurgen Klopp‘s men off guard at the return leg in Austria either.