Derby County Win Dramatic Championship Play-Off Semi Final
Jack Marriott’s brace booked Derby County’s place in the final of the Championship play-off, where they will meet Aston Villa, after an incredible second leg against Leeds United.
Earlier in the season Leeds United and Derby County clashed off the pitch after Derby boss Frank Lampard caught a Leeds employee spying on his team in training ahead of a Championship clash.
It made it pretty much inevitable that the two sides would meet in the play-offs at the end of the season, which is exactly what happened.
Leeds played away in the first leg but came away from the iPro Stadium with a 1-0 win thanks to Kemar Roofe’s goal at the weekend.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side looked on the verge of automatic promotion just a few weeks ago but were going to need to hold on at Elland Road to book their place at Wembley, to face Aston Villa.
They made an excellent start to the night as Stuart Dallas put them ahead after 24 minutes and the dream to return to the Premier League looked like it was still alive.
Just as Leeds’ fans were getting ready for half time Jack Marriott, on as a first half substitute, made the break uncomfortable by making it 1-1 on the night.
The lead didn’t last long into the second half either with Chelsea loanee Mason Mount making it 2-2 on aggregate after just one minute of the second period.
The game was now resembling a basketball match more than a football match with both sides attacking and the two defences looking open.
It was Derby who scored next and put themselves ahead in the tie through Harry Wilson but Bielsa’s side had an answer with Dallas scoring his second of the night.
There was more drama as Gaetano Berardi picked up his second yellow card of the night to hand a man advantage to Lampard’s team.
Marriott scored his second of the night to make it 4-2 on the night and 4-3 over the two legs.
Before the end there was one final twist with Scott Malone seeing red for two yellows and leaving County with just 10 men as well.
It didn’t matter though as Derby made it through to the final on Bank Holiday Monday, May 27th at Wembley.
Will it be Villa or Derby going up?