LONDON. — Jack Marriott scored twice as he started and finished a dramatic revival that saw Derby County beat Leeds United 4-2 on Wednesday night to complete a 4-3 aggregate comeback win and reach the English Championship football play-off final. Former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard is now one game away from taking the Rams back into the lucrative English Premier League in his first season as a manager, with Aston Villa their opponents at Wembley on May 27.
Leeds, already 1-0 up from the first leg, scored first in front of their own fans at Elland Road on Wednesday.
But Marriott’s first goal seconds before half-time got the Rams back into contention and he settled a match which ended with both sides down to 10 men by scoring again five minutes from full-time.
Derby’s victory was all the more impressive given Lampard’s sixth-placed side had only just scraped into the playoffs.
“I said to the lads that everyone had written us off. We needed the lads to show bravery on the ball and they did,” Lampard told Sky Sports.
“We have to enjoy the moment but now prepare for Aston Villa, but we’ll be underdogs again.”
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, speaking via a translator, was left regretting his side’s failure to make the most of their first-half dominance. “We should have made a bigger difference in the first half,” he said.
Leeds were a man down 12 minutes from time when Gaetano Berardi was sent off, with veteran Argentine manager Bielsa adding this had made the game “unbalanced”. — AFP.