Leeds vs Derby result: Jack Marriott secures shot at Premier League for Frank Lampard’s Rams in thriller at Elland Road



It happened. The scenario that every Leeds United supporter had dreaded before kick-off, the collapse that seemed so far away when Stuart Dallas doubled their aggregate lead, the breakdown that was said and done in the space of just 13 in-play minutes.

Those 13 minutes mean that Marcelo Bielsa’s first year in charge ends without promotion and Leeds’ 16-year internment outside the top-flight continues. Derby County enacted revenge. They will play Aston Villa at Wembley for a place in the Premier League.

For Frank Lampard and his players, there is no greater or sweeter scalp. It comes after being outclassed in every meeting with Bielsa’s side this season, after the re-worked Oasis songs and social media jokes, and after Spygate, of course.

Because in the Championship play-offs, unlike the world of James Bond, you do not get to live twice. You must take your opportunities as and when they come, pounce on your rivals’ weaknesses when and where you find them, for fear that fate could suddenly turn against you.

Derby did all that, Leeds did not, but that does not even go half of the way to summarisng the drama of this semi-final second leg, with turned on a mistake by Leeds goalkeeper Kiko Casilla on the cusp of half-time.

Jack Marriott, a first-half substitute made in frustration by Frank Lampard, capitalised. Mere seconds after the break, Mason Mount had eradicated the deficit. Harry Wilson then put Derby ahead from the penalty spot.

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Dallas would score a second, levelling on aggregate to threaten extra time, but a game of this pace could not last for 120 minutes, nor could it end with all 22 men. Both sides finished with 10 each, though not before Marriott’s 85th-minute winner sent Derby to Wembley. 

Leeds, meanwhile, become the first of 18 teams to win a Championship playoff first-leg away from home but fail to progress. They are the first in 12 years to be top of the second-tier at Christmas and yet not reach the first.

Typical Leeds, their supporters will say. And despite a one-goal lead, three wins from three against Derby this season and a loud, hungry home crowd, there was always a note of apprehension around Elland Road.

Derby made a purposeful start and their best opening arrived when Casilla foreshadowed what was to come at the end of the half. The goalkeeper dithered on the ball, allowing Tom Lawrence to cue Harry Wilson up in front of an empty net. Under pressure, he stabbed over.

Frank Lampard celebrates (PA)

Leeds struggled to fashion much in the way of openings until Dallas’ breakthrough. Derby failed to clear Kalvin Phillips’ free-kick, which swung across the face of goal and bounced into Dallas’ path. It fell awkwardly to his left foot but, a few yards out, he could not miss.

Another, at that point, might have ended it. Mateusz Klich’s attempt from edge of the penalty area caught a slight deflection, taking it out of Kelle Roos’ reach and against the upright. It bounced back down without crossing the goal-line.

With Derby wilting, all that was required was composure until the break, but Casilla was too cool for his own good. A mix-up of his own making with Liam Cooper resulted in neither keeping possession. Substitute Marriott’s first touch was into an empty net.

Tom Lawrence is challenged by Jamie Shackleton (Getty)

Bielsa’s players – and Casilla, in particular – trudged back down the tunnel as if not still ahead on aggregate. Perhaps they knew what was coming. That lead would last only a further 35 seconds after the break. 

Finally, the young talent that Lampard has built Derby around delivered. It was Wilson first, evading Luke Ayling and slipping in Mount. Leeds’ own prodigy, Jamie Shackleton, could not lay a boot on the Chelsea loanee. Mount feinted and lifted the ball into the far corner.

Minutes later, Derby were ahead. Cooper foolishly held Mason Bennett’s shirt inside the box when another attack from the visitors was in its infancy. Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot, Casilla could not atone for his earlier error, diving the wrong way against Wilson.

Just as Derby appeared to be wresting control, Dallas levelled the aggregate score. From the left, cutting inside onto his natural right, he found enough space to drill a low shot between Roos’ right hand and the far corner.

Derby stunned Leeds to reverse the tie (PA)

The only thing that a contest so devoid of poise, shape or composure required was a red card. Gaetano Berardi obliged. After coming off second-best in a tangle for possession with Lawrence, he needlessly went through Derby’s playmaker, earning his second yellow.

For a team down to 10 men, in a game of this intensity, 12 minutes of regulation time seemed too long, let alone extra time and penalties. So it proved. Seconds after Wilson struck a composed finish against the post, Derby were in behind again.

Remarkably, it was the marauding, veteran centre-half Keogh – not one of Lampard’s young creators – that brought the ball forward and slipped Marriott through the lines. The substitute, rushed on by Lampard at the end of Derby’s difficult first half, poked coolly over Casilla.

There was still time for Scott Malone to receive his marching orders, levelling the two sides at 10 men each, but Leeds could not regain parity on the scoreboard. A season of often glorious football under Bielsa ends, ultimately, in failure. 



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