Super-sub Marriott sends Derby to Wembley after incredible game at Elland Road
Championship Play-off Semi-final Second leg, Elland Road – Leeds United 2 (Dallas 24’, 62’) Derby County 4 (Marriott 45’, 85’, Mount 46’, Wilson P 58’)
Derby County will face Aston Villa in the Championship Play-off final after Jack Marriott came off the bench to score a brace in a breath-taking semi-final second leg at Elland Road on Wednesday evening.
Marriott was sent on by Rams manager Frank Lampard just before half-time with the visitors trailing 1-0 on the night and 2-0 on aggregate after Stuart Dallas tapped home on 24 minutes.
The striker’s impact was instant as he took advantage of a calamitous mix-up between Kiko Casilla and Liam Cooper to slot home with his first touch just 33 seconds after coming on.
Derby came from two goals down in the tie to reach Wembley in styleReuters
Derby then pulled level on aggregate minutes after the interval when Harry Wilson slipped in Mason Mount for the Chelsea loanee to keep his composure to finish into the corner.
Wilson then converted from the penalty spot after Liam Cooper tugged back Mason Bennett to put Derby ahead before Leeds hit back thanks to a fabulous second from Dallas.
The home side lost Gaetano Berardi to a second yellow for a risky challenge before Marriott popped up minutes before the end to seal a dramatic victory on an astonishing evening of football.
There was still time for Scott Malone to be dismissed for a second bookable offence meaning he misses the final, but the Rams held on to become the first side in the history of the Play-Offs to lose at home in the first leg of a second-tier semi-final and progress.
After watching his side book their Wembley date with Villa on May 27, Lampard told Sky Sports: "The players have done it. We're not there yet, but the players deserve their moment.
" Over the two legs we deserved it, and it was a huge performance. There's still work to do. We're still the underdogs against a brilliant Villa team, but we're there."
"I said everyone had written us off. But we needed that bravery on the ball, and the lads showed that."
Leeds United's Stuart Dallas celebrates scoring the opening goalGetty Images
Leeds, who won just one of their last six league games, became the first team in the 33-year history of the Play-offs to fail to reach the Championship final having won the first leg away from home. After 700 consecutive games outside of the top flight, they will contest at least another 46 matches in the second tier next season.
Marcelo Bielsa refused to be drawn on his future, but said: "We should've made a bigger difference in the first half. It's hard to analyse the second half. The first half, we can't say that our rivals were dangerous, but the game opened up, and they found space that usually they wouldn't have."
Even more damaging will be the fact that no side in the last 10 years in the Championship at Christmas have failed to achieve promotion, but on Wednesday night, they succumbed to the pressure in quite spectacular fashion with the Derby fans chanting "Leeds are falling apart again".
As the Derby players celebrated by miming imaginary binoculars in reference to 'Spygate' with Pontus Jansson cutting an isolated figure propped up against the hoardings, the result means that Leeds - who were last in the Premier League in 2004 - are now the longest-serving Championship club, following the relegation of Ipswich Town.
Pablo Hernandez is consoled by Stuart DallasGetty Images
Lampard rewarded for bold move: With his side trailing by two goals in the tie, Lampard looked to his bench and summoned Marriott before the interval. The first half had two minutes to play, but the Derby manager had seen enough as Duane Holmes was replaced by the former Peterborough forward.
Within a minute of him coming on and with his first touch in the game, Marriott took full advantage of a mix-up between Cooper and Casilla to give his side hope of a turnaround. He never looked back.
Jack Marriott slots home the equaliser on the stroke of half-timeGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jack Marriott (Derby): The man of the moment, and what an impact he made. He will be confident of playing in the final against Aston Villa after this stunning performance as he dragged Derby to within 90 minutes of a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2008.
He injected fear into the Leeds defence with his non-stop running, and took his two goals extremely well.
Kiko Casilla's antics, meanwhile, put fear into his team-mates, with Gaetano Berardi's red card tipping the balance in Derby's favour, but it still required a moment of class from Marriott to settle the matter with five minutes remaining.
Jack Marriott celebrates scoring his second for Derby against LeedsGetty Images
Leeds: Casilla 4, Ayling 6, Cooper 6, Berardi 5, Dallas 8, Hernandez 7, Shackleton 7, Phillips 7, Klich 6, Harrison 6, Bamford 6. Subs: Brown 6, Clarke 6.
Derby: Roos 6, Bogle 6, Keogh 7, Tomori 7, Malone 7, Mount 7, Johnson 7, Wilson 7, Holmes 5, Lawrence 6, Bennett 6. Subs: Marriott 9, Cole n/a, Huddlestone 6.
24' - GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!!! Leeds 1-0 Derby. It's a massive goal and Leeds are closing in on a place in the Championship Play-Off final. The free-kick from Kalvin Phillips is fired all the way through, just missing Cooper and evading Roos as the ball comes back off the far post, Stuart Dallas is first to react to tap home into the empty net. Derby's task has just got a lot tougher.
45' - GOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!!!!!! Leeds 1-1 Derby. Talk about an impact!! Cooper and Casilla have a horrendous misunderstanding, and the ball is left on a plate for the man who has just come on as Jack Marriott knocks the ball into the empty net!!
46' - GOOOAAALLL!!!!! Leeds 1-2 Derby. What an unbelievable start to this second half! Straight from kick off, 40 seconds after the resumption of this match, the Rams are ahead! Richard Keogh knocks the ball into Wilson and on the half-turn he sees the run of Mason Mount out of the corner of his eye. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder cuts inside and just about manages to keep his balance to dink the ball over Casilla!!
57' - PENALTY DERBY!!!! What a silly decision from Cooper and Leeds are falling apart. He's clearly pulled the shirt of Bennett as he tries to meet the pass from Lawrence. Referee Anthony Taylor sees it and points to the spot!!!
58' - GOOOAAAAALLL!!!!!! Leeds 1-3 Derby. This is incredible!!!! Harry Wilson steps up and sends Casilla the wrong way!!! He's scored some important goals this season, and none more so than this.
62' - GOOAAAALL!!!!!! Leeds 2-3 Derby. That's the character of Leeds, they just don't know when they're beaten as Stuart Dallas takes the touch from Klich, cuts inside Keogh and finds the bottom corner!! A rare outburst of emotion from Marcelo Bielsa as the tie is levelled!!!
78' - RED CARD!!! It's a lunge on Johnson and a foolish Gaetano Berardi is shown his second yellow card. Advantage Derby!
85' - GOOOOAAAALLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Leeds 2-4 Derby. What a sub this has proven to be as Jack Marriott dinks the ball over Casilla!! Keogh did so well to evade a couple of challenges in midfield before finding the substitute on the right in space, and it's a really delicate finish over the committed Casilla.
90+2' - RED CARD!! Scott Malone is shown his second yellow card after a late challenge on Pablo Hernandez. It's 10 against 10 for the final few minutes as Lampard responds by bringing Ashley Cole on for Harry Wilson.
- Frank Lampard could become the first man to win promotion to the Premier League in his first season as a manager since Chris Hughton (Newcastle, 2009-10). First without previous experience as a coach since Bryan Robson at Middlesbrough in 1994-95.
- Leeds spent 185 days top of the Championship this season but have failed to gain promotion.