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Marriott The Hero As Derby Seal Playoff Final Spot In Elland Road Thriller

Wow… The Skybet Championship playoffs really are something special.

Leeds United and Derby County played out a humdinger of a contest at Elland Road this evening to see who will take on Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium on June, 1st.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side carried a 1-0 aggregate lead back to Leeds following their win at Pride Park Stadium at the weekend and looked to have put one foot in the final when Northern Ireland international, Stuart Dallas, fired home after 24 minutes.

The tie could have been wrapped up just five minutes later when Leeds turned the ball over deep inside Derby’s half before Mateusz Klich had his effort deflected off the crossbar.

Frank Lampard’s side found themselves back in the tie on the stroke of half-time when Jack Marriott levelled the score on the night just 33 seconds after being sprung from the bench.

A frenetic first half would finish 1-1 but it was only going to go up a notch in the second half.

Derby County began the second period just as they finished the first when Mason Mount levelled the tie on aggregate just one minute after the restart.

Ten minutes later and Derby County were in dreamland when they were awarded a penalty which Harry Wilson scored to put them 3-1 up on the night but more importantly give them the lead for the first time in the tie.

Derby’s euphoria lasted all of four minutes, however, as Tyrone man, Dallas, popped up with his second of the night to send the home fans into raptures and level the tie up once more.

With thirteen minutes remaining and the game in the melting pot more drama unfolded as Gaetano Berardi was giving a second yellow card for a two-footed tackle leaving Leeds United down to ten men.

Just when the tie looked to be headed into extra-time, super-sub, Marriott popped up on the 85th minute to send Derby County fans into delirium and book a play-off final berth.

Leeds United’s night went from bad to worse when Scott Malone was sent off in the closing minutes for a second bookable offence.

The Rams are now just one win away from returning to the Premier League, however, they will have to get over the challenge of an in-form Aston Villa first.

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