Leeds United will not be promoted to the Premier League after play-off heartache against Derby County. The Rams won 4-2 on the night to claim a 4-3 aggregate victory. For Leeds, it will be another painful season in the Championship.
The hero for Derby was substitute striker Jack Marriott. He came on in the first-half as Leeds started to control the game after taking a 1-0 lead. His impact was immediate. A calamitous piece of goalkeeping and defending from Kiko Casilla and Liam Cooper saw Marriott slot home an open goal.
He then scored the crucial fourth goal with a composed finish over the onrushing Leeds keeper to take Derby to Wembley.
It will be harder to take for Leeds, considering they looked into signing him last summer. As reported on the YEP Inside Elland Road podcast this week (14/05/2019), Leeds ‘had a look’ at Marriott. However, they decided Kemar Roofe could do his job and eventually invested in Patrick Bamford as they felt an overall deal of £6 million was too pricey.
But Bamford, who cost £7 million (Daily Mail) from Middlesbrough last summer, was shocking last night whilst Marriott thrived. There’s no doubt which one looked more like the Marcelo Bielsa style forward.
Of course, it is easy to say this now. Leeds were better than Derby on three occasions this season and finished nine points ahead of them in the table, so can arguably say they were still a better team without the former Peterborough man.
But it does not help the sting of last night to know that Marriott was clearly a transfer option 12 months ago.