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Unsung hero: Jack Marriott deserved more than Derby gave him

Unsung hero: Jack Marriott deserved more than Derby gave him

Derby County 1-2 Aston Villa: Rams fall at the final hurdle to end their 2018/19 campaign.

Heartbreak for Frank Lampard, Derby County and loyal Rams following as Aston Villa claimed the ultimate prize on Monday.

Much in the same way as their two appearances against Leeds, Derby began the game slowly. The build-up play looked sloppy, they rarely saw any meaningful play in Villa’s half or box, and the opposition simply looked like they wanted it more.

Anwar El Ghazi opened the scoring just a minute before the break when he headed in from close range.

It hurts enough to see your team fall behind to a well-worked goal, but when they concede from what can only be described as a comedy of fatal errors, then the pain is almost too much to bear. We’re sure few of you want to revisit that particular moment John McGinn shoulder-headed to double to lead, so we’ll leave it at that.

The mood amongst the Derby side lifted when Lampard went gung-ho with his substitutions, bringing on Elland Road hero Jack Marriott, Martyn Waghorn and Jozefzoon all within the space of ten minutes. And if it didn’t then, it most certainly improved when Waghorn nailed home in the 81st minute to give the Rams a glimmer of hope.

Sadly, the potential comeback came stayed just that.

On a day where few players stood out as particularly deserving, our Unsung Hero merit goes to the one and only Jack Marriott.

It was a bit of a strange one, not starting Marriott after his heroics against Leeds United which literally landed Derby a spot at Wembley.

Indeed, we can only assume the reason Lampard didn’t opt to play the forward from the get-go was that he wanted to use him with similar effect if Derby fell behind. And we can kind of understand why, based on his performance (not that we agree with the decision).

The Englishman was absolutely everywhere from the moment he stepped onto the pitch; making darting runs in behind and applying pressure where necessary, and generally making a nuisance out of himself, he made life a nightmare for the Villa defenders who had had it relatively easy up to then.

Derby fans, do you agree with our selection? Was Lampard wrong to omit Marriott from the starting line-up? Let us know in the comments below…

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Article title: Unsung hero: Jack Marriott deserved more than Derby gave him

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