Derby County fell 2-1 to Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium to end their 2018/19 campaign.
Anwar El Ghazi opened the scoring a minute before the break when he headed in from close range and John McGinn extended moments after the restart.
Jack Marriott came off the bench to pull one back for the Rams late on but it wasn’t enough to over come Aston Villa, who secured promotion back to the Premier League.
Jack Grealish looked to open the scoring early when he rifled a shot from the edge of the box in the seventh minute, but his effort flew over the crossbar before John McGinn struck wide of the target.
Derby built into the half, gaining composure on the ball. In the 37th minute, Mason Mount drew the first save of the game calling Jed Steer into action when he struck from inside the area from Jayden Bogle’s cross.
Moment’s later, a brilliant delivery from Mount from a corner was met by a powering header from Richard Keogh, but the defender’s effort went over.
Villa got their goal just a minute before the break. Ahmed Elmohamady crossed into the box and El Ghazi dived in to head in.
Just before the hour mark, Villa doubled their lead when a deflected shot by El Ghazi was headed in by McGinn.
With 20 minutes left to play, Bogle struck the side netting as he looked to tuck an effort away from a tight angle at close range. Soon after, Jack Marriott came inches away from pulling one back with his swivelled effort from just inside the area from a Rams corner that was half-cleared.
With eight minutes left to play, Marriott got one back for the Rams. After a chance by Martyn Waghorn was cleared wide by Tyrone Mings, Florian Jozefzoon chased it down and crossed to Bogle. The right-back headed down to Marriott, who took a touch and drove the ball past Steer.
Derby continued to push with Marriott again driving forward into the area shooting across goal befoe Bradley Johnson headed past the far post.
Aston Villa: Steer; Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Mings (Hause, 86), Taylor; Hourihane, McGinn; Adomah (Green, 73), Grealish (C), El Ghazi; Abraham
Unused Subs: Whelan, Lansbury, Jedinak, Kodja, Kalinic
Derby County: Roos; Bogle, Keogh (C), Tomori, Cole; Mount, Huddlestone (Marriott, 63), Johnson; Wilson; Bennett (Waghorn, 69), Lawrence (Jozefzoon, 73)
Unused Subs: Carson, Evans, Macdonald, Knight