Sky Sports pundit Andy Hinchcliffe described Derby County’s Play-Off Semi Final comeback against Leeds United as ‘the standout performance from the Sky Bet Championship this season’.
The Rams trailed by a single goal following the First Leg at Pride Park Stadium and fell behind at Elland Road courtesy of Stuart Dallas’ close range effort.
With backs against the wall, Derby managed to reduce the arrears on the stroke of half time. Jack Marriott rolled the ball into an empty goal, whilst seconds after the break, Mason Mount brought the tie level on aggregate.
Harry Wilson converted a penalty after Mason Bennett was fouled in the area to put the Rams ahead, before Dallas’ second of the game just after the hour mark saw the scores level once again.
The topsy-turvy encounter was settled in the final minutes of the game as Marriott lifted the ball over the onrushing Kiko Casilla to ensure the Rams booked their place at Wembley to set up a tie against Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final next Monday.
Hinchcliffe, who played for Manchester City, Everton and Sheffield Wednesday in a playing career which spanned 16-years, watched the first game at Pride Park Stadium from the gantry position as he provided co-commentary for Sky Sports, whilst he was present at Elland Road for the Second Leg to witness the incredible Second Leg.
“It was an extraordinary change going into the Second Leg which nobody saw coming,” he told dcfc.co.uk.
“The tactical switch was understandable because when you are 1-0 down, away from home, you have to go down fighting so you can understand the change in formation to try and put pressure on Leeds.
“For Derby's young players, in that atmosphere, to perform as well as they did, I truly believe it’s the standout performance from the Championship this season.
“We have seen some incredible games, Norwich City winning at Elland Road, West Bromwich Albion against Leeds United at the Hawthorns, but under the circumstances and the pressure, it was an amazing achievement.
“The players make the formation work. For the Derby players, to carry the game plan out under those circumstances was absolutely incredible. You could see that Leeds did not expect it and, in many ways, could not handle it.
“Every part of it was perfect. If you were writing a script for a Second Leg then that was it. To carry it out was truly remarkable.”