A thrilling season for Leeds ended in wretched heartbreak at Elland Road on Wednesday night. A 1-0 lead from Pride Park wasn’t enough as Derby came out on top 4-2 in an incredible second leg that saw Gaetano Berardi sent off for the hosts.
It turned out to be the fatal blow. Leeds couldn’t hold out and went down to a well-taken goal from Jack Marriott, his second of the game and the one that condemned Leeds to another season in the Championship.
Big Leeds fans Russell Crowe sent Leeds fans a Twitter message following the heartbreaking defeat which read, “Next year. We’ll be right.”
Next year. We’ll be right.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) May 15, 2019
The play-offs are cruel. Leeds were easily one of the best three teams in the Championship this season but their campaign is over now, cut short after it looked like they had one foot in the play-off final after scoring first at Elland Road on Wednesday night. That put them 2-0 up on aggregate but a horrible mistake from Liam Cooper and goalie Kiko Casilla handed Derby a way back into the game when they looked dead and buried. So, next year? The big question now is whether they can persuade manager Marcelo Bielsa to stay for another season. He’ll need commitments over new players, surely, after admitting that this current squad would struggle to reach the same heights next season. The message from Crowe is a positive one, but after all these years in the wilderness, this was supposed to be the year for Leeds. Next year seems like a long, long way away.