Championship - 2nd Leg
Derby4Brighton1

Derby County 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Will Hughes celebrates

Derby County secured their place in the Championship play-off final at Wembley as they beat Brighton 4-1 to clinch a 6-2 aggregate semi-final victory.

The Rams, who led 2-1 after the first leg, extended their lead when Will Hughes flicked in Jamie Ward's cross.

Chris Martin bundled the ball over the line after Ward's knock-down and George Thorne volleyed in a spectacular third.

Jeff Hendrick made it 4-0 after Patrick Bamford's pull-back, before Kazenga Lua Lua's consolation from 18 yards.

Brighton, who have never played in the Premier League, have lost in the play-offs in two successive seasons.

But this was a deserved victory for Derby, who will play either Wigan Athletic or Queens Park Rangers in the final on Saturday, 24 May.

Steve McClaren's side, who finished 13 points above their opponents, benefited from a controversial 22nd-minute decision from referee Craig Pawson.

He only booked Hendrick for a lunge on Brighton's Rohan Ince when he could easily have sent the midfielder off.

And the hosts were in front 12 minutes later, when Hughes back-heeled Ward's left-wing delivery home for his first goal since 9 November.

Derby, who were last in the top flight in the 2007-08 season, nearly made it 2-0 on the night as Ward charged down Tomasz Kuszczak's attempted clearance, but the ball bounced over the bar.

Brighton's top goalscorer Leonardo Ulloa had a chance to pull a goal back when he collected Jesse Lingard's intelligent lofted pass, only to be denied by Lee Grant's excellent save.

Any hopes of a fightback ended in the 56th minute as Martin grabbed his 25th goal of the season following Ward's unselfish header across the face of goal.

Oscar Garcia's side fell further behind on 76 minutes as Thorne volleyed in a spectacular third after Brighton failed to clear Johnny Russell's shot.

It was 4-0 when Hendrick converted after fine work from Bamford, though Lua Lua did at least give Brighton fans something to cheer with a composed finish from the edge of the penalty area.

Steve McClaren

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Post-match: Derby boss McClaren

This was Derby's day, though, and they can look forward to a trip to Wembley.

They will learn the identity of their final opponents on Monday, when QPR and Wigan play their second leg at Loftus Road after a 0-0 draw at the DW Stadium.

Derby manager Steve McClaren said:

"It is a great achievement by the players. We did not perform as we can on Thursday but they were awesome today, wearing Brighton down with their energy, enthusiasm and bringing the end product as well.

"It is a one-off game at Wembley and if we play like that we are a match for anyone."

Oscar Garcia

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Post-match: Brighton coach Garcia

Brighton manager Oscar Garcia said:

"They were much better than us and deserved the win.

"We have had a lot of injuries and we played the most important game of the season with four or five under-21 players.

"We wanted to give everything and gamble, but it didn't pay off. They are extremely good in front of goal and we did not play very well, but we have no regrets."

Line-ups

Derby

  • 1Grant
  • 33Wisdom
  • 6Keogh
  • 25Buxton
  • 3Forsyth
  • 8HendrickBooked at 22mins
  • 34Thorne
  • 19HughesSubstituted forEustaceat 85'minutes
  • 11RussellSubstituted forBamfordat 78'minutes
  • 9Martin
  • 10WardSubstituted forDawkinsat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Naylor
  • 14Eustace
  • 18Sammon
  • 26Legzdins
  • 27Whitbread
  • 32Dawkins
  • 35Bamford

Brighton

  • 29Kuszczak
  • 14Calderon
  • 3GreerSubstituted forChicksenat 24'minutesBooked at 45mins
  • 5DunkBooked at 30mins
  • 17Ward
  • 4Andrews
  • 38Ince
  • 30BuckleySubstituted forLua Luaat 57'minutes
  • 11OrlandiSubstituted forMackail-Smithat 57'minutes
  • 35Lingard
  • 19UlloaBooked at 56mins

Substitutes

  • 1Brezovan
  • 10Agustien
  • 12Mackail-Smith
  • 15Chicksen
  • 18Forster-Caskey
  • 25Lua Lua
  • 27March
Referee:
Craig Pawson

Match Stats

Home TeamDerbyAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home14
Away7
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home11
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Derby County 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Derby County 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1.
Attempt missed. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jesse Lingard.

Goal!

Goal! Derby County 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 1. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Leonardo Ulloa.
Foul by Chris Martin (Derby County).
Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Derby County 4, Brighton and Hove Albion 0. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.
Patrick Bamford (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Stephen Ward (Brighton and Hove Albion).
John Eustace (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion).
George Thorne (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. John Eustace replaces Will Hughes.
Will Hughes (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Attempt blocked. Adam Chicksen (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kazenga Lua Lua.
Foul by George Thorne (Derby County).
Jesse Lingard (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Patrick Bamford replaces Johnny Russell.
Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Goal!

Goal! Derby County 3, Brighton and Hove Albion 0. George Thorne (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.
Attempt blocked. Simon Dawkins (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Johnny Russell.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Craig Mackail-Smith.
Attempt blocked. Johnny Russell (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Adam Chicksen (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Adam Chicksen.
Attempt saved. Kazenga Lua Lua (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lewis Dunk.
Foul by Chris Martin (Derby County).
Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Íñigo Calderón.

Substitution

Substitution, Derby County. Simon Dawkins replaces Jamie Ward.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Lewis Dunk.
Attempt blocked. Jeff Hendrick (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Ward with a headed pass.
Attempt saved. Johnny Russell (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Foul by Jake Buxton (Derby County).
Lewis Dunk (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by George Thorne (Derby County).
Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Tomasz Kuszczak.
Attempt saved. Jamie Ward (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Chris Martin.
Foul by Johnny Russell (Derby County).
Adam Chicksen (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Craig Mackail-Smith replaces Andrea Orlandi.

Substitution

Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Kazenga Lua Lua replaces William Buckley.

Booking

Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Derby County 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 0. Chris Martin (Derby County) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jamie Ward with a headed pass.
Foul by Jamie Ward (Derby County).
William Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Chris Martin (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Keith Andrews (Brighton and Hove Albion).

Second Half

Second Half begins Derby County 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Derby County 1, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

Booking

Adam Chicksen (Brighton and Hove Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Adam Chicksen (Brighton and Hove Albion).
Attempt saved. Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jesse Lingard with a through ball.
Foul by Jamie Ward (Derby County).
Íñigo Calderón (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Leicester46319640102
2Burnley46261553593
3Derby462510113285
4QPR462311121680
5Wigan462110151373
6Brighton461915121572
7Reading461914131471
8Blackburn46181612870
9Ipswich46181414668
10Bournemouth46181216166
11Nottm Forest46161713365
12Middlesbrough461616141264
13Watford461515161060
14Bolton46141715-159
15Leeds4616921-857
16Sheff Wed46131419-253
17Huddersfield46141121-753
18Charlton46131221-2051
19Millwall46111520-2848
20Blackpool46111322-2846
21Birmingham46111124-1644
22Doncaster46111124-3144
23Barnsley4691225-3339
24Yeovil4681325-3137
View full Championship table

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