Frank Lampard admitted it was extra sweet for Derby to beat Leeds to a place in the Championship play-off final.
Rams boss Lampard had claimed in the build-up to the game that ‘Spygate’ had been forgotten, but the former Chelsea man who had been goaded by Leeds fans throughout the first leg at Pride Park and in the first half at Elland Road, admitted it was sweet revenge as he had the last laugh.
Clearly rattled by the taunts, Lampard was fired up afterwards as Derby side won 4-2 at Elland Road with two goals from Jack Marriott as they edged out Leeds 4-3 on aggregate.
Asked if it was extra sweet to beat Leeds, an animated Lampard told Sky Sports said: “Maybe, maybe it is, I’m not going to lie. There was a lot of people saying we were crying about ‘Spygate’, but I haven’t even thought about ‘Spygate’ for a long time.
“We prepared for this game and got a result.”
Lampard pointed to Marriott’s goal just before half-time that gave Derby belief and spoke about being written off.
He added: “We were 1-0 down, I said to the lads everyone had written us off. It’s 1/8 for them to go through or something, everyone says they’ve beaten us three times, but we made a little tweak, and it worked brilliantly but you need bravery on the ball and the lads showed it.”
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“The workrate through the year, players coming in, we’re not there yet, I watched Villa do this, but the players deserve it. The performance tonight, we were the better team over two legs, we should have had a penalty, but it was a brilliant performance from the lads.
“There’s work to do, this isn’t the end, we’re underdogs again and we’ll have a tough game against a brilliant Villa team, but we’re there.
“The goal before half-time gave the players belief and I am so delighted for Jack Marriott. I felt it was his night but I didn’t know he’d do that. We have to enjoy the moment but now prepare for Aston Villa, but we’ll be underdogs again.”