Leeds United headed to the Pride Park Stadium for what would be their first match as the Championship winners. The ecstasy of being crowned as the Champions was still prevalent among the Leeds players as they went into the game against Derby County.
However, despite Marcelo Bielsa making seven changes to his lineup, there was no loss of zeal among the Whites on the pitch.
Leading up to the match, Bielsa’s men received a guard of honour from the team who dumped Leeds out in last season’s playoffs, which came as a befitting episode for every Leeds United faithful.
Following an open first half, Derby County struck first as Chris Martin gave the hosts a surprise lead with a deflected effort in the 54th minute.
The advantage wasn’t to last long though, as the man of the hour, captain Pablo Hernandez restored parity for Leeds with a thumping effort from the edge of the box just two minutes after the game’s first goal.
Jamie Shackleton went on to score his first professional goal following a beautiful pass from Roberts before an own goal from County’s Matt Clarke wrapped the win for the newly-crowned champions.
Leeds’ Argentine coach was quick to praise the effort from the team, the youngsters in particular. However, it is hard to ignore the performance of the captain on the night, Pablo Hernandez.
The veteran striker proved to be the clutch player for Leeds, as he has been on several occasions this season.
Apart from the spectacular goal to bring Leeds level, the confidence was evident in Hernandez’s play as he kept dishing out some filthy nutmegs on the Rams’ players for fun.
The following video sums up the swagger displayed on the night from the Spanish striker –