Wayne Rooney celebrated with his players on the pitch after Derby’s survival was confirmed
Martyn Waghorn was the hero as Wayne Rooney’s derby fought back to get to the point they needed to stay in the championship and relegate Sheffield Wednesday to League One after a chaotic game at Pride Park.
The Owls took the lead just before the break when Sam Hutchinson shot a rebound at close range.
Derby turned it around with a quick double after the break with Waghorn’s header and a wonderful performance by Patrick Roberts.
Wednesday responded when Callum Paterson swept a loose ball home from the penalty area before Julian Borner brought the owls back forward from a corner.
But with Rotherham, the one later compensation in Cardiff, who left her to drop, Waghorn struck with a penalty that proved sufficient to save the Rams and send Wednesday down.
There was little evidence of the madness that would unfold in the second half after a 45-minute opening with hardly any chances or quality.
Although the quality – apart from Roberts’ expert finish – hardly improved after the break, the game changed completely, as both teams took turns conceding soft goals.
Just as the Rams made it with two goals in four minutes, they fell out completely and allowed Wednesday to go forward again and briefly climb out of the relegation zone.
Sub Kamil Jozwiak was knocked out by Chey Dunkley in the area and Waghorn hit the penalty home to level the game for the last time.
Needing victory to get up, the owls tossed everything forward to find a late winner, but couldn’t find a last chance and returned to the top division after nine years in the championship.
Three bosses, but little hope – Wednesday downstairs
Sheffield Wednesday will play in League One for the first time since 2012 next season
Avoiding relegation seemed like a tough job for Wednesday after they were forced to start the season on a 12-point penalty for breaking spending rules.
The penalty was reduced to six points after the sanction was successfully challenged against the sanction and the Owls slipped off the bottom of the table on November 7 with a 0-0 draw against Millwall.
Chef Garry Monk was fired two days later and replaced by veteran Tony Pulis.
The Welshman’s responsible spell was a disaster, however, and he only won one of his 10 games before being sacked on December 28th with the Owls in 23rd place, three points behind safety.
Their form first took on under the caretaker Neil Thompson and they left the relegation zone and reached with a 1-0 home win against Derby on January 1st, 20th place in the season.
With a 2-0 win over Wycombe on February 9, they were eliminated again from the bottom three positions, but then lost the following four games before Darren Moore was named the third manager of the season.
He lost his first three games and missed a few games after testing positive for Covid-19 before being forced to resign for an extended period following pneumonia.
Moore returned to playing against the team he played for between 2006 and 2008, but failed to inspire his team to a win that would likely have kept them in the division.
However, the relegation on the last day of the season will be hard to swallow on a day they led twice but just couldn’t hold out.
Rooney’s Rams barely survive
Although Saturday’s result has proven to be sufficient, there are still a few questions left at Derby next season.
First, it remains to be decided who will own the club at the start of the 2021-22 season.
Owner Mel Morris, who has invested around £ 200 million since it was acquired in 2015, agreed to sell it to No Limit Sports Limited, owned by Spanish businessman Erik Alonso. In April but it has yet to be officially completed.
Second, while the Rams managed to scrape over the line, they haven’t won any of their last seven games.
Rooney said right after the game that his team will “get better” next season and, based on recent evidence, they will surely have to do so to avoid another season of struggle.
- 3ForsythReplaced byBuchananat the 73 ‘protocol
- 38KnightReplaced bybirdat the 61 ‘protocol
- 4thShinnieReplaced byJozwiakat the 73 ‘protocolBooked at 76 minutes
- 9WaghornReplaced byDaviesat the 82 ‘protocol
- 13thKazim-RichardsBooked at 60 minutes
- 29It is too late
- 23DunkleyBooked at 77 minutesReplaced byK Harrisat the 87 ‘protocolBooked at 90 minutes
- 8thPelupessyReplaced bygreenat the 90 + 3 ‘protocol
- 10BannanBooked at 45 minutes
- 11To reach
- 20thRhodesReplaced byDangerat the 79 ‘protocol
- 7thK Harris
Game ends, Derby County 3, Sheffield Wednesday 3rd
The second half ends, Derby County 3, Sheffield Wednesday 3.
Kadeem Harris (Sheffield Wednesday) receives a yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Kadeem Harris (Sheffield Wednesday).
Kamil Jozwiak (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. The corner was caused by Kamil Jozwiak.
Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Andre Green replaces Joey Pelupessy.
Corner, Sheffield Wednesday. The corner was caused by Max Bird.
Elias Kachunga (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Matthew Clarke (Derby County).
Offside, Sheffield Wednesday. Liam Palmer attempts a pass, but Kadeem Harris is caught offside.
Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Kadeem Harris replaces Cheyenne Dunkley.
Festy Ebosele (Derby County) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt saved. Liam Palmer (Sheffield Wednesday) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the lower right corner. Prepared by Elias Kachunga.
Substitution, Derby County. Curtis Davies replaces Martyn Waghorn.
Substitution, Sheffield Wednesday. Elias Kachunga replaces Jordan Rhodes.
Goal! Derby County 3, Sheffield Wednesday 3. Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) converts a penalty with a shot with his left foot into the top left corner.
Cheyenne Dunkley (Sheffield Wednesday) receives a yellow card for a bad foul.
Cheyenne Dunkley (Wednesday in Sheffield) conceded a penalty for a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Derby County. Kamil Jozwiak pulls a foul in the penalty area.