Derby County drew 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park in the final game of the season for both sides.
The draw, with results going for Derby elsewhere, ensured the Rams’ safety in the league meaning they will be playing Sky Bet Championship football once again next season.
Story of the match
In a massive game in the bid for survival, the contest was full of goals with an evident physical battle for both sides. Martyn Waghorn suffered an early blow as he looked to get on the end of an inticing ball, only to head wide at the far post, colliding with the woodwork too and requiring medical attention from both sets of staff.
Sam Hutchinson opened his account on the brink of half time as a long throw from Callum Paterson was flicked on by Julian Borner, Jordan Rhodes on target with a header which was saved, but Hutchinson was there to finish on the rebound.
Derby must have been fired up by Wayne Rooney at half time as they came out all guns blazing, Waghorn the beneficiary for the Rams as his accurately headed goal put Rooney's men back in contention. Patrick Roberts put Derby ahead for the first time in the game in the 52nd minute as he was on the end of a brilliant ball by the ‘keeper, as the ball was flicked on through to him, the number 23 then curled the ball into the back of the net, giving Keiren Westwood no chance.
In a fantastic game for the neutral, the visitors instantly equalised, Paterson punishing a poor touch by Craig Forsyth as he drilled the ball into the left hand corner of the net to dampen the Derby delight, as they found themselves back in the bottom three once again. Forysth was unable to see the ball until he presented the chance to Paterson, unable to react and clear his lines.
Following the goal from Wednesday, Derby were pegged back again as Borner headed Wednesday into the lead, good work to keep in the ball from a tight angle from his teammate Chey Dunkley allowed the ball to go into the box to put the visitors ahead.
But Derby would have the last laugh in the contest as they were awarded a penalty in the 77th minute, Kamial Jozwiak was brought down by Dunkley as Waghorn stepped up and buried the penalty into the top left hand corner to put the game on even terms.
Derby were helped in the late stages as Cardiff City levelled at home to Rotherham United to ensure the Rams finish the season outside of the relegation zone.
Martyn Waghorn started the game with a hit to the chest as he looked to get on the end of a header, but was pivotal as he played himself into the game after the early set back. His two goals in the 49th and 78th minute proved to be vital in Derby securing a point and ultimately survival. Known for his aerial threat, he was on the end of a header which was directed into the right hand corner, as his performance got Rooney and his men out of trouble, securing another season of football in the second tier.
After a slow start from the hosts, Sheffield Wednesday found a way back into the game at important moments, they found it difficult to keep hold of their lead though as Derby kept throwing their own challenges at their defence. Although Wednesday showed a great deal of fight, grit and determination, a point was not enough.
The Owls ideally needed to win to have any chance, whilst relying on the result in the Cardiff versus Rotherham game to go in their favour.
A well deserved award for the number nine as he made sure he continued the game and did a job for the team after an early injury suffered in Wednesday's penalty area. He was a thorn in their side, always working hard and showing his brave nature off the ball. Rooney knows his influence on the team, and how important he will continue to be for the team next season.