PA Wayne Rooney celebrates staying up with Colin Kazim-Richards.
# skin of their teeth
Rooney's Derby cling on to avoid relegation on day of high drama in the Championship
Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday ultimately went down on a topsy-turvy afternoon.

A THRILLING 3-3 draw between Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday coupled with Cardiff City’s late draw with Rotherham was enough to keep Derby in the Championship while relegating Wednesday and Rotherham on a day of extraordinary drama in the Championship. 

A win this afternoon would have secured Derby’s status in the division, with a draw enough to survive on the proviso Rotherham did not rescue themselves by beating Cardiff City. 

Sheffield Wednesday also came into the game in the relegation mire, but they knew a win against Derby coupled with a Rotherham draw or defeat would save them at Derby and Rotherham’s expense.

Derby trailed 1-0 at half-time, and were pushed into the relegation places as Rotherham took a 1-0 lead against Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City through Lewis Wing’s stunning volley after only eight minutes.

A rapid-fire double from Martyn Waghorn and Patrick Roberts seven minutes after half time put Derby ahead and thus safe, but they squandered their lead in conceding goals to Callum Patterson and Julian Boerner in the 62nd and 69th minutes. 

Again Derby were set to be relegated with Rotherham surviving, and as Rooney’s side wobbled horribly, Rotherham blew a host of chances to double their lead against Cardiff. 

The second half at Pride Park was running approximately 10 minutes behind the rest of the games owing to a lengthy first-half stoppage due to an injury to Waghorn, and with 12 minutes remaining a topsy-turvy afternoon turned once more in Derby’s favour. 

Kamil Jozwiak was felled in the penalty area, with Waghorn dispatching the penalty to haul Derby back to 3-3. Almost simultaneously, Derby earned the reprieve they needed from Cardiff, with Marlon Pack rifling home from outside the box for an 88th-minute equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw with Rotherham. 

cardiff-city-v-rotherham-united-sky-bet-championship-cardiff-city-stadium PA Rotherham manager Paul Warne reacts to his side's relegation. PA

A late Wednesday winner would have kept them in the division and relegated Derby, but Wayne Rooney’s side clung on in the face of an onslaught to secure their Championship status by the skin of their teeth. They finish a single-point clear of Wycombe, who thrashed Middlesbrough 3-0 but are nonetheless down with Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday. 

Elsewhere, Adam Idah was on the scoresheet as title winners Norwich City drew 2-2 with Barnsley. Norwich will be joined in the Premier League next season by Watford, who rounded out their promotion season with a 2-0 victory at home to Swansea. 

Swansea and Barnsley will now face off in the play-offs, having finished fourth and fifth respectively. Brentford, who beat Bristol City 3-1 today, will face Bournemouth in the other play-off semi-final, a side that slumped to a 2-0 home loss to Stoke City. 

Elsewhere, Adam Armstrong scored a hat-trick for Blackburn in their 5-2 hammering of Birmingham, Coventry City were even more convincing winners in battering Millwall 6-1,  and Preston were 2-1 winners away to Chris Hughton’s Nottingham Forest. 

QPR beat Luton Town 3-1, while Reading and Huddersfield played out a 2-2 draw. 

Championship Results 

Bournemouth 0-2 Stoke City 

Barnsley 2-2 Norwich City 

Blackburn Rovers 5-2 Birmingham City 

Bristol City 1-3 Brentford 

Cardiff 1-1 Rotherham

Coventry 6-1 Millwall 

Derby County 3-3 Sheffield Wednesday 

Middlesbrough 0-3 Wycombe Wanderers 

Nottingham Forest 1-2 Preston North End 

QPR 3-1 Luton Town 

Reading 2-2 Huddersfield Town 

Watford 2-0 Swansea 

Promoted: Norwich City; Watford 

Play-offs: Brentford, Swansea City, Barnsley, Bournemouth 

Relegated: Wycombe Wanderers, Rotherham, Sheffield Wednesday

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel