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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Winning start as Wayne Rooney captains Derby County to hard-fought debut win

Swansea City also triumphed in the Championship tonight.

Wayne Rooney.
Wayne Rooney.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Updated Jan 2nd 2020, 10:25 PM

WAYNE ROONEY’S START to life with Derby County began on a winning note tonight, while he made his debut in the starting XI on his return to English football.

The former England striker took the captain’s armband for the Championship clash against Barnsley — Derby won 2-1 — with Ireland U21 star Jason Knight also starting for the Rams. 

Since leaving England in 2018, Rooney has been Stateside with DC United.

The 34-year-old scored 208 goals in the Premier League during two spells with boyhood club Everton either side of his time at Manchester United, where he became the club’s top scorer. And he got a successful taste for football on home soil once again tonight.

Player-coach Rooney popped up with an assist from a free-kick for Jack Marriott’s 45th-minute opener at Pride Park, before Elliot Simoes pulled one back five minutes after the break.

Derby took the lead once again seven minutes later when Martyn Waghorn slotted home, and the Rams held on to end Barnsley’s five-match unbeaten run. 

It also marked back-to-back wins for the club for the first time this season, after Dublin teenager Knight scored twice to end 10-man Derby’s seven-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic on Monday night.

Derby sit 17th in the Championship, with eight wins, nine draws and nine losses from 26 outings, while Barnsley remain second from the bottom.

Elsewhere in the second tier tonight, Swansea City were 1-0 winners over Charlton Athletic. Yan Dhanda’s 14th-minute effort was the difference at the Liberty Stadium as the Swans made a winning start to 2020 and moved back into the top six.

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Charlton — who confirmed their takeover by an Abu Dhabi business consortium today as Roland Duchatelet’s reign came to an end — are 19th in the Championship table.


  • Derby County 2-1 Barnsley
  • Swansea City 1-0 Charlton Athletic

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