Derby County 2 Barnsley 1: Wayne Rooney helps end Reds' unbeaten run

Barnsley became the first Championship side to suffer at the hands of Wayne Rooney as their five-game unbeaten run ended at Derby.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 10:03 pm
Barnsley's Aapo Halme takes on Derby's Wayne Rooney.

England's record goalscorer was making his debut for the Rams in his new role as a player-coach and made an immediate impact, producing an assist for the first goal in a 2-1 win at Pride Park.

He set up Jack Marriott, but Barnsley levelled through substitute Elliot Simoes before Martyn Waghorn gave the hosts the three points.

It was a setback for the Reds in their recent revival and they slip to three points from safety.

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This night was always going to be about Rooney and the 34-year-old has made a career out of delivering in such circumstances.

He hasn't played since leaving DC United in October, but was instrumental in Derby's opener on the stroke of half-time.

Marriott had earlier missed a great chance from a slick move, placing a shot just wide, but Rooney's brilliant free-kick laid it on a plate for him and he had no problem poking home in the 45th minute.

The Reds have been in great form, though, and levelled five minutes after the restart.

Moments after Samuel Radlinger had kept his side in it by tipping Matt Clarke's header on to the post, Simoes scored his first EFL goal by converting Jordan Williams' cross.

Barnsley's joy was short-lived, though, as Derby restored their lead seven minutes later as Waghorn superbly swept home Andre Wisdom's low cross, with Rooney also involved again.

Luke Thomas and Aapo Halme had half-chances to earn a point, but the Reds' impressive run comes to an end.

Derby: Hamer, Wisdom, Davies, Clarke, Lowe, Holmes, Bird, Rooney, Knight, Waghorn (Malone 74), Marriott (Whittaker 82)

Unused subs: Roos, Forsyth, Martin, Bogle, Sibley, Malone, Whittaker

Barnsley: Radlinger, J Williams, Diaby, Andersen, Oduor, Thomas, Halme, Mowatt, Bahre (Simoes 26), Chaplin, Schmidt (Brown 52)

Unused subs: Collins, Dougall, Styles, Sibbick, Mottley-Henry

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 27,782