With Wayne Rooney’s Derby County side knowing that all they needed on Saturday was a victory to ensure their Championship survival, the Rams just about managed to get themselves over the line.
In what was a thrilling relegation shootout against Sheffield Wednesday, which saw Derby twice fall behind to Darren Moore’s side, two goals from Martyn Waghorn and one from Patrick Roberts secured a 3-3 draw for Rooney’s men, a result which was enough to keep them in the second tier after Rotherham drew with Cardiff City.
However, aside from the goalscorers, one Derby County player particularly impressed with his display against the Owls, that man being Colin Kazim-Richards.
Despite not finding the net with either of his two shots at goal, the centre-forward turned in a battling performance all over the pitch for the Rams. In terms of defending, the 34-year-old made two clearances, one tackle, and won two fouls for his side, demonstrating just how often he put his body on the line in the match.
Furthermore, the Turkey international also won a highly impressive nine duels – the most of any Derby player in the fixture. While the striker was not overly influential in the final third, as mentioned previously, he still recorded one key pass over his 90 minutes on the pitch.
Indeed, his overall Sofascore match rating of 6.7 is not truly reflective of the efforts of the 34-year-old.
While Waghorn and Roberts should both be praised for securing the vital result with their goals, the performance of a player Rooney dubbed a “leader” should not have gone unnoticed by Derby fans and his manager alike, as it was an important factor in ultimately saving the Rams’ season.
In other news: Rooney must avoid Derby swoop for 29 y/o flop who “plays like he’s on roller-skates” – opinion