Rooney, Derby avoid relegation on wild final day of Championship season
Nigel French - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

Wayne Rooney's debut managerial season almost ended in disaster.

Derby County barely avoided relegation on a frenetic final day of the Championship season, earning a 3-3 draw against fellow relegation candidates Sheffield Wednesday to escape the bottom three by a solitary point Saturday.

Rooney's side went into the contest with just one win in 14 games - including six consecutive defeats - but got a 78th-minute penalty from Martyn Waghorn to secure the point needed to stay up.

"I thought it was brilliant to see the fans outside and I just told the players that they had to do it today for them and for people in this city," the former Manchester United star said after the match.

Four teams - Derby, Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, and Wycombe Wanderers - went into the campaign's last day battling to avoid the drop to League One. Scorelines changed and the table shifted throughout a frantic 90 minutes across multiple matches but eventually ended with Rooney's team being the last of the quartet standing.

Sheffield Wednesday applied huge amounts of pressure in added time at Pride Park but couldn't get the fourth goal they needed to stay in the second tier of English football.

Rotherham, meanwhile, were two minutes from securing survival but conceded an 88th-minute equalizer in their contest against Cardiff City that sealed their relegation fate.

Wycombe went down despite a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough.

Up near the top of the table, the promotion playoffs are also set. Brentford, Swansea City, Barnsley, and Bournemouth will compete for the final Premier League spot on offer this season.

Norwich City, who ran away with the second-tier title, and Watford clinched their respective returns to the top flight earlier in the campaign.

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Rooney, Derby avoid relegation on wild final day of Championship season
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