Wayne Rooney curled home a sublime free-kick to score for the second game running as dominant Derby ended Stoke's recent Championship resurgence with an emphatic win
DERBY (Pakistan Point News / Online - 01st February, 2020) Wayne Rooney curled home a sublime free-kick to score for the second game running as dominant Derby ended Stoke's recent Championship resurgence with an emphatic win.The ex-England captain found the top corner from 20 yards to beat former international team-mate Jack Butland for the Rams' third goal - and his first at Pride Park - midway through the second half.Martyn Waghorn's header and Chris Martin's fierce strike had put Derby in control, with full-back Jayden Bogle's superb 25-yard strike rounding off the rout.
Victory lifts Derby to 13th, while Stoke remain 20th after seeing a four-game unbeaten run brought to an unceremonious end.No Championship side has a better home points haul than Derby this season - 32 from 16 games - but this was a particularly special night at Pride Park as Rooney proved he can continue to pull the strings.Playing in a deeper role, as is becoming customary as the 34-year-old reaches the twilight of his career, the former Manchester United man pulled Potters players out of position throughout.
The amount of space his presence created for team-mates was evident in all three of the Rams' other goals.For the opener, Craig Forsyth was allowed time and space to pull back a cross that Waghorn stooped to head home, then Duane Holmes waltzed through a static Stoke defence to tee up Martin 12 yards out.And while Rooney's free-kick was a textbook classy effort, Bogle netted the pick of the goals, striding forward from right-back to crash an unstoppable long-range shot into Butland's far top corner.
While Rams fans may wish player-coach Rooney had been eligible to pull on a Derby shirt earlier than this month, the gap to the top six - seven points - is not insurmountable on this showing.Stoke, meanwhile, failed to produce a meaningful effort to test Rams keeper Ben Hamer, with Sam Clucas and Tom Ince curling their best chances wide as the Potters remain just five points above the bottom three.