Wayne Rooney scores first goal since returning to English football after MLS stint but Manchester United legend can’t prevent Derby from losing at Championship strugglers Luton
- Wayne Rooney scored his first goal since returning to English football with Derby
- England’s all-time leading scorer struck the opening goal of the game at Luton
- It was his first goal in England for 771 days with his last goal for Everton in 2017
- But it could not prevent Phillip Cocu’s side from losing against the Hatters
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Wayne Rooney scored his first goal back in English football on Tuesday night but he could not prevent Derby from losing away at bottom-placed Luton in the Championship.
England’s all-time leading scorer joined the Rams at the start of the month after leaving MLS side DC United and his impact has been largely limited at Pride Park.
But he finally came to the fore for Phillip Cocu by scoring the opening goal in the 63rd minute for Derby, his first since hitting the back of the net for Everton against Swansea in December 2017.
Wayne Rooney scored his first goal back in English football for Derby County on Tuesday night
Rooney roars with delight after his effort from distance took a deflection before hitting the net
England’s all-time leading scorer could not prevent the Rams from losing at Luton though
Rooney’s effort from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection before it nestled into the top corner in front of the jubilant away fans.
However, Rooney’s first goal for the Midlands club was in vein as Pelly Ruddock and Donervon Daniels struck for Luton to put them ahead within 10 minutes of the opening goal.
Scottish striker Chris Martin got Derby back level in the 85th minute but an own goal from Jayden Bogle a minute later consigned the Rams to defeat. Max Lowe also saw red for the visitors.
Derby’s only opportunity of the first 20 minutes saw Rooney escape the attentions of the home defence before shooting straight at Simon Sluga.
On the stroke of half-time Derby almost broke through but Tom Lawrence’s close-range prod from Duane Holmes’ low cross, under pressure from Glen Rea, went wide.
A crazy second period saw Lawrence try his luck from further out, sending his shot over the top, before volleying against the bar from just a matter of yards.
Rooney battles with Luton’s Pelly Ruddock, who scored his side’s first goal of the evening
Luton Town’s Donervon Daniels celebrates after he scores his sides second goal of the game
Derby striker Chris Martin powers a header in to make it 2-2 before Luton grabbed a winner
County did break through on 63 minutes though, when Rooney found space just outside the box and his curler deflected past Sluga and into the net.
Luton should have levelled straight away, Harry Cornick’s shot from close range hitting Hamer’s legs and going over.
He then won another corner on 67 minutes and from the delivery, the ball dropped to Ruddock on the edge of the box, his low shot also taking a deflection on its way in to make it 1-1.
Town were then in front on 73 minutes as James Bree swung over a corner and Daniels was there to power his header beyond Ben Hamer and into the net for his first goal for the club.
Derby brought on Martin and he made it 2-2 with five minutes left, producing an unstoppable close-range header.
However, Town swept straight down the other end to score what proved to be the winner, Cornick dinking over the advancing Hamer and the unlucky Bogle miscuing his desperate clearance attempt.
Keeper Hamer then picked up a backpass to see yellow, while Lowe pushed referee Andy Davies in the aftermath of the decision to receive his marching orders as the Hatters could finally celebrate a long overdue victory.