Wayne Rooney rages at referee after Derby’s attempt to survive at Blackburn | Championship


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Wayne Rooney criticized arbitration “unacceptable” after his Derby side suffered a damaging 2-1 loss to Blackburn.

Tom Lawrence’s second goal of the season gave Derby a lead they seemed ready to build on until Sam Gallagher’s free head stabilized before the break. Harvey Elliott then marked his 50th senior appearance by shooting the winner midway through the second half to deal a potentially devastating blow to the Rams, who remain just above the drop zone, four points ahead of Rotherham having played three more games.

Derby have now won a game in 11 and Rooney called on chief referee Alan Wiley to step into action after judging Stephen Martin to have missed a ‘clear’ penalty when Festy Ebosele fell into the box late.

Rooney said, “I saw the replay and it’s the clearest penalty you’ve ever seen. I didn’t need to see a rerun. Where I was, the fourth official was standing right next to me, the referee had very good eyesight, and it’s completely unacceptable, the decision not to give a penalty.

“Look, I know referees, it’s hard work, I respect that. Sometimes they make bad decisions, but this one is completely unacceptable. I don’t really want to go down that road, but Alan Wiley has to act, because it’s unacceptable. I asked to speak calmly to the referee, I will not scream and declaim. All I wanted was an explanation of how he doesn’t see it’s a penalty.

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray was happy to reach the 50-point mark after ending a seven-game winless streak. He said: “I can’t remember playing without the control that we normally had like that for a long time, and yet we won the game. “

In Friday’s other league game, Reading were held 1-1 at home by Cardiff after which Royals manager Veljko Paunovic vowed that his team would continue to “beat” in the play-offs.

Yakou Méïté leads Reading's equalizer against Cardiff.
Yakou Méïté leads Reading’s equalizer against Cardiff. Photographie: Andrew Fosker / BPI / Shutterstock

After a mediocre and scoreless first half, Reading, seventh, dominated the second period to waste a series of chances. Cardiff broke the deadlock three minutes before Kieffer Moore converted a penalty for his 17th league goal of the season. But Reading equalized in the fourth minute of the stoppage time when Yakou Méïté nodded into a Sam Baldock cross.

“Of course, no one is happy with just one point today,” Paunovic said. “But that’s still a point and we’ll see how the other results go this weekend. We will continue to fight. From that sideline what I see is a great team playing great football and never giving up.

“When the Cardiff goal came late we showed a very good reaction. We bounced back quickly and once again showed that we never give up. I think we controlled the whole game. ”

Reading could be deprived of its 22-goal top scorer, Lucas João, for the last four games, after the forward dislocated a shoulder, for the second time this season, and was taken to hospital. Paunovic said: “The last time [in September], he was back after a week. We hope that in the best case it will be the same this time around. “

Cardiff’s play-off hopes have all but vanished after a streak of just one win in eight matches. “I’m angry, that’s how I feel,” Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy said. “We shouldn’t have let Reading get off the hook.

“We had been great, we blocked things, we caught them during the break. Then we let the cross in and we don’t mark. I’m disappointed for the guys because they’re also raging.

In League One, Sammie Szmodics has scored twice to move Peterborough closer to promotion in a 3-1 win over difficulty Northampton at London Road. The victory puts Darren Ferguson’s second team eight points ahead of third-placed Sunderland, although the Black Cats have a game in hand.

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