LONDON (AFP) – Wayne Rooney enjoyed a winning debut with Derby as the former Manchester United star helped his Championship side to a 2-1 win against Barnsley on Thursday.
Rooney was named Derby captain for his first appearance since agreeing to join the second tier club back in August.
United and England’s record goalscorer had been training, coaching and sitting in the dugout at Derby matches for several weeks, but Thursday was the first time he had been eligible to play following his departure from Major League Soccer side DC United.
The 34-year-old, included at the expense of the suspended Krystian Bielik in the only change made by Derby boss Phillip Cocu, played the full match, despite it being his first competitive game since October.
He set up the opening goal for Jack Marriott and was involved in Derby’s second goal, providing a pin-point diagonal pass to Andre Wisdom, whose low cross was turned home by Martyn Waghorn.
Elliot Simoes had equalised for Barnsley, but struggling visitors couldn’t ruin Rooney’s return to English football.
Rooney’s debut coincided with Cocu’s team winning successive matches for the first time this season, but they remain 17th in the table. Charlton began their new era under fresh ownership with a 1-0 defeat at Swansea.
Yan Dhanda’s first-half strike was enough to propel the Swans into the play-off places.
Charlton kicked off a new chapter under the ownership of East Street Investments after their takeover from former owner Roland Duchatelet was confirmed by the EFL four hours before the Liberty Stadium clash.
But the injury-ravaged south Londoners are a mere five points clear of the bottom three after a miserable run of just one win in 14 matches.