What we learned from the Rams' win over 49ers in the NFC Championship game

Matthew Stafford and the Rams came from a narrow halftime deficit to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, sending L.A. to its second Super Bowl appearance in four seasons. (Author: Gardener)

RamsSan Francisco has owned a significant amount of real estate in the minds of Rams officials for a number of years, and after three quarters it seemed like that wasn't going to change. Then, over the course of 15 minutes of play, Los Angeles finally drew level with San Francisco and finally landed the knockout punch it had been seeking for the past three seasons. It all ended with Aaron Donald lunging at Jimmy Garoppolo, forcing the quarterback to backhand the ball over Elijah Mitchell's hands, bouncing off them and ending in a game-ending interception. The Rams have finally managed to defeat their bogeyman, exorcise the gold-helmeted demon that has been plaguing them since 2019, and earn themselves a Super Bowl bid. You don't have to go anywhere to play the game, either: The Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium, becoming the second team in NFL history (and in as many years) to play the Super Bowl at home. Stafford threw the Rams to a thrilling win over defending champions Buccaneers last week, helping them reach the NFC Championship Game and keep their picture-perfect season alive. Los Angeles' all-in approach paid off on Sunday, with Stafford taking the lead. His second of two touchdown passes turned a 10-point deficit into a three-point game, and timely completions down the stretch allowed the Rams to move within range to close the game and score field goals. His last line — 31 of 45 passes, 337 yards, two touchdowns and one interception — justified Los Angeles' blockbuster offseason deal to bring him to Los Angeles. After getting almost every break on their way to the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers finally ran out of luck in the final quarter. Jaquiski Tartt had a chance to bury the Rams in the fourth quarter when a Stafford YOLO ball came his way, but he dropped a safe interception and gave Los Angeles a second chance. The Rams capitalized, rushing for 63 yards in nine games and finishing the drive with a 40-yard field goal converted by Matt Gay. San Francisco's response was abysmal possession that returned the ball to Los Angeles after just 23 seconds of play, giving the Rams enough time to march down the field to get within range for the go-ahead field goal. And finally, a desperate attempt to get rid of the ball resulted in an interception by Garoppolo, ending San Francisco's unexpected run. Their own mistakes opened the door for the Rams, and they broke through on their way to Super Bowl LVI. Odell Beckham Jr.'s dramatic season was worth it. He forced his way very publicly, eventually ending up in Los Angeles in a role that felt more like a tagalong than a major contributor. In the biggest game of his pro career, Beckham rose to the occasion, catching nine passes for 113 yards. Beckham played a pivotal role in Los Angeles' comeback on Sunday, and it's fair to say the Rams may not be in Super Bowl LVI without him (we already know that's true if you remove Kupp from the equation). That's certainly worth the risk involved in his addition amid controversy during the regular season. Jimmy Garoppolo's likely last pass as a 49er didn't do justice to his San Francisco career. It may have seemed fitting for Garoppolo to end his season with an ugly interception, but it's not a fair ending. Garoppolo spent much of the 2021 season ignoring the constant questions and talk about his impending retirement as the 49ers' future under center, and did a commendable job fighting through the chatter to help San Francisco endure a season film that once seemed destined for disappointment. With Garoppolo largely in the lead (even through his own injuries), San Francisco won eight of its last 11 games, struggled into the postseason and then scored upset victories over the Cowboys and Packers only to arrive Sunday. For three quarters it seemed as if their journey would not end, and it wasn't until the 49ers were suddenly fighting on both sides of the ball that Garoppolo found himself in a situation reminiscent of the final stages of Super Bowl LIV. But he should be remembered for his efforts that got the 49ers on the doorstep of the Super Bowl — not how it ended, no matter where he goes next. NFL Research: Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp tied for their 20th touchdown pass of the season, joining Tom Brady and Randy Moss (2007) as the only quarterback-receiver duos in NFL history to serve in their first Season 20+ total touchdowns scored (including playoffs). Next Gen Stats of the Game: Aaron Donald had five pressings and one pressing-induced turnover in Sunday's win. The latter was Donald's first pressure-induced turnover in a playoff game in his illustrious career and helped seal the win for the Rams.


Ranking for each of Rafael Nadal's 21 Grand Slam tennis titles

But where is everyone. Bill Connelly went through all 21 and ranked them. (Author: Gardener)

Rafael Nadal'sRafael Nadal has always had a flair for the dramatic, with his fist pumps and "Vamos!" Rallying screams and the way he always flops down on his back as soon as another Grand Slam tennis title is assured. But he outdid himself on Sunday - and Monday - in Melbourne by beating favorite Daniil Medvedev in five sets and 5½ hours in the Australian Open final. Even after Novak Djokovic had his visa revoked, Nadal started the tournament with just a 1.7% chance of winning according to Tennis Abstract's Elo ranking. He had only played five games since last year's French Open due to a nagging foot injury he feared could end his career. Nadal dropped a set against Karen Khachanov in the third round in Melbourne and survived an epic first set tiebreak against veteran Adrian Mannarino in the fourth before seizing control. Nadal's body almost betrayed him in a five-set quarterfinal win over Denis Shapovalov and it took him four sets to get past Matteo Berrettini in the semis. Nadal put in some serious work even before falling two sets behind Medvedev, who is perhaps the best hard court player in the world at the moment. But from 2-3 and Love-40 in set number three, Nadal fought back the only way he knew how: by grinding. He won 28 points from 43 with more than nine shots in the last three sets and when Medvedev got his legs back under him and set up an attack in the fifth set, Nadal summoned enough magic to finish the job. Nadal saved an epic hold at love 3-2 and when he was broken after a 30-0 lead 5-4, he immediately broke back. When Medvedev failed to return his net approach at match point, Nadal didn't even collapse; he just laughed and stared at the ones in his player box in disbelief. With Djokovic's status uncertain for the upcoming Slams and fellow 20-time winner Roger Federer still battling his latest injury, it's possible Nadal won't stop at 21 titles. After a wrist injury in 2016, Nadal stormed back, reaching three Slam finals and winning two in 2017. First, he rolled through his most dominant fortnight at Roland Garros, losing just 35 games in seven games overall (!!) and barely offering a single ounce of hope for Wawrinka, the 2015 French Open champion. After losing the first set to Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals, he shifted into fifth gear again, losing just 15 games in his next six sets and claiming his third US Open title. In an alternate universe where Nadal preferred golf to tennis, Thiem could have at least a couple of French Open titles. The Austrian reached the 2018 final by surviving early tests from Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kei Nishikori and capitalizing on Djokovic's upset loss to Marco Cecchinato in the quarters. In 2019, Thiem overtook Djokovic in a spectacular five-set semifinal. And in both cases, Thiem had little to no hope against Nadal in the final. Nadal controlled most of their fight in 2018 and while Thiem gave him hell in the first two sets in 2019, Thiem collapsed soon after. Nadal had missed the previous two Slams with a knee injury and had to endure five long sets against top-seeded Djokovic in the semifinals, winning 9-7 in the fifth. But against his 31-year-old compatriot, Nadal crossed. From 2006 to 2011, the all-time greatest clay-court player dominated grass, reaching five consecutive Wimbledon finals and winning two. In 2009, Nadal had to survive five-setters in both the second and third rounds, but won the semifinals and the final against Andy Murray and Berdych, who had defeated both Federer and Djokovic to reach the final, but there barely lasted two hours. Nadal moved to 28-0 all-time at Roland Garros and 4-0 against Federer there, with the most lopsided final win since 1977. Nadal won his only French Open title in the fall with ease. For the fourth time, he went through two weeks without dropping a set and Djokovic couldn't make the slightest bit of progress until the third set of the final. In 2009, Nadal lost for the first time at Roland Garros when the 24-year-old Söderling swept him off the court with 61 winners in a four-set win. A year later, Söderling only made it to the final at the age of 22. Nadal attacked Soderling's backhand and, even by his standards, played a really inspired defense to get revenge. Nadal had not won a sand slam in three years when he came to New York in 2013. But he dropped just one set en route to the final, and after being mauled by Djokovic in the 2011 final, he took revenge on his defense. Gustavo Kürten established himself as the clay court great of all time with three French Open titles in 11 attempts. Both times No. 2 behind Federer, Nadal swept up-and-coming players in the first round (Söderling 2006, del Potro 2007), won a match against Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth round both times and swept Djokovic in the quarter-finals in 2006 and the semi-finals in 2007, then shared two sets with Federer in each final before taking over. Federer has twice smacked Nadal on clay but it was in Paris that he came the closest by far. Federer led 5-3 in the first set and came back twice from a break in the second and third sets, but still managed to win just one of those three sets, eventually cratering in the fourth. It was Federer's last French final, while Nadal has since won seven more titles there. Nadal capped his best year - his only one with three Slam titles - by defeating the man who would take over the sport in 2011. While Djokovic had to endure two five-setters (including a famous semi-final win over Federer), Nadal reached the final without dropping a set. Nadal had lost to Djokovic four times in a row, including a three-setter on clay in Rome, and Djokovic looked closer than ever to his maiden French Open title. Djokovic won the opener, overcoming an early break to go 5-5 in set number two but Nadal won 14 of their last 20 games. It was Nadal's fifth consecutive title in Paris - almost as impressive as winning 21 Slams in total - and ninth in 10 years. Djokovic was trying to become the first man in 43 years to win four straight Slams but Nadal took control early. When the weather turned sloppy, Djokovic took over, winning the third set with ease and earning an early break in the fourth. Rain postponed the match to Monday and Nadal recovered and won five of the last seven games. He defeated Federer in a four-set semi-final, then faced unseeded Puerta, 26 (who would soon be doping-banned). Puerta clinched the first set tiebreak 8-6, but Nadal stormed through the next two sets, saving two points in the fourth set and claiming his first title with a break of serve. Medvedev used the upset defeats of Djokovic and Federer to advance to his maiden Slam final at the age of 23 and after losing two sets and a break to Nadal, the Russian found his footing. He won the third and fourth sets and managed three break points in the fifth to go 1-0. But Nadal saved them, breaking twice (returning one of the breaks), saving a final break point at 5-4 and winning the match after almost five hours . Nadal and Federer have played six fives in their long rivalry and won three each. But this was Nadal's second such win in a three-slam streak, prompting Federer to tell the crowd afterwards: 'God, this is killing me'. Nadal gained 104 points over Federer's 103 and created fewer break points, but Nadal kept winning the key points, taking what was his lone Australian crown until Sunday in the process. Nadal overcame tremendous chances just to prepare physically for this tournament and then discovered an incredible player, 10 years his junior, two sets in the final. This win will go down in history as probably the most impressive of Nadal's career and it deserves serious consideration for first place. The 2008 Wimbledon final remains arguably the greatest match ever played. After losing to Federer in five sets in the 2007 final, Nadal hit the greatest grass court of all time on his own surface. Nadal saved 12 of 13 break points in the game and overcame a 4-1 deficit in set number two but dropped the tiebreakers 7-5, 10-8. Neither player was able to break serve in the fifth set until Nadal did it 7-7; Federer saved three break points in the game, two from aces, but he missed an approach shot and gave Nadal an 8-7 lead, and Nadal served from there. The size of this match surpasses the epic importance of the 2022 Australian Open final, albeit by a small margin.


Liverpool are still pushing for Fulham striker Fabio Carvalho

Liverpool are still pushing to sign Fulham striker Fabio Carvalho. (Author: Gardener)

FulhamFabio Carvalho has scored seven league goals this season, so bold that Liverpool are still pushing to sign Fulham striker Fabio Carvalho. Liverpool are one of several keen clubs who remain interested in the 19-year-old, who has continued to impress at Fulham this season. However, Fulham remain confident that Carvalho will remain at the club until the end of the current season. Carvalho has entered the final six months of his contract at Craven Cottage and Fulham would be entitled to compensation set by a court should the teenager move to another English side at the end of his contract. | Paper TalkAll deals struck in JanuaryDeadline Day: How to followLive Football on Sky Sports The phasing out of Carvalho's deal would also open the door for a move abroad, as continental clubs would only have to pay a small fee for the striker. Carvalho made his first-team debut for Fulham last season and has established himself with seven goals and four assists in 18 league games this season. In his speech last week, Fulham boss Marco Silva insisted Carvalho would not leave the club this month despite what may be the last opportunity to get a transfer fee for him. "Fabio will stay with us until the end of the season," said Silva. It's no surprise that clubs are interested in Fabio. "It's always difficult with a player of this talent - even with a contract it's difficult to keep him and without it it's even worse. But Fabio will stay with us until the end of this season." It's not hard to see why Liverpool are interested in signing Carvalho, who at just 19 and as a versatile striker who enjoys operating on the left flank of a front three, would tick many boxes when it comes to the profile of an attacking player Jurgen Klopp likes to sign. Not only that, Carvalho has been in the UK since moving from Portugal aged 11 and is also qualifying as a homegrown player, an added attraction for Liverpool. However, whether Fulham would be willing to sell someone who has been so vital to their return to the Premier League this season is questionable, even if the west London club were paid more for the England Under-18 international in January than if they were wait until the summer when his contract at Craven Cottage expires. In this scenario, as was the case when Harvey Elliott left Fulham for Liverpool in July 2019, Fulham would only receive a court-ordered compensation fee for Carvalho. So Fulham are opting to capitalize on their star now - clubs in Spain are also reportedly keen on the youngster, although the compensation fee the Cottagers would receive from La Liga clubs is far lower than if they went to a Premier League side - but risk hurting their chances of a top-flight return? Or are they keeping him until the end of the season in hopes that Carvalho can help them retain their top spot in the league when the financial fortunes they would receive would negate any reduction in the forward's transfer fee? Meanwhile, Bournemouth have expressed interest in loaning Liverpool right-back Neco Williams until the end of the season. Liverpool are understood to be weighing the Championship club's interest in their Wales international. Williams, 20, is keen on a chance to get a regular start in the first team as he wants to play for Wales in March's World Cup qualifier. Follow Deadline Day with Sky Sports Who will be on the road before the transfer window closes at 23:00 on Monday 31 January? Keep up to date with the latest transfer news and rumors on our dedicated Transfer Center blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also read about the pros, cons and analysis on Sky Sports News. Follow Liverpool with Sky Sports Follow every Liverpool game in the Premier League this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app and watch match highlights just after full-time for free. Want the latest from Liverpool? Bookmark our Liverpool news page, watch Liverpool fixtures and Liverpool latest scores, watch Liverpool goals and videos, follow Premier League standings and see what Liverpool games are watching live on Sky Sports see are. Get all this and more - including notifications sent straight to your phone - by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and setting Liverpool as your favorite team. Hear the best reactions and expert analysis from the Premier League with the Essential Football and Gary Neville podcasts, stay up to date with our dedicated Transfer Centre, follow Sky Sports social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and find Find out how to get Sky Sports. Liverpool's Neco Williams applauds the fans after the pre-season friendly match at Anfield, Liverpool.


Carol Vorderman has decided she's 'unfit to be in a couple'

Carol Vorderman revealed her secrets to looking good as she hailed turning 61 "happily single" and detailed her recent long-Covid health struggles in an interview with Prima magazine on Friday. (Author: Gardener)

Carol VordermanAnd Carol Vorderman has revealed that she has decided she is "not fit to be in a couple" as she described her recent Long Covid health struggles in an interview with Prima magazine on Friday. The presenter, 61, opted for a fitted jumpsuit with a fun zebra print as she showcased her incredible figure in the glamorous shoot. 'I won't be looking for a partner anytime soon': Carol Vorderman showed off her age-defying looks in a form fitting jumpsuit as she celebrates being 'happily single' at 61. Alongside her stunning shoot for the magazine, she also revealed how she juggles her busy life with staying active while engaging in a range of activities to ensure she stays fit and healthy. Ringing in her 61st birthday on Christmas Eve, Carol expressed her gratitude as she celebrates by making the best of everyday life and continuing to live her dream. Carol looked phenomenal as she later slipped into a stylish flared one-piece suit with a plunging neckline as she put up a storm. Carol looked phenomenal as she later slipped into a stylish flared one-piece suit with a plunging neckline as she threw up a storm full! Carol gushed: "I feel like I've gotten stronger as I've gotten older and life has become more fascinating. Carol gushed: "I feel like I've gotten stronger as I've gotten older and life has become more fascinating. Every day is a bonus and I feel very fortunate that I'm still living my dream. I'm trying to make the best of it by really living life to the fullest." The presenter turned her attention to romance, adding that although she's single, love "isn't absent from her life" since her love for her children "knows no bounds". Not everyone is cut out for a couple, and if I'm completely honest, I think that's the case for me. "I like being able to put myself first and not having to ask, 'Shall we do this?' or 'Shall we do that?' So yes, I am very happily single and will not be looking for a partner any time soon.' Not everyone is cut out to be a couple, and I guess I'm not." Maintaining her enviable physique, Carol explained, "If I can get her to, I do online weight workouts at my gym at home, but mostly I stay fit by walking and hiking. "I try every day, whether it's walking to the shop instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the lift, or going for a long hike in the Welsh mountains. The former Countdown star revealed that despite staying fit, she has been battling long-term Covid since 2020 and is now prioritizing her health. She said: "In 2020 I was struggling with my health because I was suffering from Long Covid. Stunning: The former Countdown star revealed that despite her fitness she has been battling long-term Covid since 2020 and is now prioritizing her health where I've been. “I was exhausted by Christmas and had to take some time off. Since then I've really gotten down the health trail to try to get myself back to where I was. Now I finally feel great again, inside and out.' Now I finally feel great again, inside and out.' Carol's Secrets to Looking Good! Carol revealed that alongside her heavy workout routine, she also has a heavy focus on her skin as she enjoys "facial massages" and remains open to having botox. She explained: "I take a lot more care of my skin these days than I used to. I have cryotherapy, which is amazing for the skin - it's a type of cold therapy facial that increases blood flow to your face to tighten and tighten. Carol continued, "I've also recently started doing buccal facial massages, which eliminate water retention. I've also been very open to Botox and that's my choice and I'm happy with that choice." Looking ahead, she added that now is the time for her to "have more fun" since she tend to focus on myself after years of hard work. She said: "I say no to about 95% of what's on offer now because I want to do a lot of things that aren't work, so I need the time and space to do them. I've been grafting my whole life so I think it's time I had some more fun! Youthful looks: She explained: "I've also been very open to Botox and that's my choice and I'm happy with that choice."


Derby County's transfer stance on Ass is becoming clearer

Derby County will not sell Luke Plange today despite interest in the striker from Premier League clubs, according to a recent report by Derbyshire Live. The 19-year-old has impressed for the Rams since being promoted to the first-team and currently boasts a record three goals in eight Sky Bet championships […] (Author: Gardener)

Derby County'sDerby County will not sell Luke Plange today despite interest in the striker from Premier League clubs, according to a recent report by Derbyshire Live. The 19-year-old has impressed for the Rams since being promoted to the first-team and currently boasts a record three goals in eight Sky Bet league games. However, Wayne Rooney has now reiterated Derby's stance on potential deadline-day expenses when he recently said: Plange is one of many young players who have impressed heavily for the ailing Midlands side and could well be on the move next summer if things don't change Nothing is changing dramatically at Pride Park. The club is still no step closer to a takeover. It feels like every other day a derby player is linked with a move out of the club, so it's not surprising to hear that Plange is attracting interest from the top flight. He's a great young talent who's improving every day and taking on the challenge of keeping the club doing well in the league. Rooney certainly sees a lot in him so it will be interesting to see if he stays with the club in the long term. For now, he needs to focus on continuing to score goals and get regular minutes as that form of experience is certainly invaluable for a player of his age at Pride Park.


Preview: Huddersfield vs Derby

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Championship game between Huddersfield Town and Derby County, including predictions, team news and possible (Author: Gardener)

WednesdayHuddersfield Town host Derby County on Wednesday night and will be hoping for the win that would put them back in the Championship playoff spots. Meanwhile, the visitors will be looking to close the gap on 21st-placed Reading, who are currently seven points clear. Huddersfield's form since early December was such that Carlos Corberan would have been disappointed by Friday's 1-1 draw with Stoke City. Given that the Terriers were likely lucky to remain with 11 players throughout the competition, the Spaniard can be content to see his unbeaten record extended to 10 games in all competitions. The stalemate at John Smith's Stadium has seen Huddersfield fall from the play-off spots after playing a game more than sixth-placed Middlesbrough. Nonetheless, optimism remains high for the Yorkshire team, who now expect a run of four games in 10 days in all competitions where they are favourites. Opponents Derby would have had high hopes of picking up more than a single point from Sunday's showdown against Birmingham City, but a 2-2 draw eventually proved a good result. The Rams were 2-0 down with four minutes left before Luke Plange and Krystian Bielik struck brilliantly to secure a share of the spoils. Despite the seven-point gap between them and Reading, Rooney will feel Derby has the greater momentum and will welcome the opportunity to pick up more points from the board. However, Derby have only prevailed in one of their last 11 away games in the Championship, underscoring the magnitude of the task that awaits them against Huddersfield. Bielik will almost certainly miss Derby after the midfielder injured his shoulder in his impressive equalizer against Blues. However, the Spaniard will have to decide whether to play 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1, with the latter possibly more likely if Duane Holmes is struggling for a start. Levi Colwill, Alex Vallejo and Rolando Aarons will all remain on the sidelines, while Tino Anjorin is unlikely to feature if he goes on loan from Chelsea. Huddersfield will be confident of reaping the full benefits after a much longer period of dormancy. Still, this derby side is capable of running on adrenaline and we support the Rams to earn a share of the loot.


'We did NOT save Bolton!' Simon Clarke flounders in tense Derby County battle

SIMON CLARKE refused to answer questions about why Bolton Wanderers were benefiting from a £5m loan (Author: Gardener)

BoltonBut Mr Clarke denied Bolton Wanderers was helped. In an interview with LBC, he replied emphatically, saying: "We have not bailed out Bolton's debt..." Middlesbrough fan Mr Clarke expressed his sympathy for Derby County supporters as the then-financially troubled Boro was on the brink of liquidation 36 years ago was standing. Asked how the people of Middlesbrough were reacting to the news that "their tax money" was being used to pay off Bolton's debts, he said: "Middlesbrough folks actually, we almost lost our football club in 1986.


Derby County vs Birmingham City LIVE

Catch all the action from Pride Park Stadium (Author: Gardener)

Derby CountyFollow live coverage as Derby County meet Birmingham City in the Championship today. Fulham were relegated from the top flight in 2021 but returned refreshed and hopeful of making it back, and likewise Sheffield United have no doubt enjoyed their spell in the Premier League too and are keen to return as well. West Bromwich Albion know what it takes to get promoted from the Championship and will once again be one of the favorites to do so with one of the best squads in the division. It's not all about the promotion battle either, with Hull City, Peterborough and play-off winners Blackpool hoping their promotion from League One will not be short-lived as they struggle to avoid relegation.


Wayne Rooney provides an update on Krystian Bielik's current status in Derby County

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has confirmed that Krystian Bielik suffered a shoulder injury during yesterday's clash with Birmingham City and is now subject to an evaluation by the club's medical team. The Poland international marked his long-awaited return to action by scoring a spectacular goal as the Rams made a late comeback to […] (Author: Gardener)

Wayne RooneyDerby County manager Wayne Rooney has confirmed that Krystian Bielik suffered a shoulder injury during yesterday's clash with Birmingham City and is now subject to an evaluation by the club's medical team. The Poland international marked his long-awaited return to action by scoring a spectacular goal as the Rams made a late comeback to secure a point at Pride Park. Lyle Taylor opened the scoring for Birmingham in the seventh minute as he passed Derby goalkeeper Ryan Allsop. After the break, Scott Hogan doubled the Blues' lead by scoring his 10th league goal of the season. In the 87th minute, Luke Plange brought this special duel to an exciting end with a breathtaking shot into the top corner. While Birmingham seemed to seal the win, Bielik salvaged a point for Derby when he scored an incredible overhead kick. The 24-year-old injured himself on that goal when he landed unluckily on his shoulder. Speaking to the Derby Telegraph about Bielik, the Rams boss said: "It's his shoulder, I think it was during the celebrations or when he got up off the ground. Having missed a significant portion of the action with a serious knee injury, Bielik will be keen to play a key role in Derby's fight for survival and so he hopes his latest problem is not too serious. The midfielder showed again yesterday that he can be successful at this level as he won four header duels and scored a crucial goal against Birmingham. After posting an impressive 7.74 WhoScored match rating in that game, the 24-year-old will now be confident of making a difference at Pride Park when he regains fitness to perform. For Derby's sake, they hope to use Bielik's services as often as possible until the end of the season in order to maintain their championship status.


National media verdict as Derby County fans make 'explanation'

Wayne Rooney's side then fought back from 0-2 to salvage a tie after thousands of fans marched into Pride Park to highlight the plight of the club (Author: Gardener)

Derby CountyJudgment from the national media as Derby County made a "statement" on and off the field Wayne Rooney's side then fought back from 2-0 to salvage a tie after thousands of fans marched into Pride Park to bid the plight of Derby County fans marching at Pride Park ahead of the Birmingham game Get Rams Deadline Day transfer news and the latest acquisitions straight to your inbox. Something went wrong, please try again later. Thank you for signing up. We have more newsletters. Show it. It was a memorable day on and off the pitch for Derby County yesterday. Before the game against Birmingham City, thousands of Rams supporters marched from the city center to Pride Park to draw attention to the plight of the club. Wayne Rooney's men then came back 2-0 to salvage a tie thanks to two late goals, including an overhead kick from Krystian Bielik. Here's how the national media reported on a poignant event for the club... After fans marched by the thousands to save this club, the troubled derby staged an incredible escape they hope will be repeated when the day of the reckoning is coming. "Derby County, we fight to the end," they sang - and like Wayne Rooney's team. In the sixth minute of added time, with the Rams trailing 2-1 against Birmingham, substitute Krystian Bielik marked his first appearance in exactly a year with an overhead kick to secure a tie their second-half performance fully deserved . They are Derby County, they will fight to the end. Trailing 2-0 with three minutes to go, Wayne Rooney's side showed their resilience to take a valuable point with goals from Luke Plange and Krystian Bielik contributing an overhead the admins won't mind. His name was sung loud and proud by Derby fans, whose admiration for their manager was met by his desire to stay and fight for them during the administration's stasis and threatened obliteration after chronic financial mismanagement and excesses during the Mel Morris era was deepened. The song "We Are Derby County We Fight To The End" has never been more fitting. Sung four hours earlier by fans fighting to save their club, it was sung again after the final whistle as the Rams players made their memorable comeback. The line at Pride Parkway stretched as far as the eye could see and took a full 10 minutes to get past. In truth, these fans cannot decide what happens to their club now. Thousands of Derby fans have marched to Pride Park to save the club from extinction. Rams supporters were joined by Birmingham fans as they rallied en masse to protest ahead of the pair's championship clash on Sunday, in a desperate bid to raise awareness of the club's plight. Wayne Rooney's team has been in administration since September and faces the daunting prospect of bankruptcy if they don't find a new owner. Derby have already docked 21 points so far this season to complicate matters, but the club's faithful showed their strength ahead of kick-off on Sunday after selling out Pride Park for the first time since early 2020. Follow the news of the day in our live blog here