herald

Sunday 19 January 2020

Lead role by Rams' Wayne

Crystal Palace 0 Derby County 1

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

Derby County boss Phillip Cocu claimed Wayne Rooney played a pivotal role in his side's shock FA Cup third-round win at Crystal Palace.

Chris Martin's close-range strike gave the Championship side victory at Selhurst Park as Palace had captain Luka Milivojevic sent off.

Rooney was highly influential in the tie from a deep-lying midfield role.

"Rooney influenced the game a lot because you could see his experience," Cocu said of the ex-England captain.

"I think he did very good; he played a more controlled position.

"A big part of the success today is the combination between him and Tom Huddlestone - it was a pleasure to watch."

The big talking point occurred in the second half when Milivojevic was sent off for an incident with Derby's Tom Huddlestone.

Milivojevic kicked out and then moved his head towards the midfielder, but the pair were both shown yellow cards before VAR reviewed the incident and Michael Oliver took it upon himself to look at the pitchside monitor before changing his decision to a red card.

"I'm not surprised the VAR monitor has been used because that's what people have been talking about," Hodgson said.

"I wasn't at all surprised to see him use it.

"As far as the incident is concerned, I've seen it over myself, I think it's a harsh decision."

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