Wayne Rooney’s Derby were relegated from the Championship following a 1–0 loss at QPR.
Luke Amos’ late goal at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium kept Rangers’ hopes of reaching the play-offs alive and, coupled with Reading’s astonishing comeback, doomed the visitors to ruin.
County finished the game with 10 men after Tom Lawrence was sent off for a second yellow card after a tackle on Charlie Austin in the dying seconds.
Derby’s hopes of staying on their feet looked mathematically alive at least until a last-gasp equalizer earned their Reading team-mates a point as they came from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with Swansea.
The Rams, who have been fighting an uphill battle since receiving a 21-point deduction for their financial troubles, gave their chances of survival a boost by beating leaders Fulham on Good Friday but could not continue against Rangers. , whose victory was the first in seven games.
The crucial breakthrough came with two minutes to go.
Ilias Chair passed the ball from the left to Lyndon Dykes, who in turn placed it to his right and Amos, who was unmarked, the midfielder calmly guided his shot past goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.
Amos had an early goal disallowed when Dykes headed goalkeeper Kieren Westwood’s long shot into the former Tottenham man, who pushed the ball past Allsop into an empty net but was ruled offside.
Luke Plange squandered a glorious opportunity to put Derby ahead by heading Lawrence’s free kick from the left off the top of the crossbar from close range.
Another set piece by Lawrence, this time a corner from the right, caused Rangers further trouble shortly before half-time, with Krystian Bielik volleying in after Westwood’s fumble.
With Reading trailing at half-time, Derby knew victory could help them close the gap, but it was QPR who were in front for much of the second half.
They nearly took the lead a couple of minutes after the restart when Chair sliced in from the left and saw his right footed shot pushed in by Allsop, who also blocked a long-range shot from Dykes.
Derby threatened in the closing stages, with Malcom Ebiowei causing big QPR problems on the right flank.
Andre Dozzell deflected Ebiowei’s cross wide of his own net and Nathan Byrne was parried at close range by Westwood.
But Amos’ third goal in five games and sixth of the season left Derby facing League One football next season.
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