Derby County fell to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City in the penultimate game of the 2020/21 season.
The fate of the Rams status for next season will now go to the final day of the season with Wayne Rooney’s side one place above the relegation zone, but all three teams below just three points behind, while Rotherham United also have a game in hand.
Tom Lawrence opened the scoring just two minutes into the second half, heading in from close range from Nathan Byrne’s cross. However, two goals in three minutes midway through the half sealed the points for the Swans. The first came through former Ram Morgan Whittaker before Connor Roberts struck moments later.
The Rams had a massive let off just three minutes in from a Swansea counter-attack. George Edmundson’s long throw into the box was cleared out to Nathan Byrne whose touch was snatched away by Jamal Lowe who raced forward and had Whittaker with him to go two-versus-one with Kelle Roos.
Kamil Jozwiak did brilliantly to charge the pair down and as Lowe squared to Whittaker, but the Derby forward got a touch to deflect the shot.
On the 20-minute mark, the Rams got their first shot on target as Jozwiak fed the ball through to Colin Kazim-Richards just inside the area. He pulled back with his right foot looking to tuck it into the corner, but Ben Cabango blocked the effort to take the pace out of the ball and it was an easy catch for Freddie Woodman.
Jozwiak and Kazim-Richards looked to link up again with just over ten minutes to play in the half. Jozwiak sent a cross from the right towards the back post. The forward headed back across goal looking for Martyn Waghorn, but Woodman made the grab before it could reach the forward.
In the final minutes in the half, Swansea were awarded a dangerous free-kick from the left after Lowe was brought down by Byrne. Matt Grimes whipped a powerful effort towards goal and Roos bravely dived through the bodies in the box to punch the effort well away.
Just two minutes into the second half, the Rams had the lead. Jozwiak’s initial cross into the box was headed on by Kazim-Richards to Waghorn who played the ball back out wide to Byrne. The full-back swung a cross back into the area and Lawrence dived to head in from the six-yard box.
Just after the hour mark, Swansea drew level through Whittaker. A short corner was played from the left before being sent it to Cabano at the back post to fire back across goal for Whittaker to head on target. Roos got his hand to it, but the ball was sent centimetres over the line.
Just moments later, the Swans took the lead. A long ball over the top was received at the back post by an unmarked Roberts who stuck a first-time effort past Roos.
With ten minutes left to play, Swansea had the ball in the back of the net again as Lowe slotted past Roos, but the referee quickly blew his whistle for offside.
Straight down the other end, a brilliant cross was sent to the near post for Kazim-Richards who swung to divert his headed effort towards goal, but it was parried away by Woodman.
Swansea City: Woodman, Bennett, Smith, Grimes (C), Lowe(B. Cooper, 90), Whittaker (O. Cooper, 65), Cullen, Dhanda (Fulton, 86), Roberts, Bidwell (Manning, 64), Cabango.
Substitutes: Hamer, Hourihane, Routledge, Latibeaudiere, Naughton
Derby County: Roos, Forsyth, Shinnie (C), Edmundson, Jozwiak (Roberts, 69), Waghorn (Sibley, 80), Lawrence, Byrne, Kazim-Richards, Clarke, Knight.
Substitutes: Marshall, Bird, Cashin, Buchanan, Ebosele, McDonald, Watson.