Derby and Huddersfield began their Championship campaign with an entertaining 1-1 ドロー, with both sets of supporters perhaps encouraged for what lies ahead despite each encountering problems in the runup to the new season.
Derby’s issues have been well-publicised. Wayne Rooney had as few as nine senior players available a fortnight ago; and one of those, Jason Knight, was then injured in a training ground collision with the Rams manager.
But with Rooney able to register three more players – including their goalscorer here, Curtis Davies – in the run-up to kick-off, his cobbled-together side offered plenty of spirit and endeavour despite a difficult summer which has left the Rams still only able to sign free transfers and loans due to the transfer embargo imposed on them by the EFL.
Huddersfield had their own issues here too, with head coach Carlos Corberán and four senior players – including midfielder Lewis O’Brien, a target for Leeds United – unavailable after testing positive for Covid-19 in the buildup to the game.
Yet the Terriers played their part in a lively opening-day clash, and will certainly feel they were worthy of a share of the spoils here. The two goals were five minutes apart, with Davies bundling home a Nathan Byrne corner before Huddersfield equalised on the stroke of half-time when Naby Sarr headed past Kelle Roos after a pinpoint delivery from Sorba Thomas.
Both sides had chances to claim all three points in the second half. The best perhaps fell to Frazier Campbell, who was denied by Roos after a superb through ball from Thomas. At the other end, Louie Sibley was thwarted by a superb reaction save from Ryan Schofield in the Huddersfield goal.
On a day where supporters returned en masse to stadiums for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, perhaps it was only fair that everyone left here with something to cheer. Rooney in particular will feel heartened that he has the foundations of something to build on moving forward.