Chelsea, legend Frank Lampard enjoyed a winning start to his managerial career on Friday when Derby County sealed a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph at Reading with a last-minute goal.
Tom Lawrence headed in the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time from a cross by Mason Bennett just as the game — the opening fixture in the new Championship season — seemed to be petering out for a draw.
His header sparked wild celebrations in the away dug-out at the Madejski Stadium, where former England star Lampard was making his bow as a manager.
“We have to enjoy this moment. It’s incredible character,” Lampard, 40, told Sky Sports.
“We were poor in the first half. Second half we showed some character. Mason Bennett’s come on and whipped in the most incredible cross from the right and Tom gets the header. An incredible moment.
“I’m sorry for Reading because they really didn’t deserve to lose that game for sure, but we’ve made our own luck today.”
Reading, who only avoided relegation on the final day of last season, had deservedly taken the lead in the 52nd minute when Jon Dadi Bodvarsson headed powerfully home a Mo Barrow cross.
Derby drew level on the hour when debutant Mason Mount, on loan from Chelsea, drilled in from long distance, albeit he was aided by an error from Reading goalkeeper Vito Mannone, before Lawrence’s heart-breaking winner at the death.
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