The Sheffield United striker was on the end of some unpleasant abuse and for a while it looked like the visitors might have the last laugh, their side withstanding a huge amount of pressure after goalkeeper Kelle Roos was sent off in the 58th minute for fouling Sharp, having earlier hit the post through Phil Jagielka.
But when Curtis Davies handled a Conor Hourihane cross, Sharp stepped up to take the penalty despite having missed at Hull City the previous week and scored. It was, he admitted, all the sweeter because of the treatment he received.
“I wish I could play against them every week,” said Sharp, who has scored five times for the Blades against Derby, including August’s League Cup winner.
“I think their fans were disrespectful to me today. I don’t mind stick but if they are going to give me that all game, they deserve that back. I’m delighted I scored because I don’t like them.
“I was pretty nervous over the spot because of the last penalty and happy to see it go in. My emotions took over a bit, but it was great to score in front of the Kop.”
In amongst suitably exuberant celebrations, Sharp made a point of “shushing” the away end.
Manager Slavisa Jokanovic praised the character of his captain, and the team as a whole.
“He’s the skipper and he showed he was fighting to the end,” said the Serb, whose side also saw Derby’s Tom Lawrence hit the post in stoppage time. “All the time he wants to show me and everyone I am here, I am skipper, I am important. His attitude was a skipper’s attitude.
“We have others who can take penalties but I don’t see it’s necessary to change the taker even if he doesn’t score this goal.”