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Report: Derby County 0-4 Rovers

A stylish, slick, energetic and expansive Rovers side dismantle Phillip Cocu's Rams at Pride Park

26 September 2020

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Rovers turned on the style for the second game in succession to produce another sensational performance and score four goals to dismantle Derby County at Pride Park.

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After Tyrhys Dolan tapped home from close range, Bradley Johnson slammed home a quickfire brace against his old side to put Rovers in command going into the half time interval.

In what was another stunning display, it could and should have been more for Rovers, with David Marshall in the Derby goal keepig a shell-shocked Rams in with a chance of getting something going into the second half.

After a change of system from the hosts, Rovers showed a professionalism and stubborness to earn back-to-back clean sheets, and another shut-out arrived alongside another goal, with Adam Armstrong wrapping up the three points with a poacher's finish with only 13 minutes remaining.

Tony Mowbray named an unchanged side from the one that began against Wycombe Wanderers at Ewood Park a week earlier, with Joe Rankin-Costello keeping his place in the team at right back.

The dangerous front three of Ben Brereton, Armstrong and Dolan kept their places and caused havoc throughout in what was a truly rampant performance.

In a lively start from both sides, it was only a fine block from Darragh Lenihan denied Derby from taking the lead nine minutes in when he hacked a Max Bird attempt off the line and away.

But at the other end Rovers made no mistake as Dolan tapped home for his second goal in the space of a week.

A fine run from Joe Rothwell saw the midfield man feed Brereton, and although the forward hit the post, Dolan was in the right place at the right time to tap home.

Things got better just a moment later, with ex-Ram Johnson slamming home from range to double the visitors' lead against a side for whom he appeared 139 times for.

Better was to come for Johnson and Rovers when another thumping effort took a deflection before zooming past Marshall and into the net after just 15 minutes of play in the East Midlands.

A fourth nearly arrived soon after, but Marshall was well placed to beat away Brereton's downward header at the back post.

The closest that the home side came to testing Thomas Kaminski came via Kamil Jozwiak's attempt that curled wide and the Jason Knight's tame strike that was comfortable for the Belgian to hold.

Rovers were smelling blood with half time looming and Marshall was again called into action to deal with Armstrong's strike with under 10 minutes to go until the break.

Kaminski did well to shovel away Wayne Rooney's dangerous free kick into the area and then flick behind Louie Sibley's header as County provided some late pressure on the Rovers goal, but it was Mowbray's men who went in with their three-goal advantage intact.

Rovers knew they had to be disciplined at the beginning of the second half, and it was Derby who came closest to finding a goal, only for Jozwiak to curl wide of the target on the hour mark.

Phillip Cocu's side had changed their system at the break, with George Evans' introduction seeing the 25-year-old slot into a back three, and it did take a little bit of time for the visitors to adjust to the alteration.

With 19 minutes remaining the Rams produced another opportunity, but Lee Buchanan headed over at the back stick after a teasing ball in from Nathan Byrne.

Just as it looked like it wouldn't be Armstrong's day in front of goal, the league's top scorer did get his name on the scoresheet after he finished off another fine flowing move.

A neat one two between Harry Chapman and Lewis Holtby saw the substitute feed Armstrong and it was a tap in for the striker to make it 4-0.

Armstrong looked for his second, but his snapshot was just about kept out by Marshall before Kaminski comfortably dealt with substitute Duane Holmes' attempt as County went in search of a late consolation.

Rovers stood firm to anything the Rams threw at them, and a back-to-back clean sheet arrived alongside another blitzing attacking performance.

Next up is a home test against Cardiff City, with kick-off scheduled for 3pm on Saturday 3rd October at Ewood Park.

Derby County: Marshall, Wisdom, Te Wierik, Jozwiak, Bird (Holmes, 71), Byrne, Marriott (Evans, 46), Sibley (Whittaker, 76), Buchanan, Rooney (c), Knight.

Unused substitutes: Roos, Shinnie, Clarke, Whittaker, Hector-Ingram.

Booked: Buchanan, 33, Rooney, 80.

Rovers: Kaminski, Rankin-Costello (Nyambe, 59), Lenihan (c), Williams, Bell, Johnson, Holtby, Rothwell (Bennett, 79), Dolan (Chapman, 68), Armstrong, Brereton.

Unused substitutes: Fisher, Davenport, Buckley, Wharton.

Goals: Dolan, 11, Johnson, 12, 15, Armstrong, 77.

Booked: Johnson, 36, Lenihan, 41, Rothwell, 66.

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