It’s been a weekend where losing a two-goal lead was popular, and it was Derby who began the trend on Saturday evening. Unfortunately for the Rams they weren’t able to hold onto a point like Arsenal and Manchester City or grab all three like Bolton.
In front of the TV cameras a crowd of 30,135 saw Derby race into a two-goal lead inside 40 minutes, things looked promising and the Rams’ good home form looked to be continuing. However a controversial refereeing decision gave Rangers a lifeline and they never looked back.
Paul Dickov opened the scoring with his first goal for Derby on ten minutes. The Rams were initially frustrated by the referee stopping the game when Lee Croft appeared to have an advantage, however Robbie Savage took the free kick quickly, he Dickov unmarked in the area who smashed the ball past Cerny. The same two players were involved in Derby’s second goal, Dickov was fouled on the edge of the area and Savage curled the resulting free kick into the top corner of the goal for his first goal at Pride Park. However QPR had soon pegged the home side back, referee Howard deemed that Savage had tripped Faurlin 20 yards out although replays suggested no contact was made at all. On loan midfielder Taarabt took the free kick and curled his shot around the wall and into the bottom corner of Stephen Bywater’s net.
The second half belonged to the visitors as there crisp passing paid dividends, with only one minute of the half gone they had equalised through Gavin Mahon. A diagonal ball found Routledge who touched the ball into the path of the unmarked Rangers captain and he fired home to level the scores. Ten minutes later the visitors were ahead as their confidence grew, some sloppy defending from Derby gave Jay Simpson a chance, which he calmly placed past Bywater to send the away fans into raptures. With the game as good as over Rangers made it their third game scoring four goals thanks to an Akos Buzasky penalty. Wayne Routledge broke away from Dean Moxey and the two tangled in the area, Routledge went down and the referee’s assistant indicated a penalty. It looked harsh on the Derby full back as there was minimal contact and Routledge appeared to make a lot of it. Buzasky fired the penalty passed Bywater to make the score 2-4 and condemn the Rams to their 8th defeat of the season.
It was a disappointing performance from the Rams, both for the fans, the manager and the players. After the game Nigel Clough spoke to the BBC, he said: “When we were 2-0 up it was important that we got to half-time and then kept it tight for 10 minutes in the second half, but we could do neither.”
And the Derby manager was complimentary about the visitors: “I thought QPR played extremely well. You saw a side full of confidence, who have scored four goals in each of their last three games, and everyone wanted the ball.”
The Rams’ next game is away at Ipswich this Saturday, given Derby’s away form this season I think I might put a bet on Roy Keane getting his first win of the season this weekend
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