Rams v Spurs - Report
Attendance: 33,058 (Best of the Season)
Rams v Spurs - Report
Result harsh on Rams
The Rams mini revival ended on Saturday with Spurs leaving Pride Park with all three points after a 0-3 victory.
Robbie Keane's 20th goal of the season gave the North London side the lead on 68 minutes to break open a tight encounter were the Rams had given as good as they got in an entertaining clash but two further late strikes made the score line a little harsh on Paul Jewell`s side.
The result means the Rams have gone 19 games without a victory in the Premier League a club record but Jewell will have been encouraged by an improved display.
But there was little to choose between the sides in a close first half, with Derby's continuous hassling ensuring they more than held their own against the Carling Cup finalists.
In fact, had Giles Barnes managed to find the target from Stephen Pearson's through-ball with just the keeper to beat on 25 minutes, it could have been even better for the Rams, the 19-year-old fired inches past the post.
Emmanuel Villa and Kenny Miller was causing the Spurs backline problems, the Argentinean forced Spurs keeper Radek Cerny into a smart stop at his near post, after good work from Miller.
Spurs were not helped by an early injury to former Forest defender Michael Dawson, who was given a hostile reception from the Pride Park supporter, he limped off after 14 minutes but Spurs also had chances in a fast paced game.
Rams keeper Roy Carroll was at his best to deny the visitors. With Aaron Lennon causing problems down the flanks, his teasing cross found Darren Bent, who`s first time shot was saved low by the Rams shot stopper, and moments later he tipped Keane`s shot wide.
Pearson was having a great game in his return to the side and his driving runs from midfield set up many Rams attacks but finishing let them down.
It was similar story in the second half with both sides pushing for victory and the 33,000 plus crowd was treated to an attacking game. Spurs went close on 55 minutes, former Rams star Tom Huddlestone forcing another good save from Carroll. The Rams, with Miller and Barnes pressing grew in confidence as the game went on and Villa fired wide but the introduction of Berbatov on the hour changed the game.
Keane had hit the post with a low shot from 20 yards, but on 68 minutes the Irishman gave Spurs the lead, turning home from close range after Carroll failed to hold Malbranque's shot. The Rams claimed offside but referee Martin Atkinson waved away they protests and Jewell continued with it on the sideline to the assistant referee
It was heartbreaking for the Rams but a real shot in the arm for the visitors, who could have doubled their lead but for a brilliant double save from Carroll, first from Jenas and then Berbatov.
The Rams lost skipper Robbie Savage with a foot injury on 74 minutes, he was replaced by new Australian midfielder Mile Sterjovski who made his league debut for the Rams.
But the visitors were on top and Kaboul doubled their lead on 81 minutes, after skipping round Pearson and driving home from the edge of the box.
There was still time for Berbatov to give the score line a rather harsh look from the penalty spot after Keane`s cross had struck Alan Stubbs arm as Spurs took their recent run to one defeat in seven matches.
Derby: GK Carroll, Leacock, Stubbs, Moore (Todd 11), Edworthy (Jones 78), Fagan, Savage (Sterjovski 74), Pearson, Barnes, Villa, Miller.
Subs Not Used: Price, Earnshaw.
Tottenham: Cerny, Hutton, Dawson (Kaboul 14), Huddlestone, Chimbonda, Lennon, Jenas, Malbranque, Boateng (O'Hara 46), Keane, Bent (Berbatov 58).
Subs Not Used: Robinson, Gunter.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).
Stephen Pearson - The Scotsman bounced back from a poor game against Manchester City to put in a great performance.
Derby boss Paul Jewell:
'For an hour we did very well and we created chances and so did they. We rattled them at times and they are a good side.
'Our lads could not have given any more but we got punished for basic errors.
'It is a harsh lesson but it is a harsh league and we are not good enough.'
'It was tricky, especially in the opening hour, but the players are learning what we want from them and in the last half an hour we were fresher and took control.
'It was a big test for us - more than people probably think - and it was important that we came here and won because we want to move forward and be consistent in the league.
'We have three massive cup games coming up now and it was vital we signed off with a league win so we're delighted.'