Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Monday April 14 2008
(Not so) Pride Park
Rams given a football lesson from Villa
The Rams season went to a new low on Saturday when Aston Villa hammered them 6-0 at Pride Park, which left Coach Paul Jewel fuming at the end of the match.
Jewell had talked of giving the fans a glimmer of light in a dark season for the Rams, and they initially took the game to Villa.
The first chance though fell to Ashley Young his snap-shot on the half volley after five minutes sailed wide. But the Rams, backed by another sell out home crowd, dictated the early play with Kenny Miller prominent.
The Scottish striker cleverly set up David Jones on the edge of the box on 15 minutes but he could only fire straight at Scott Carson.
Derby continued to press but lacked the final ball and their dominance failed to carve out any clear-cut chances. But with the game drifting and Villa looking lacklustre, Martin O`Neil`s side received a slice of luck.
Young swung in an innocuous free-kick towards goal from 30-yards on 25 minutes, and Olof Mellberg challenged Rams keeper Roy Carroll failed to make any real contact to clear and the ball and it ended up in the back of the net. Carroll complained he was impeded but referee Keith Stroud waved away his protests.
What happened next hit the new low`s for the Rams, less than 60 seconds later, England midfielder Barry broke down the left to cross, Carroll could only push the ball away from a sea of bodies out to John Carew, and he fired home from edge of the box.
With Derby's confidence now at rock bottom, Villa streamed forward in waves but it was another Carroll error which led to their third, although the finish was world class.
A poor punt downfield by the Irishman found Stiliyan Petrov who, 45-yards from goal, unleashed a stunning shot which flew back over Carroll's head into the top corner for a breathtaking goal.
It got worse for the home fans in the second-half, on 53 minutes Young neatly played England colleague Gabriel Agbonlahor into the box, his shot was saved low by Carroll but with the static Rams defence nowhere Barry tapped home from close-range.
With the Rams loyal supporters heading for the exit, second half substitute Robert Earnshaw forced Carson into a flying save but the Rams agony continued on 75 minutes.
A simple clearance was inadvertently knocked on by Darren Moore and was pounced upon by Agbonlahor who tucked into the corner from 15-yards.
Then five minutes before full-time, Patrik Berger played in fellow substitute Marlon Harewood who raced beyond Derby's static defence to coolly slot home to finish the scoring.
Derby County : Carroll, Todd (Earnshaw 54), Moore (Leacock 54), Stubbs, Lewis, Mears, Ghaly, Savage, Jones (McEveley 59), Villa, Miller.
Subs Not Used: Price, Feilhaber.
Aston Villa: Carson, Mellberg, Laursen, Knight, Bouma, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Barry (Salifou 80), Young (Berger 80), Carew (Harewood 73), Agbonlahor.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Routledge.
Goals: Young 25, Carew 26, Petrov 36, Barry 58, Agbonlahor 76, Harewood 85.
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire).
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Date:Monday April 14 2008
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