Rams Batter Sorry Palace
Attendance: 28, 258
Alberto Bueno scored twice to inspire Derby County to a five goal demolition of Crystal Palace at Pride Park. The young Spaniard stroked home the first goal after a quarter of an hour with The Rams playing some neat football before former loanee James Vaughan was shown a red card for a lunge on John Brayford. Derby made the extra man count as they dominated the remainder of the half and Kris Commons curled in a second just before the break to double the lead and it was no more than they deserved for a half of attacking football. Palace looked to get back in the game in the second period but Bueno slammed home a third just after the hour and Paul Green glanced home from close range for four. Shefki Kuqi poked home from a disastrous Claude Davies backpass to wrap up the scoring in a one-sided encounter that saw The Rams claim a first home victory of the season.
Robbie Savage came back into the starting line-up in the only change from the side who claimed a point at Oakwell last week. Nigel Clough called for a quick start from his side and they didn`t allow Crystal Palace any room from the off and they took the lead after fourteen minutes, Paul Green played in John Brayford behind the visitors` backline and he cut the ball back neatly for Alberto Bueno to stroke home his first goal for The Rams. There were a number of meaty tackles flying around and Edgar Davids and Dean Moxey both picked up bookings for mistimed challenges in the middle of the park.
After a Palace attack down the left ended broke down with James Vaughan`s poor touch he lunged into a challenge with John Brayford and was promptly shown the red card on twenty-one minutes after catching the fullback with his studs showing. Derby looked to take advantage of the extra man and Bueno nearly claimed his second only to be denied by the feet of Julian Speroni and the Palace keeper was then on hand to deny Paul Green after he was played in by a neat Bueno pass that split their backline.
Another neat pass found Shefki Kuqi in behind the Palace defence but his finish hit the outside of the post and as he squared the rebound Paul Green somehow missed the target from eight yards with goal at his mercy. It wasn`t long until Derby got the second goal their play deserved after Kris Commons played a one-two with John Brayford down the right and he cut inside to curl a magnificent effort past Speroni into the top corner to double the lead. With five minutes to go until halftime it was all one way traffic and Palace did well to hold on to only go in two goals down at the break.
Palace came out with renewed vigour at the start of the second half and looked to take the game to Derby to take the pressure off of their beleaguered backline although they failed to trouble Stephen Bywater. It wasn`t long before The Rams began to get on the front foot again and they increased their lead further just after the hour mark when a low cross into the area hit the heels of a Palace defender and fell to Bueno who took a touch before crashing home his second of the match into the bottom corner.
Bueno won a free kick wide on the left five minutes later and Robbie Savage`s inch perfect delivery saw Paul Green glance home a header from close range giving Speroni no chance and making the score 4-0. Derby continued to pile forward and they rounded off the scoring on seventy-three minutes when a loose ball in the area fell to Claude Davies and he attempted a calamitous backpass that Kuqi stretched to toe beyond Speroni for the goal his hard working performance deserved.
New signing Luke Moore came off the bench moments later to replace Kuqi who left the pitch to a standing ovation after an industrious display leading the frontline. Stephen Pearson had been introduced just before The Rams fourth goal after Dean Leacock felt his hamstring tighten with John Brayford moving to the centre of defence and Paul Green switching to rightback. In the last of the changes Robbie Savage was replaced by Ben Pringle who looked lively in the closing stages as Derby kept held of the ball to see out a comfortable victory and claim their first three points of the season at Pride Park.
Derby County: Bywater, Brayford, Leacock (Pearson 66), Barker, Moxey, Savage (Pringle 82), Bailey, Green, Commons, Bueno, Kuqi (Moore 74)
Subs: Deeney, Doyle, O'Brien, Cywka
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Clyne, Davis, McCarthy, Danns, Garvin, Davids (Dorman 76), Marrow, Zaha (Andrew 70), Djilali (Bennett 45), Vaughan
Subs: Price, Cadogan, Counago, N'Diaye