Leaders Hammer Sorry Rams
King Power Stadium
Attendance: 23, 140
Derby County`s awful run against Leicester City at the King Power stadium in front of the TV camera`s continued as they were easily beaten 4-1 by the Championship leaders. After a promising looking first quarter of an hour The Rams were second best for the remainder of the evening and were fortunate to only be trailing to Ritchie de Laet`s neat finish at the break. Some woeful defending and a touch of fortune saw David Nugent score three minutes into the second half and despite de Laet deflecting a Jake Buxton header into his own net Derby were never in the match. Craig Forsyth`s poorly judged tackle presented Nugent with a chance to score his second from the spot just sixty seconds later and Jamie Vardy completed the scoring four minutes after that to end a miserable evening for Steve McClaren`s side.
Craig Bryson returned to the side with John Eustace dropping to the bench and Jeff Hendrick keeping his place as the holding midfielder. The Rams had some dangerous looking possession in the opening stages but it was Leicester who created the first chance on twelve minutes when David Nugent played in Lloyd Dyer down the right, his cross-shot was parried by Lee Grant and Matty James skewed the rebound wide with the goal at his mercy. Danny Drinkwater fired in a low cross that missed by Jamie Vardy and the ball rolled inches wide of the far post.
Leicester were well on top and James fired over the top from twenty-five yards before Nugent brought another low save out of Grant with a volley. The goal eventually came on twenty-five minutes when Ritchie de Laet beat Simon Dawkins on the left, played a one two with Nugent and swept home a low drive from the edge of the area. The pressure kept on coming and Dyer had a shot kept out by the legs of Grant and Derby`s keeper kept out another effort from Nugent with Vardy`s follow-up from a tight angle hitting the underside of the bar before bouncing to safety. The last chance of the half fell to Liam Moore who headed against the bar from a corner with The Rams somewhat fortunate to make it to halftime only one goal behind.
Derby looked to get back into the game at the start of the second period but fell two goals behind almost immediately, a goalkick was allowed to bounce and the ball eventually dropped to Nugent, his initial shot was blocked by Jake Buxton but the ball fortuitously bounced back against the Leicester striker`s knee and into the net. McClaren reacted by bringing on Patrick Bamford for his debut as well as Mason Bennett in place of Jamie Ward and Dawkins in the wide attacking areas and their fortunes got better when Buxton got his head to a corner and the ball deflected into the net off de Laet to put them back into the match just before the hour mark.
The comeback was short-lived however as within a minute Craig Forsyth lunged into an unnecessary tackle on Vardy bringing down the Leicester striker as he moved away from goal and Nugent converted from the spot to put the result beyond any doubt. Four minutes later The Rams` misery was complete when Nugent teed up Vardy and he fired under Grant for a 4-1 lead. Substitute Chris Wood side footed just wide from a pull back from Dyer and whilst Derby saw a little more of the ball in the closing stages they were well beaten.
Leicester City: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky (Schlupp, 71), Knockaert, James, Drinkwater, Dyer, Nugent (Taylor-Fletcher, 83), Vardy (Wood, 80).
Unused subs: Logan, Wasilewski, Hammond, King.
Derby County: Grant, Wisdom, Keane, Buxton, Forsyth, Hendrick, Bryson, Hughes, Ward (Bennett, 55), Dawkins (Bamford, 55), Martin (Sammon, 74).
Unused subs: Legzdins, Freeman, Eustace, Bailey.