Rams rough ride at Lane
White Hart Lane
Rams rough ride at the Lane
The Rams were taught the harsh lessons of Premier League football yesterday when they were beaten 4-0 at White Hart Lane by Tottenham Hotspur. Darren Bent scored his first league goal for Spurs as they strolled to victory over a stunned Billy Davies` side to ease the pressure on their manager Martin Jol. Steed Malbranque opened the scoring in the first minute, firing home from 20-yards, and it was 2-0 minutes later the Frenchman curled home the second before Jermaine Jenas slipped in the third, and Bent added the fourth.
Jenas got the home side off to a perfect start, clipping a short free kick to Malbranque with the Derby defence asleep as he fired low into the corner.
It was 2-0 in their next attack, Jenas found Bent free in the box, the £16.5m signing squaring to Malbranque who neatly curled into the corner.
The Rams were shell-shocked and, when Jenas strode through the Rams defence on 14 minutes to clip under Stephen Bywater for a third, it was no more than the hosts deserved.
It was a nightmare start for the Rams as they huffed and puffed but they couldn`t contain a rampant Spurs, with former Rams midfielder Tom Huddlestone in total control. The Rams lacked composure and discipline and were second to the ball as the home team continued to dominate.
It should have been four when Wayne Routledge poked in Robbie Keane's miscue, only for him to be incorrectly called offside, and Malbranque came close to his third when he broke into the box but lost his footing with just Bywater to beat.
Derby boss Davies brought on Gary Teale to replace Andy Todd in a bid to put more pressure on the home defence, and the Rams looked more organised in the second half, but didn`t really test England keeper Paul Robinson.
Spurs continued to take the game to the Rams, and went close on the hour when good work from Bent led to Bywater saving well from Keane's curler. The Rams best chance fell to second half substitute Teale, he forced a great save from Paul Robinson, the winger's long and stinging shot was palmed away by England's number one on the stretch.
However, it was Spurs that made it 4-0 when Bywater could only push Pascal Chimbonda's header onto the bar and Bent was on hand to head home from a matter of inches.
Tottenham: Robinson, Chimbonda (Zokora 81), Rocha, Gardner, Lee, Routledge (Taarabt 71), Jenas, Huddlestone, Malbranque, Bent, Keane (Defoe 76).
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Stalteri.
Derby: Bywater, Mears (Griffin 33), Moore, Leacock, McEveley, Fagan, Oakley, Todd (Teale 46), Pearson, Howard, Earnshaw.
Subs Not Used: Price, Jones, Feilhaber.
Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).
Derby manager Billy Davies:
'We shot ourselves in the foot today. We talked before the game of competing well and starting well and we did neither.
'We showed them too much respect, didn't tackle, fight or compete enough and we got what we deserved.
'We've got to add firepower, we've got to add to the squad and we know that. We'll do all we can to bring in fresh faces and you'll see the best from this team from September onwards, when we have our squad assembled.'
'This was a must-win game because we need points on the board and it was a terrific performance, just what we wanted.
'The players wanted to fight back and to play well for the club, for themselves and for me - and they did just that.
'For example, Jermaine Jenas has taken some stick lately but we know his quality. He's good on the ball, strong and great going forward and he was the best man on the pitch today.
'We still have eight or nine of the first-team squad out injured so we have our problems, but we want to push on now.'