Rams v Toffees - Report
Rams given a lesson in finishing by Toffees
Derby 0 Everton 2
The Rams went down timidly to a professional Everton outfit in Sunday`s Barclay`s English Premier League
clash at Pride Park. Nigerian international striker Yakubu grabbed his second Premier League goal
for Everton as David Moyes` side sent the Rams back to the foot of the table in an uninspiring encounter.
Mikel Arteta had given the Toffees the lead in the 26th minute, before the £11m signing Yakubu struck a low shot past Stephen Bywater in the 62nd minute to wrap up victory.
Billy Davies made just one change from the side that draw 0-0 at Craven Cottage last time out with Giles Barnes in the starting lineup for the first time this season with Dean Leacock, who after struggling with injury, dropping to the bench.
Claude Davis was passed fit to partner Darren Moore at the back as the Rams looked for another solid performance in front of their supporters.
The Rams began brightly and Tim Howard had to be alert in the second minute to bravely pluck a Jay McEveley cross off the head of Craig Fagan.
But Everton threatened moments later with Australian international Tim Cahill showing what the Toffees had been missing, it was his first league start since March, he should have scored in the third minute after he was found by a Leighton Baines cross from the left but he side-footed effort straight at Bywater.
Then two minutes later Baines again was the provider, he cut into the Rams box unchallenged and set up a chance for Steven Pienaar who mis-kicked in front of goal, and Cahill was inches wide with a header when the ball was punted back into the box by former Ram Lee Carsley.
Derby's best move came on 20 minutes, Craig Fagan found Barnes, whose deft flick sent Tyrone Mears into the box but the Rams defender lost his footing at the vital moment and the chance was lost.
But the visitors took a deserved lead on 26 minutes, Phil Jagielka`s long ball from the half-way line looked little danger for the Rams defence, but Yakubu clever dummy caught them out and Arteta was clear on goal, the Spaniard making no mistake with a low shot past Bywater.
It was a bitter blow for the Rams, who had started to find their feet after a poor opening to the game.
The Rams at least showed a little more going forward after going behind, and they went close on 35 minutes, Stephen Pearson picked the ball up midway in to the Everton half and was given to much time and his 25-yard shot produced a good low save from Tim Howard.
Everton continued to dominate after the break and Joseph Yobo`s header was inches away from extending their lead on 47 minutes, from a Cahill corner.
Davies brought on Robert Earnshaw and Steve Howard to bolster the Rams attacking options but it was Everton who pressed and doubled their lead on 62 minutes Pienaar was the provider playing a low ball into the box that the Rams defence failed to deal with and Yakubu skipped through unchallenged and hit a low left-foot shot past Bywater.
The Rams looked down but not out and they almost found a way back into things on 68 minutes Jay McEveley's 25-yard free-kick was blocked but fell kindly to Barnes, whose shot deflected off Earnshaw and went inches past the post with Howard beaten.
A disappointing display from the Rams and they have to bounce back quickly with a trip to Villa Park next week. Another problem for Davies was striker Kenny Miller, who limped off with a hamstring injury late on.
DERBY: Bywater, Mears, Davis, Moore, McEveley, Fagan (S Howard 61), Oakley (C), Pearson, Lewis (Earnshaw 61), Barnes, Miller (Jones 78).
SUBS: Price (GK), Leacock.
EVERTON: T Howard, Baines (Stubbs HT), Yobo (C), Lescott, Arteta, Jagielka, Cahill (McFadden 84), Pienaar, Osman, Yakubu (Anichebe 80), Carsley.
SUBS: Wessels (GK), Gravesen.
Referee - Steve Bennett
Rams boss Billy Davies
Davies admitted his side fully deserved to lose to a better side but vowed to bridge the quality gap by bringing in plenty of fresh faces in the new year transfer window.
He said: "We`ve got no excuses. We got beaten by the better side who showed much more quality than we showed, and in the end they fully deserved their victory."
Moyes hailed Yakubu, saying: "What we all know is when he gets through on goal he doesn`t miss and all we want him to do is score the goals he got for Portsmouth and
"Today he delivered with an impressive goal that took the pressure off us and a great dummy.
He showed intelligence and awareness and he is a better footballer than I thought.'