Derby put on a show but fall to Chelsea


Derby 0-2 Chelsea – FA Cup 3rd Round

An FA Cup tie with Jose Mourinho’s giants – the elements, rain, wind and bitter cold air, were there for a classic upset. In the end, the Rams were outclassed but by no means disgraced. Missing the injured Craig Bryson was unquestionably a loss.

Here are some quick-fire points on the game.

Crowd

The scene prior to the game with the scarves aphoto_1[1]nd the flag on the far side to me was splendid to see. There was a sense of excitement.

More bumper crowds like this on a regular basis would be fantastic. Hopefully more of the attendees return more frequently, not just for the attractive fixtures.

Performance 

The Rams enjoyed a period of dominance in the first-half and looked real threats going forward. However, Derby struggled to test the Blues goalkeeper to his limit.

Defensively, the hosts largely held their own. Playing their own style and attempting to pass the ball around was fantastic but it didn’t work often enough. Although that’s the correct approach, I just felt that a bit more direct play would’ve been more suitable at times.

In addition to the earlier spell there was a further period of more offensiveness and control after the Premier League side’s second goal. During that spell Derby were unfortunate not to have scored.

Ultimately the gap in quality was clear.

Star men

photo_4[1]Jake Buxton, aside from not quite standing up to prevent Chelsea’s second goal, put in a captain’s performance.

Craig Forsyth both got forward and attacked with the same baptism of fire. His improvement since the appointment of Steve McClaren has been extremely pleasing as I was among the Scotsman’s doubters.

John Eustace put himself about and, at times, broke up the visitors’ rhythm. Jeff Hendrick, especially in the first-half, coped well.

Mason Bennett came on as a late substitute and looked very positive.

Bails is back 

Prior to yesterday, April 2012 was the last occasion in which James Bailey strutted his stuff in a Derby shirt. Ostracized by Nigel Clough and sent packing on loan to Coventry City, it was safe to believe that there was probably no way back for him into the first-team plans. Credit to him for persevering and obviously impressing the Mac.

As a sub in the game yesterday, the midfielder made a bright comeback and will no doubt be an extremely pragmatic operator to have in the team.

Smooth-talking Mourinho

photo_3[1]

Back to the league

Leicester City, current top dogs of the Championship, are next up for McClaren’s Rams on Friday night. Playing against the leaders will present a tough challenge. The Foxes have won their last five league outings.

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