Last night the Rams met Reading for a place in the League Cup last 16. Only one side really looked like winning and that was Derby.
It was a 2-0 win, through a great Johnny Russell strike and an own goal, along with a good all round performance. You can’t ask for much more than that.
The common denominator of both goals is that Chris Martin created them. For the first one he slipped the ball into Russell’s path and, for the second, it was his cross that was turned in by the Reading defender.
Steve McClaren made many changes for this, including handing Kelle Roos his debut. The young goalkeeper did everything asked of him and made some smart saves. An excellent, competent debut, so much so that the South Stand faithful shouted “Roooooooos” every time he was involved.
Roos had an alert defence in front of him with Ryan Shotton slotting in at centre-half. He is certainly an option there.
Also coming into the side was Omar Mascarell. The loanee was hugely impressive, he anticipated the game well and made some intelligent interceptions and passes. He seemed to be everywhere and his performance should, I would think, be enough to get him a starting place on Saturday at Bolton.
In fact, the whole of the midfield had a good game and ran the show for much of the game with many typically neat passes through long spells of dominance.
Jordan Ibe caught the eye on more than once occasion. I was eager for him to start as he impressed as a sub at the weekend. He is such a tricky, unpredictable player and he offers something different to Ward and Russell; he can be very effective at running with the ball at the opponents, taking the game to them. Some of his twists and turns were delightful to watch.
Leon Best began ahead of Chris Martin and he got involved but the difference was clear when Martin entered the match.
The Rams didn’t quite manage the same amount of possession as Saturday (73%!), it was split at 50 each. That isn’t a reflection though. Derby had the quality and it prevailed.
Onto the next round. A big side or a nice quiet draw? I’d go for a quiet draw so we can march on. Anything close to 2009 would be great!