Jacob Butterfield grabbed a brace as Derby County outplayed Hull City and replaced them atop the Championship table.
His two first half goals, two first time efforts, one a long range volley, saw off the Tigers. Hull tried hard to get back into the game but it was to no avail and they drop to second and possibly fifth after the weekend's action has finished.
Derby enjoyed the best of the early football, with Hull 'keeper Allan McGregor making a superb string of saves to deny the visitors an early goal.
George Thorne fired a shot from just outside the box following a shoddy Hull clearance, which McGregor saved before Chris Martin's header from the resulting corner was stopped by the Scot. However shortly after the visitors broke the deadlock.
Derby Take Deserved Lead
It had been coming, as Sam Clucas misplaced his pass and it was run onto by the Derby man and following a neat exchange, the ball fell to Butterfield in the area, and his first time shot curled into the bottom corner.
Hull started to press more following going behind and a couple of ventures into the area resulted in nothing, with Richard Keogh doing brilliantly to deny Mohamed Diame when he turned in the area.
Butterfield doubled both his and Derby's goal tally with ten minutes of the first half remaining as Curtis Davies' clearance fell to the midfielder, who volleyed and watched his shot roll past McGregor, who arguably could have done more to stop it.
The Tigers were down but not out however, as an audacious shot from Tom Huddlestone tested Scott Carson before a nice move from Shaun Maloney fed Abel Hernandez, whose first time shot forced another save from the veteran 'keeper.
The home side were starting to show more urgency as the second half started. After a lovely cross along the ground into the Derby area, Hernandez failed to make real contact with the ball and yet another Hull chance went begging.
The Tigers were trying to get back into the game and try and salvage something, but the play in the final third was poor. Maloney cavred the Derby defence before cutting and shooting but his shot trickled wide of the goal.
Hull were on top though, and when the ball fell to Maloney in the area, his powerful shot was tipped over by Carson, however the referee pointed for a goal kick instead of the corner it should have been.
Derby caught Hull cold and with former Tiger Tom Ince free in the area, his first time effort went just wide and almost saw a scoring return to the KC from the midfielder.
Paul Clement's men secured the top spot in the Championship with Hull a point behind, but it was a real statement of intent from County. Only Hull's third defeat of the season and the first home defeat this season.