Derby County's good run of form in the Championship continued as they beat Aston Villa 2-0 on Saturday afternoon at Pride Park.
The Rams were the better side in the first-half and deservedly went into half-time a goal up. However, the goal came in calamitous circumstances for the away side as Glenn Whelan's poor back-pass eventually resulted in Andreas Weimann having a tap-in against his former club.
It was a cagey affair in the second-half as Villa tried to find an equaliser but they could not breakdown Derby's resolute defence. Johnny Russell secured the points for the hosts in injury time as he slotted home past Sam Johnstone.
Weimann nets against former club to give Rams lead
Gary Rowett made two changes to his starting line-up for this one as Bradley Johnson and David Nugent came in for Tom Lawrence and Chris Martin. As for Villa, Steve Bruce opted to make four changes to his starting line-up with the biggest shock being the inclusion of Jack Grealish who made his first start of the season.
The Rams created a huge chance to open the scoring in the first minute of the game as Matej Vydra played Nugent clean through on goal but his shot was deflected wide following a superb last-gasp challenge. It was a very confident start from the hosts as they looked to get a foothold in the game early on.
The 32-year-old striker had another good chance to put his side ahead around 15 minutes in. Craig Forsyth whipped in a cross from the left-hand side and Nugent saw his header tipped over the bar by Sam Johnstone. It was another big chance for the Rams just as Villa had started to get themselves into the game.
It was the home side who eventually managed to get themselves into the lead around 24 minutes in. Whelan totally misjudged his back-pass to gift Vydra time and space in the area before he squared it across goal to Weimann for a tap-in to put his side 1-0 up. The Austrian striker certainly enjoyed finding the back of the net against his former club.
Villa did create a few chances to find an equaliser before half-time but were left frustrated by a resolute Rams defence. Grealish looked their biggest threat which came as somewhat as a surprise considering this was only his first start of the season. Their last chance of the first-half fell to Conor Hourihane but he could only fire his shot straight at Scott Carson.
This saw the Rams head into half-time with their one goal advantage intact in what was turning out to be a very evenly matched contest at Pride Park.
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It was the away side who made the brighter start to proceedings in the second-half as they continued to search for an equaliser. Albert Adomah's cross from the left-hand side eventually fell for Robert Snodgrass but his scuffed shot was cleared off the line by Richard Keogh.
The Rams captain had an opportunity to score himself on the hour mark but could only aim his header straight at Johnstone following Joe Ledley's free-kick delivery into the box. The 24-year-old keeper on loan from Premier League side Manchester United was having a very solid game for the away side.
Johnstone was called into action yet again around 10 minutes later. He had to be alert to tip Bradley Johnson's header over the bar following Chris Baird's corner. If it was not for Johnstone, the game could have been done and dusted heading into the latter stages.
Bruce decided to introduce Scott Hogan midway through the second-half and he had a chance to equalise with around 10 minutes to go. Ahmed Elmohamady whipped in a cross the right-hand side but Hogan could only glance his header wide of the target.
Villa threw absolutely everything at the home side in the latter stages but just could not find that elusive equaliser. Russell was then able to secure the victory for the Rams in injury time as he slotted home past Johnstone to make it 2-0 to sum up what was a frustrating away day for Villa.