Derby County 3-1 Cardiff City: Rams find feet to dent Bluebirds' Premier League hopes
Derby celebrate jubilantly after their second goal; Catherine Ivell.

Derby County 3-1 Cardiff City: Rams find feet to dent Bluebirds' Premier League hopes

Rams have given themselves a fantastic opportunity in solidifying a play-off place after two goals from Cameron Jerome and one from Matej Vydra.

DominicScottBone
Dominic Scott-Bone
Derby County CARSON; WISDOM, DAVIES, KEOGH, FORSYTH, OLSSON (VYDRA, MIN. 60); JOHNSON, HUDDLESTONE; WEIMANN (PEARCE, MIN. 87), LAWRENCE (HANSON, MIN. 87); JEROME.
Cardiff City ETHERIDGE; ECUELE MANGA, MORRISON, BAMBA, BENNETT; GUNNARSSON, RALLS, PATERSON; HOILETT(PILKINGTON, MIN. 74), WARD (WILDSCHUT, MIN. 74), MADINE (ZOHORE, MIN. 67).
SCORE0-1, MIN. 28, PATERSON. 1-1, MIN. 69, JEROME. 2-1, MIN. 82, VYDRA. 3-1, MIN. 90, JEROME.
REFEREEANDREW MADLEY (ENG). ADMONISHED PATERSON (MIN. 11), ECUELE MANGA (MIN. 53), BENNETT (MIN. 66), RALLS (MIN. 70).
INCIDENTSSKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH BETWEEN DERBY COUNTY AND CARDIFF CITY. THE GAME WAS PLAYED AT PRIDE PARK STADIUM.

A Cameron Jerome brace saw Derby County leapfrog into the Championship play-off places into sixth, as the Rams put a serious dent in Cardiff City's chances of automatic promotion to the Premier League

After Callum Patterson's 28th-minute opener, the hosts came from behind with three goals in the final 21 minutes to boost their chances of a top-six finish with just two games to play.

Matej Vydra netted between Jerome's double to secure the win for Derby County after a late goal flurry.

Rowett rings changes

Major changes were made by both Gary Rowett and Neil Warnock ahead of this tie. Andreas Weimann and Jerome replaced Derby's top goal-scorer's Matej Vydra (19) and David Nugent (8) respectively after their 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough last time out.

Lee Peltier, Kenneth Zohore and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing all dropped to the bench for Cardiff as Sol Bamba, Jamie Ward and Gary Madine stepped in. Craig Bryson was ineligible to play against his parent club so Paterson made his first start since injury.

Lively first half

Pulling and shoving was a common theme and both sides had realistic shouts turned down when Curtis Davies' shirt was tugged and Madine found himself on the floor.

Junior Hoilett had the best opportunity for his side. The Cardiff winger's strike however lacked composure after Madine's knockdown.

Tom Lawrence was offered Derby's greatest chance. Neil Etheridge though had other ideas and saved well after Weimann's surge past Bamba down the right-hand flank.

Despite shots on goal for both, the Rams were dominant in possession throughout. Unfortunately for Rowett it was Cardiff who managed to initiate a lead. The returning Paterson struck sweetly from a Joe Bennett cross, his fourth assist of the season, after Marcus Olsson's misjudgement.

A game of two halves

This game was beginning to trail into a dull interlude but Jerome and Vydra had other ideas in halting Cardiff celebrations.

The ex-Norwich forward turned his man to find himself on the end of a Richard Keogh through ball, it was just the composure that was needed, and the experienced striker was completely unfazed as the smallest of connections trickled the ball past Etheridge and agonisingly into the Cardiff net.

It was then the substitute Vydra that stepped up to the plate for his 20th goal in the Championship. The Czech international smashed home an Andre Wisdom cross to make it 2-1 to the Rams.

Jerome then found himself through on goal once again in the 90th minute, and once again his composure remained intact. A louder roar from the crowd had not been heard all season at Pride Park as the Rams frontman guaranteed all three points.

What this now means

Derby were unable to take full advantage of their two games in hand over all promotion rivals bar Cardiff, after losing to Middlesbrough. However a win this evening moves Rowett's Rams into sixth with a super opportunity of clinching a play-off spot.

Cardiff still remain second which will mean automatic promotion, but Fulham sit just one point behind Warnock's side with two games to go. Two wins are a must if they are to definitely move up to the Premier League.

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