Derby County have recorded their largest win of the Sky Bet Championship season, routing Stoke City 4-0 through four different goal scorers. The Rams scored a pair of goals either side of halftime to move up to 13th in the table. The Potters saw their run of four games unbeaten snapped to remain 21st, two points above the relegation zone, with their worst defeat for two years.
Derby cruise to win, heaping more pressure on Stoke
The game started tamely as the two sides were trying to feel each other out. Sam Clucas posed the biggest threat for Stoke, going wide with his first effort and seeing Jayden Bogle blocking his second. Derby struck first in the 21st minute, the visitors not dealing with a cross from Craig Forsyth, the ball falling to Martyn Waghorn, who beat Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland with a diving header for his ninth goal of the season.
The Potters were in further trouble just three minutes later, Duane Holmes with a sensational run to feed Chris Martin, who belted a shot that beat Butland to double the home side's lead. The damage could have been worse, but the Potters's keeper came to the rescue, punching away Bogle's cross and Tom Lawrence rushing a shot that went wide. Joe Allen's long-range effort was straight at Ben Hamer, indicative of Stoke's lack in quality.
Tom Ince fed James McClean, who was wide open with four minutes to play in the half, but Bogle blocked his shot. Derby's third came with a touch of class from Wayne Rooney. Lawrence was brought down as he made a run towards the Stoke box before he was brought down by Josh Tymon. Rooney stepped up to take the free kick and spectacularly curled into the top right corner, putting the game out of reach.
Less than ten minutes later, the hosts bagged a fourth, Rooney turning provider as he sent the outstanding Bogle clean through and the defender rocketed a shot past Butland to complete the hosts' misery. The Potters had one final chance to nab a consolation goal, Allen fouled by Graeme Shinnie. Clucas sent the ensuing free kick straight into the Rams' wall to sum up the day and class between the two sides.