Derby County 2-0 Swansea City: Rooney's Rams remain rampant
Wayne Rooney shouts some orders to the Derby County players | Image coutesy of Ashley Western/MB Media - Getty Images

Derby County continued with their remarkable turnaround in form to ease the pressure on the club which looked destined for relegation until Phillip Cocu's dismissal in November. Interim coaches Wayne Rooney and Liam Rosenior continued in charge and things look a lot brighter for The Rams, despite remaining in the relegation places on goal difference.

Swansea City could have moved within a point of joint leaders Norwich City and AFC Bournemouth, but could not find the form which had propelled the South Wales club to fourth place following Saturday's 2-0 victory over arch rivals Cardiff City.

  • Story of the match

Derby took an early lead after four minutes, when Graeme Shinnie's deep free kick was flicked on by Jason Knight and Colin Kazim-Richards was the quickest to react, side footing the ball home from six yards out.

Five minutes later, it was almost 2-0. Martyn Waghorn crossed the ball across the face of the goal, but Kazim-Richards was just beaten to the ball by Ryan Bennett with the goal at his mercy.

Derby kept up their high pressure style and Swansea couldn't catch a break. In the 20th minute, Krystian Bielik played in Knight, whose venomous 20 yard half volley looked destined for the top corner, but cannoned back off the upright.

The home side doubled their lead in the 37th minute through Kamil Jozwiak. Following good work down the right wing from Knight, his deflected cross found Waghorn inside the box, who laid it off for the Polish international to smash home with a brilliant finish from the edge of the box.

On the stroke of half time, a Derby corner led to Kazim-Richards almost making it 3-0 but his powerful header was denied by the crossbar. 

It was all Derby County in the first half, and The Swans needed to change something to stand any chance of finding a way back in. Manager Steve Cooper made a triple substitution at half time, with Kasey Palmer, Yan Dhanda and Ryan Manning all coming on to replace the ineffective Jay Fulton, Kyle Naughton and Jake Bidwell.

Swansea came out for the second half with a point to prove, but couldn't break down a solid Derby side who were working hard in every department. The Welsh side had no time on the ball and struggled to create anything fruitful when venturing forward.

Andre Ayew was booked for a bad foul on Lee Buchanan, with both players having to leave the field through injury, but both players were fine to continue shortly after.

It was Ayew who had Swansea's best chance to pull a goal back late on, but Andre Wisdom defended brilliantly to force the Ghanaian striker wide and his low shot was save comfortably from the rarely troubled David Marshall in goal. 

  • Takeaways

It was a fantastic first half from Derby and even 2-0 was a let off for Swansea. They really could not have had any complaints if the half time lead had been 4 or 5 goals to nil. 

The Rams were fired up and it is very evident that the players are fighting for each as well as the interim coaches. Rooney and Rosenior are doing a great job together and Derby will be hoping that continues after a run of good form.

For The Swans, it was an off day. They looked sharp and inventive against Cardiff last time out, but did not get out of neutral in this match. 

For how bad Swansea were, Derby were magnificent. Despite this result and previous good performances, they still find themselves in the relegation mix but if this form continues, they should soon start to climb the table.

  • Line ups

Derby County: Marshall, Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Buchanan, Knight, Bielik, Shinnie, Waghorn, Kazim-Richards, Jozwiak

Subs: Forsyth, Bird, Sibley, Roos, Evans, Holmes, Hector-Ingram, Stretton, MacDonald

Swansea City: Woodman, Naughton, Bennett, Guehi, Roberts, Smith, Fulton, Grimes, Bidwell, Lowe, Ayew

Subs: Manning, Benda, Gyoekeres, Routledge, Cullen, Dhanda, Garrick, Cabango, Palmer