Derby County 0-0 Bristol City: Stalemates keeps Robins in touch with Rams

Derby County and Bristol City played out a goaless draw at Pride Park.

Derby County 0-0 Bristol City: Stalemates keeps Robins in touch with Rams
The two teams couldn't break each other down (photo: Getty Images / Roland Harrison)

Both teams were left frustrated as promotion hopefuls Derby County and Bristol City played out a 0-0 draw at Pride Park

Decisive moment comes late

In a week where the new VAR technology in football has made a lot of headlines, it might well have cleared up the biggest talking point in this game.

Derby's debutant striker Cameron Jerome was at the centre of the controversy, as it appeared he was caught by Bristol City defender Aiden Flint in the box, but he was not awarded a penalty after a dramatic fall to the ground and was instead booked for a dive by referee Darren England.

Two top sides lacking quality

This game saw two of the Championship's top four teams and more entertaining sides clash, but this game ended up missing out on the type of quality in the final third of the pitch, which has put these clubs where they are in the league table. 

However, that's not to say both goalkeepers didin't have work to do in the match because both Scott Carson and Frank Fielding as well as his half time replacement Luke Steele did contribute to their clean sheets. The visitors had the first real chance in the game around the half hour mark when Richard Keogh misjudged a Bailey Wright cross from the right allowing Josh Brownhill to take aim at goal, but Curtis Davies made a great block.

The Robins then had a better chance just a minute later after a game of head tennis in the Derby box eventually led to Brownhill heading a ball down to the far post for an unmarked Jamie Paterson eight yards out only for him to blaze the ball over the bar.

Derby did grow into the game eventually and their two best chances of the first half came from direct free kicks. Matej Vydra was first to have a go from 25 yards with his low right foot effort being kept out by Fielding on his side of the goal to his right. Then from just a yard or two outside the area, Johnny Russell took aim with his left foot only to see his cracked effort smash off the crossbar.

Into the second half and Derby looked like the only team likely to go on and win the game, but they continued to lack the final finish and of course a big refereeing decision did not go their way. Bristol City had to change their goalkeeper at half time, with fielding having to go off with a groin injury and Luke Steele replacing him.

Steele was certainly not a hinderance on his team though, and in fact he was probably the biggest reason in the Robins coming away from a point. His two main saves came from Tom Lawrence high at the near post after Russell had got to the right byline and pulled the ball back and he then denied Vydra in a one on one situation with a great save low to his left. 

Rams manager Gary Rowett made a triple sub with 15 minutes to go, which included the arrival of Jerome at Pride Park, but despite him drawing contact from the Bristol City defence he could not set up or find a winner himself. Derby stay second with the draw and five points clear of the Robins in fourth, but Cardiff City could draw level on points with Derby if they beat Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.