2016-17 English League Championship, 2016/2017 English League Championship
  • Nicklas Bendtner (33' OG)
  • Tom Ince (55')
  • Will Hughes (64')

Derby revival continues as Nottingham Forest are beaten

Derby's revival under Steve McClaren gathered pace as they beat local rivals Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Pride Park.

Although Nicklas Bendtner was unlucky to put through his own goal in the first half, Derby underlined their superiority against one of McClaren's former clubs with second-half strikes from Tom Ince and Will Hughes.

It was a sixth straight league victory for the Rams and moved them into the top six for the first time this season.

Forest's four-match unbeaten run came to an end, and although they competed well in the first half, they created little as Derby kept a fourth consecutive clean sheet and a seventh in nine games since McClaren returned in October.

Forest probably sensed it was not going to be their day before a ball had been kicked when November's Championship Player of the Month Henri Lansbury was injured in the warmup and had to be replaced by Mustapha Carayol.

It was Carayol who threatened to open up Derby's defence with a powerful run that ended with a shot blocked by Richard Keogh before a flare-up involving Bradley Johnson and Ben Osborn in the ninth minute resulted in bookings for both players plus yellow cards for Darren Bent and Damien Perquis.

Bent was close to connecting with a low cross from Chris Baird before Marcus Olsson glided past a defender on the left but could not pick out a white shirt.

Carayol had a shot deflected behind when Forest broke dangerously in the 25th minute and Bent was lucky to stay on the field a minute later after catching Eric Lichaj with a late challenge.

The game had lacked quality so it was appropriate that the goal that gave Derby the lead in the 33rd minute was a scrappy one, with a flick-on by Johnny Russell from a corner ricocheting off Bendtner's head and past Vladimir Stojkovic.

Forest could count themselves unlucky but had a chance to equalise in stoppage time when the ball broke to Matty Cash 15 yards out but his shot lacked power and Scott Carson saved.

Bendtner almost scored a second own goal in the 52nd minute when he headed a free-kick against the bar but Derby made it two in the 55th minute when Baird's precise pass down the right allowed Ince to slip past Lichaj and turn inside Michael Mancienne before lifting the ball past Stojkovic from 12 yards.

Any chance of a Forest recovery vanished in the 64th minute when Hughes set up Russell, and although Stojkovic thrust out his right foot to make a great save, Hughes followed up to net the rebound.

English League Championship Standings

1 Norwich City 32 +20 67
2 Brentford 32 +25 60
3 Watford 33 +19 60
4 Swansea City 30 +19 59
5 AFC Bournemouth 33 +15 52
6 Reading 32 +7 51
7 Cardiff City 32 +14 49
8 Barnsley 31 +1 48
9 Middlesbrough 32 +3 46
10 Stoke City 32 +2 45
11 Millwall 32 +3 43
12 Bristol City 32 -11 42
13 Queens Park Rangers 30 -4 40
14 Nottingham Forest 33 -4 40
15 Preston North End 32 -8 40
16 Blackburn Rovers 31 +8 39
17 Derby County 32 -8 38
18 Luton Town 31 -11 38
19 Huddersfield Town 32 -9 36
20 Coventry City 32 -14 34
21 Birmingham City 32 -17 31
22 Rotherham United 30 -8 29
23 Sheffield Wednesday 31 -14 28
24 Wycombe Wanderers 31 -28 23