Derby 0-0 Blackburn: Goalless at Pride Park as Rovers hold Rams
Derby dominate but cannot find a way through in stalemate
Last Updated: 18/09/18 10:58pm
Derby were left ruing a series of missed opportunities as they were held to a 0-0 draw by a dogged Blackburn side at Pride Park.
The Rams hit the woodwork through Mason Mount and saw several efforts saved by Rovers goalkeeper David Raya and blocked by desperate defending as the visitors claimed a hard-fought point.
The suspended Tom Lawrence made way for Mason Bennett for the Rams with boss Frank Lampard, £2,000 lighter after accepting a Football Association misconduct charge, also opting to restore David Nugent and Craig Bryson to the starting XI in place of Martyn Waghorn and Tom Huddlestone respectively.
Rovers also made three changes, with Craig Conway, Kasey Palmer and Derrick Williams returning following their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.
It took 10 minutes for the first effort on either goal, with home winger Florian Jozefzoon heading Bennett's cross wide and then a minute later Mount crashed a shot narrowly past the post.
At the other end, Bradley Dack had Rovers' first sighter, toe-poking an effort harmlessly wide after capitalising on a mistake by Bradley Johnson.
Following an event-free 15-minute sojourn with neither side looking particularly threatening, Derby then produced a blistering five-minute spell in which they should have scored the opening goal.
Mount saw a 20-yarder deflected over and, from the resulting corner, Richard Keogh's fierce drive was blocked. Mount then had another effort diverted wide and the corner kick eventually reached Fikayo Tomori, who tried an audacious overhead that fell into Keogh's path, but his first-time shot was saved by David Raya.
Rams right-back Jayden Bogle then produced a brilliant surging run into the Rovers box, only to see his stinging drive pushed away by Raya, before the Spanish 'keeper then gathered Bennett's effort.
Rovers managed to ride out the storm, before Mount curled a free-kick just off target and then Raya was brought into action again, diving to his right to keep out Bennett's shot.
The woodwork came to Rovers' rescue inside five minutes of the second half, when Mount's stunning free-kick crashed off the bar and away to safety.
After all their pressure, Derby nearly succumbed to a rare Rovers breakaway as Dack was presented with a golden chance of firing the visitors ahead, but with the goal at his mercy he could not get the ball under control and proceeded to fire into the side-netting when it looked easier to score.
Derby 'keeper Scott Carson was finally called into action on the hour-mark when he got down low to save Adam Armstrong's daisy-cutter.
As Derby ran out of attacking ideas, Rovers finally became more of a threat and won their first corner after 80 minutes, but after this came to nothing, visiting sub Elliott Bennett had Carson sprawling, with the home 'keeper relieved to see the effort just flash past his right-hand upright.
Frank Lampard: "Mason was fantastic, it is how he has been playing for us every game. His free-kick was top class and his general play was creative, and workrate and passing were excellent. There is more to come from him. I think Gareth [Southgate] would have been impressed. Talking about young English players playing week in, week out, Mason is doing incredibly well as is Jayden Bogle - his performance in the first half was incredible.
"Mason is a great example of the loan system. Chelsea have a got a great young talent and him coming here helps both them and us, and he can do anything he wants. That's not to stay he will go in and be an England starter in their next game, as it's Gareth Southgate's choice, but whatever level you put him in, because of his quality, work ethic and mentality, he will do anything he wants to."
Tony Mowbray: "I think that's what we've done all season. To play Aston Villa on Saturday night and then come here, and not to have lost either game is quite a feat. Yes, you could see the gulf between the two teams, nobody is denying that, but I could have been sitting here slightly embarrassed if Dack had stuck that one in the net.
"Derby are a good team, they have invested a lot over the years, as have Aston Villa, but the best teams don't always win, that's football. What I would say about our team, it's got a huge spirit, a togetherness and a camaraderie. They refused to lose, competed for every ball. We didn't have the quality in possession they had and yet they didn't score and we could have nicked it."