Derby 2-0 Preston: Frank Lampard's side cruise to victory
Derby win back-to-back home games in the Sky Bet Championship
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 25/08/18 6:51pm
Mason Mount scored his third goal of the campaign as Derby beat Preston 2-0 to record their best start for seven seasons.
The on-loan Chelsea midfielder struck with a low shot before Richard Keogh headed in a corner with goalkeeper Declan Rudd at fault for both.
Callum Robinson wasted a chance to put Preston ahead but the visitors lacked a cutting edge as Derby boss Frank Lampard celebrated a second home win in five days.
Preston made four changes after the midweek defeat at Norwich while Derby made only one to the team that beat Ipswich with Joe Ledley starting in place of the injured George Evans.
Derby began at a good tempo but the first opening fell to Preston in the 10th minute when Josh Harrop turned inside and found Lukas Nmecha but his shot from the edge of the box was straight at Scott Carson.
The play immediately switched to the other end when Jayden Bogle made a strong run down the right and set up Mason Bennett for a shot that struck team-mate Mount and looped over the bar.
Another quick break saw Tom Lawrence surge through the middle but Preston had a great chance in the 29th minute when Graham Burke ran in behind and cut the ball back to Robinson who hit Carson with a low shot from 12 yards.
Derby made a change a minute later when Bogle, who had fallen awkwardly, was replaced by Andre Wisdom but they went ahead in the 38th minute with former Preston striker David Nugent involved in the goal.
Nugent played the ball inside to Mount who checked before shooting from just inside the area and the ball squirmed under Rudd.
Preston had played well without testing Carson enough but they broke swiftly in the 47th minute with Burke curling a shot narrowly wide.
Derby brought off Ledley and had a chance in the 50th minute when Nugent slipped a pass to Bennett but Rudd saved and Nugent saw a 20-yard shot deflected behind.
Preston responded with a free-kick that was headed back for Burke to volley wide and Nmecha made a strong run that was halted on the edge of the box.
Nmecha was replaced along with Burke as Preston made a double change in the 68th minute but Derby scored again 10 minutes later with question marks over Rudd.
Mount's corner to the back post was headed down by Keogh and Rudd allowed the ball to squeeze past him.
Nugent almost scored against his old club for the first time in stoppage time with a long-range shot that sailed just over.
Frank Lampard: "They were getting a bit rough with [Mount] in the first part of the game, they were getting tough with him and I wanted him to react and the best way to react is with a goal so credit to him. He can be really good, he can be top, top level because he's 19 and plays with ability and quality, technically he's brilliant but also his work-rate shouldn't go unnoticed.
"He's so quick to leave midfield to go and press people whether it be defenders or deep-lying midfield players which makes you the all-round midfield player. He should never be considered a No 10 because there's so much more to his game but he'll score goals like a No 10. At some stage he will go back to Chelsea, I don't want to think about that now, but when he does I think he's going to be a contender."
Alex Neil: "The first goal was going to be a big factor in the game and I thought it came at a stage when we were on top. For the first 40 minutes of the match I was really pleased with how we performed and we nicked the ball in really good areas high up the pitch, but from that point onwards our quality in terms of breaking on them wasn't as good as it should have been.
"At the moment we are struggling to score goals and when you concede goals naturally the lads are going to be a bit disappointed."