Millwall 2-1 Derby: Lions hold on to see off Frank Lampard's side
Millwall claim first Championship win of the season
Last Updated: 18/08/18 7:12pm
Two first-half goals secured Millwall their first three points of the season as they saw off Derby 2-1, despite facing a late rally from Frank Lampard's side.
Derby started the brighter and created the best chance in the opening exchanges. Tom Lawrence went close with an early free-kick - only to be denied by Millwall keeper Jordan Archer.
It was Millwall who took the lead in the seventh minute when Shaun Williams fired in a free-kick from the right-hand flank, which took numerous deflections but was eventually guided home by Lee Gregory.
The home side built on their momentum with George Saville firing just over Scott Carson's bar. But Millwall did double their lead on 20 minutes with Shaun Williams capitalising on some poor Derby defensive work to fire home from long range.
Derby pushed for a reply instantly, with Lawrence firing into the side netting as well as crashing a free kick into the wall.
Derby's Bradley Johnson saw his header sail wide while Gregory fell foul of the offside trap- or so he thought - as he halted his run before the whistle had even been blown.
Derby opted to change their shape in the second half with Craig Forsyth replacing Scott Malone, and this eventually led to a sustained period of attacking pressure from Derby.
Craig Bryson fired a volley high over the bar early into the second half. Martyn Waghorn then had the ball in the back of the net after being played through neatly, but saw his effort ruled out for offside.
With 20 minutes to go Mason Mount dragged a shot wide, but just minutes later David Nugent found a way back into the game as he fired a long-range effort home from 30 yards.
Millwall had an opportunity to put the game to bed with Steve Morison failing to convert when it would have been easier to score.
As the game neared the end Derby ramped up the pressure with Jordan Archer remaining strong despite consistent airborne pressure on his goal.
Lawrence went close for the visitors, testing Archer with a deflected volley from inside the area. Lawrence continued to press for an equaliser but was unable to get an effort on target.
Despite constant Derby pressure it was Millwall who had the final say, with George Saville sending a gilt-edged chance past the post.
Neil Harris: "With the level of analysis in all football nowadays, but certainly in the Premier League and Championship, you know exactly what to expect from the opponent. All you don't know is what the teamsheet is going to be.
"You know exactly who does what, how they play. We knew exactly what Derby were going to do. It's difficult executing the game plan for 90 minutes. We did it brilliantly for 45. The last half hour we got tired. Derby did it for probably 60 minutes against us but not for the first half hour. That's the battle."
Frank Lampard: "We knew what to expect from Millwall. They are very effective at what they do. We deserved a draw. But it's always difficult when you are 2-0 down, because you become desperate as the game goes on. I'm not pointing fingers, we knew balls were going to be firing into our box, but as a group we need to deal with them and clear them.
"There is a bit of a lottery with Millwall, you can try and win the lottery by getting close to people by clearing your lines and digging in. This atmosphere in this stadium is one of those that when with the home team - it is massive."