West Brom 1-4 Derby: Clinical Rams hit four to underline promotion credentials
Report and highlights as Derby thump West Brom at The Hawthorns
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 25/10/18 6:58am
Derby County produced a stunning display to thump West Brom 4-1 at The Hawthorns and move up to fifth in the Sky Bet Championship.
Frank Lampard's team followed up their impressive 2-1 win over Sheffield United with another demonstration of their promotion credentials as Jack Marriott (10) and Tom Lawrence (15) fired them into a 2-0 half-time lead.
Harry Wilson continued his fine form to fire in the third (51) before Scott Malone added a fourth with his first goal for over a year (71).
Jay Rodriguez pulled a goal back for the hosts (83) on a night to forget for Darren Moore's side, who missed the chance to go top and instead slipped to fourth, level on points with Derby.
West Brom: Johnstone (6), Gibbs (5), Bartley (5), Dawson (5), Adarabioyo (5), Phillips (5), Brunt (5), Field (5), Barnes (7), Gayle (5), Rodriguez (6).
Subs: Robson-Kanu (6), Morrison (6), Mears (6).
Derby: Carson (7), Bogle (7), Tomori (7), Keogh (6), Malone (8), Huddlestone (9), Wilson (8), Lawrence (8), Mount (7), Waghorn (7), Marriot (7).
Subs: Forsyth (N/A), Bennett (6), Nugent (6).
Man of the match: Tom Huddlestone.
West Brom made the brighter start as Harvey Barnes fed Rodriguez before the former Southampton striker cut inside and flashed a shot into the side-netting.
But Rodriguez was then at fault as his stray back-pass was pounced upon by Marriott, who slid his shot underneath Sam Johnstone to give Derby the lead with his third goal in as many league games.
Five minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead as Wilson won the ball in midfield before feeding Lawrence down the left. The Welshman used Malone as a decoy before cutting inside and bending his right-foot shot in off Johnstone's far post.
Sam Field and Matt Phillips came in for the suspended Jake Livermore and Tyrone Mears, who dropped to the bench for West Brom.
For Derby, Craig Bryson missed out through injury while Craig Forsyth dropped to the bench. In came Scott Malone and Tom Lawrence.
The Baggies came close when Rodriguez forced Carson into a smart save before they were denied a penalty with six minutes of the first period remaining when Dwight Gayle appeared to be clipped by Malone inside the box.
But six minutes into the second half, Derby extended their lead as Marriott laid the ball into Wilson's path for another trademark 25-yard strike from on the on-loan Liverpool midfielder.
Malone produced a brilliant goal-saving tackle to deny Hal Robson-Kanu, and moments later he capped a lung-busting run by taking Mason Bennett's pass and firing in Derby's fourth.
Many of the home supporters had already headed for the exits by the time Rodriguez received Barnes' pass to cut inside Fikayo Tomori and steer in a consolation as West Brom slipped to a second straight league defeat.
Darren Moore: "I thought it was a bizarre game. It was a slight mistake for the first goal, but we are a team. At 1-0, there were a couple of incidents that could've gone our way.
"The boy's got flagged for offside and Gayle is caught (in the penalty area) and those incidents changed the game. But take nothing away from Derby, they were very clinical in their finishing and they got the goals at important times."
Frank Lampard: "There were times when we didn't break as clinically as we could've done. I'm not a fool and of course we're going to be happy with a 4-1 win away to West Brom, but there are certainly things to improve.
"We've got a big game coming up at the weekend, but certainly we can enjoy this result."
Man of the match - Tom Huddlestone
The result looks emphatic, but Derby's surge to just two points off the top owed a lot to Huddlestone's work ethic, allowing the likes of Marriott, Lawrence and Wilson to wreak havoc.
Co-commentator Danny Higginbotham said: "He's been absolutely incredible, with the most passes in the match. He's set the tempo, as one of the senior players, he's allowed the others to go forward and express themselves."
Cool, calm and collected in possession, Huddlestone protected the two centre-backs in another outstanding performance from the experienced midfielder.
West Brom host Blackburn at The Hawthorns on Saturday hoping to bounce back while Derby visit Middlesbrough, live on Sky Sports Football, earlier that day (kick-off: 12.30pm).