Report from DERBY COUNTY 4-0 STOKE CITY as ruthless Rams turn on the style

Wayne Rooney was in fine form against Stoke. Photo: Getty Images
Wayne Rooney was in fine form against Stoke. Photo: Getty Images

This Rams display went to the top of the list of what they've produced so far this season and their fans might say it's about time.

Even with a strong home record they've been more efficient than eye-catching at Pride Park but on this occasion, helped by two separate quick-fire doubles, they looked inspired throughout and put a disappointing Stoke to the sword in style.

Wayne Rooney curls his free-kick into the net. Photo: Getty Images

Wayne Rooney curls his free-kick into the net. Photo: Getty Images

Wayne Rooney stood out, as did Duane Holmes and Jayden Bogle, but it was hard to pick fault in anyone in a Rams shirt and that's not something many have been able to say much during this campaign.

The key now will be to build on it, particularly away from home where their form continues to baffle when compared to that on their own patch, but Phillip Cocu will take plenty of heart from this encounter as he looks to enforce this kind of effort on a more regular basis.

Stoke had the first effort of note six minutes in with Sam Clucas flashing an effort across the goal and wide of the far post, then Tommy Smith found the hands of Ben Hamer at the near post after good inter-play with Nick Powell down the right.

The Rams didn't fashion a chance until the 21st minute but it brought them the lead. Craig Forsyth was found by Martyn Waghorn out on the left byline and his hooked cross was dummied by Tom Lawrence and Waghorn's diving header found the net as he arrived 12 yards out.

Two minutes later the Rams' second chance doubled their lead. This time Duane Holmes broke free in midfield and threaded the ball through to Chris Martin who hit an unstoppable shot past Jack Butland and into the roof of the net.

Derby were in the mood, Lawrence arrowing a shot just wide on 29 minutes from around 25 yards out, before Stoke responded with James McClean being freed just to the left of the penalty area but a poor first touch was followed by seeing his low shot pushed over the top by the diving Bogle's challenge.

Waghorn then put a shot from a tight angle over the top from Rooney's threaded ball through before Tom Ince's low drive at the other end was deflected just wide and half-time arrived with the Rams well in control but still needing to kill their visitors off.

As with the first-half, it took 20 minutes of the second for either side to really look like they'd score and once again it was Derby who eventually did. Lawrence was brought down right on the edge of the penalty area by Josh Tymon, Rooney stepping up to float the free-kick round the wall and into the top corner of the net.

And it wasn't long before they completed their second double whammy of the game. Rooney again was the catalyst as he won the ball in the middle and found Bogle out on the right and he made the angle for a shot before arrowing a powerful effort into the far corner despite a touch from Butland.

That would be that, as the hosts saw the game out with few alarms and threatened a fifth on occasion, but it was job firmly done.

Derby: Hamer, Wisdom, Forsyth, Waghorn (Davies 73), Lawrence, Clarke, Martin (Shinnie 66), Holmes, Rooney (Marriott 76), Bogle, Bird

Subs not used: Roos, Knight, Malone, Whittaker

Stoke: Butland, Smith, Batth, Lindsay, Tymon (Verlinden 66), Allen, Clucas, Ince, Powell (Thompson 75), McClean, Vokes (Gregory 75)

Subs not used: Davies, Diouf, Cousins, Collins

Ref: Robert Jones

Att: 27,984