Derby County 1-0 West Brom: Colin Kazim-Richards scores the only goal of the game to keep the Rams’ hopes of avoiding relegation alive
- Derby County beat West Brom 1-0 on Monday evening at the Pride Park Stadium
- It was Colin Kazim-Richards who scored the only goal of the game on Monday
- The Rams started the day 17 points adrift at the bottom of the Championship
- Today’s victory has narrowed that gap to 14, and with 23 games still to play
It will take the greatest of escapes for Derby to avoid relegation to League One but that seemingly impossible task is a step closer after a 1-0 victory over promotion hopefuls West Brom.
The Rams started the day 17 points adrift at the bottom of the Championship. But today’s victory has narrowed that gap to 14, and with 23 games still to play, Wayne Rooney’s side are very much still in the fight.
It will still be a tough ask to avoid the drop. Only three teams have stayed up after being bottom at Christmas and no club who have been more than four points from safety has survived. But Derby have shown resilience countless times this season and they took three points here despite missing their top scorer Tom Lawrence due to Covid isolation.
Derby County beat Bromwich Albion 1-0 on Monday evening at the Pride Park Stadium
It was Colin Kazim-Richards (left) who scored the only goal of the game on Monday
Kazim-Richards found the back of the net in the 58th minute of the game against West Brom
They needed a late Christmas present from their opponents with a disastrous mix-up from Sam Johnstone and Cedric Kipre gifting Colin Kazim-Richards the only goal of the game.
West Brom have now won just two of their last eight games and have scored just once in their last three. That is not the sort of form that wins you an automatic promotion place and it is no surprise they have scored 21 fewer goals than league leaders Fulham. The absence of leading scorer Karlan Grant and Alex Mowatt due to positive Covid tests did not help them here and it was a painfully familiar story as they struggled to find a cutting edge, despite dominating possession.
Wayne Rooney’s side started the day 17 points adrift at the bottom of the Championship
The Rams’ victory has narrowed that gap to 14, and with 23 games still to play this season
Grady Diangana tested Rams goalkeeper Ryan Allsop early on before Jake Livermore had a shot blocked from close range.
Their best chance of the half came just before the break when Livermore played Callum Robinson through on goal, but the striker could only fire a low shot straight at Allsop.
West Brom did have the ball in the net early in the second half when Kyle Bartley headed in Adam Reach’s free-kick but the defender was adjudged to have been in an offside position. It was a tight call and one which had consequences as Derby took the lead moments later.
Kazim-Richards had only been on the pitch for 60 seconds when he benefitted from a calamitous misunderstanding between Cedric Kipre and Sam Johnstone.
Grady Diangana tested Rams keeper Ryan Allsop early on before Jake Livermore had a shot
The England goalkeeper had needlessly come rushing out of his goal to meet a sliced Jayson Molumby clearance when Kipre had the situation under control. But irked by Johnstone’s rashness, the defender tried to head the ball back to his team-mate – who was outside of his box. The keeper could only head the ball away as far as Kazim-Richards, who gratefully slotted the ball into an empty net.
Substitute Jordan Hugill went close to levelling when he connected with Tom Fellows’ cross from the right but his effort flew just wide.
Allsop then made a brilliant save in the final minute to keep out Bartley’s header from point-blank range.
Derby (3-5-2): Allsop, Byrne, Davies, Stearman, Forsyth, Ebosele (Cashin 87), Bird, Knight, Thompson, Baldock (Morrison 57), Plange (Kazim-Richards 57)
Subs not used: Marshall, Sibley, Watson, Williams
Booked: Davies, Thompson, Stearman
Goals: Kazim-Richards 58
Manager: Wayne Rooney
West Brom (3-4-3): Johnstone, Furlong (Gardner-Hickman 76), Kipre, Bartley, Clarke, Townsend, Livermore, Molumby, Diangana (Hugill 63), Reach (Fellows), Robinson
Subs not used: Button, Ajayi, Tulloch, Ashworth
Manager: Valerien Ismael
Referee: James Linington