Article by @ramswriter
Derby travelled to The Den to face a Millwall team that was searching for their first win of the campaign. Derby looked to continue the momentum of their 2-0 win away at Oldham on Tuesday night. It wasn’t to be. Two goals for Millwall in the opening 20 minutes meant Derby had a mountain to climb. David Nugent gave them hope with 17 minutes to go but that was all it was, hope.
Derby reverted back to a 433 system and there was league debuts for Scott Malone and Jayden Bogle. Florian Jozefoon made his first league start coming in for the injured Harry Wilson.
Derby started the game well with Tom Lawrence testing the gloves of Millwall keeper Archer. It was Millwall though who scored first after 7 minutes. Millwall were awarded a soft free kick after a clumsy challenge from Tomori. From the resulting free kick, Shaun Williams found Jake Cooper, who’s touch found the bottom corner.
This lifted the hostile Millwall crowd, The Den was rocking and Millwall were feeding off this. Gregory and Saville both had chances to double the lead, and after 20 minutes Shaun Williams did that. Derby were slow playing out from the back and Bryson was dispossessed, the ball came to Williams who’s pop shot from distance bounced off the leg of Tomori and past Scott Carson.
Derby looked to get back in to the game but couldn’t create any clear cut chances thanks to the solid defending of Millwall. Aiden O’Brien should of made it 3-0 on the stroke of half time, but his shot from 6 yards out sailed over the bar.
Derby needed to change something in the second half if they were going to get anything out of the game. They were too slow in the first half and lacked any creativity. Craig Forsyth came on to replace Malone, who had picked up a knock.
Derby came out guns blazing in the second half. Craig Bryson found himself in some space at the edge of the box but couldn’t keep his shot down.
Gregory had another chance for Millwall but was thwarted by Carson and O’Brien saw another chance go begging. Derby were on top but couldn’t create any chances. Lampard decided to bring on Nugent and Bennett just after the hour mark.
Nugent set up Mason Mount but his shot flew inches wide. Derby did get the break through they were looking for. Craig Forsyth’s wonderful cross field pass found Nugent and he rifled the ball home from 18 yards.
Derby had silenced the Millwall fans, could they now find an equaliser with 17 minutes to go?
It was Saville who should of sealed the game for Millwall though. He received the ball 6 yards out but blazed his shot wide.
Lawrence and Nugent both had the chance to send Derby back up the M1 with a point but both were denied by Archer. It ended Millwall 2-1 Derby.
Lampard will have to look back on this performance and question why Derby were so slow in the first half. It was the same when they play Leeds and Reading. Derby did show good spells of what they are capable of in the second half, but this needs to be done over 90 minutes.
Ipswich at Pride Park on Tuesday night for the Rams. Will Lampard stick with 433 or will he go to a 4231 like he did against Oldham?