Derby County fell to a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa at Pride Park Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship to head into the international break.
The Rams were energetic in the opening half creating an abundance of chances but went able to convert with Tom Lawrence, Harry Wilson and Jack Marriott all coming close.
Aston Villa fought back in the second-half however with goals from John McGinn, Tammy Abraham and Conor Hourihane handing Derby their first league defeat after a six-game unbeaten run.
It was a lively opening to the match with a promise of an entertaining physical battle to ensue.
It was the visitors who got the first look at goal when Albert Adomah intercepted a pass from the back and floated the ball across to Jonathan Kodjia at the far post who glanced his header over.
Still inside the opening ten minutes and it was over to the Rams to go on the attack. Their high-press looked to cause problems when Mason Bennett nicked the ball on the edge of the box and fed out to Tom Lawrence, but his effort was just over.
It was Lawrence again moments later who called Orjan Nyland into action after Richard Keogh lobbed clever pass down the pitch to find the winger on the left.
His Wales teammate, Harry Wilson blasted in a superb effort from 35-yards out that whistled past the traffic and drew a strong save by Nyland.
Villa who had so far held strong to Derby’s attack then forged out their own opportunity, but Scott Carson was there with a strong hand to deny Tammy Abraham’s powerful header from the left.
The Rams were unfortunate not to be ahead five minutes from the break after a flurry of chances. Marriott chased down a through ball to go one-on-one with Nyland. Marriott’s shot deflected off the Villa keeper to the feet of Wilson who’s first time effort was cleared off the line back to him only for his second attempt to be saved.
The final minute of the half saw another chance for Lawrence when he slipped behind his marker to control ball through from Marriott down to his feet to fire just over.
Villa picked up the pace following the break with Abraham proving to be a force up front. Although his Chelsea teammate, Fikayo Tomori was handling the forward well. He did manage to find the net from close range, but was called offside then minutes later he header over.
The visitors found the lead with just over 15 minutes to play when McGinn headed home from close range from Yannick Bolasie’s cross from the left.
Villa doubled the lead when McGinn turned provider, again whipping in from the left, this time for Abraham to find the back of the net.
The lead grew further when Hourihane curled in a free-kick into the top left corner past Carson.
The Rams couldn’t find an answer and Villa left Pride Park with three points.
Derby County: Carson; Bogle, Keogh (C), Tomori, Forsyth (Nugent, 80); Wilson, Huddlestone, Holmes (Malone, 70); Bennett (Jozefzoon, 51), Marriott, Lawrence
Unused Subs: Roos, Johnson, Davies, Bird,
Aston Villa: Nyland; Hutton, Tuanzebe, Chester (C), Taylor (Elmohamady, 46); Adomah, McGinn, Hourihane, Kodjia (Bolasie, 70); Grealish; Abraham (Hogan, 87)
Unused Subs: Bunn, Whelan, Jedink, Bjarnason,
Derby County have a break in action for the third international break. However, several Rams have been called up for international duty. Richard Keogh will be away with Republic of Ireland, Harry Wilson and Tom Lawrence have again be called up for Wales while Fikayo Tomori will represent England Under-21s.
The Rams will return to Sky Bet Championship action following the break with back-to-back away games, starting with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday 24th November before taking on Stoke City on Wednesday 28th November.