Derby County were held to a goalless draw by Swansea City in their 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship season opener at Pride Park Stadium.
It was a promising performance by Phillip Cocu’s squad in his first competitive game in the dugout at home for the Rams as they looked pacey on the attack and handled any threats by the Swans well.
Martyn Waghorn looked to put the home side ahead just before half-time, but his penalty kick effort was denied by Swansea’s keeper, on-loan from Newcastle, Freddie Woodman.
Deadline day signing, Jamie Paterson made his Derby debut, replacing George Evans at half-time, before Jayden Bogle was forced to leave the pitch early with an injury. Richard Keogh picked up his 350th appearance in a Derby shirt.
The Rams were in control from the opening whistle and dominated possession for large spells but struggled to create concrete chances.
It was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock first as Mike van der Hoorn headed wide at the back post from the corner.
As Derby continued to look fierce on the attack, Waghorn was brought down in the area and Tom Lawrence fired well over the cross-bar after the referee waved on play. The Rams’ No. 9 struck a half-volley inches wie after a brilliant ball into the area by Bogle.
The young right-back was amongst the action again with just minutes to spare ahead of the break as he drove in to the area and was brought down. This time, the Australian referee blew his whistle. Waghorn stepped up and hurtled his spot-kick effort towards the bottom right corner.
The shot called for a good save, which Woodman produced as he stretched to meet the striker’s effort.
It was the Kelle Roos turn to pull out a save on the stroke of half-time when he batted away a close-range effort by Borja Baston from the left. The half-clearance led to another chance for the Swans by Bersant Celina, but it was a comfortable catch for Roos.
Less than ten minutes after the restart there was a double-chance for the Rams. Florian Jozefzoon curled an effort towards the bottom left corner which Woodman palmed away towards Scott Malone who ran on to the ball and dragged his shot wide.
The Rams continued to enjoy large portions of possession in the second-half. After good movement of the ball around the team with 15 minutes left to play, Malone whipped in a cross from the left which Waghorn mishit and was a comfortable save for Woodman.
Despite a positive display by the Rams clear-cut chances were hard to come by and they picked up a point in their first home game of the campaign.
The Rams will take a break from league action and briefly turn their attention to the Carabao Cup on Tuesday when they face Scunthorpe United.
Derby County: Roos; Bogle (Lowe, 54), Keogh (C), Clarke, Malone; Huddlestone, Evans (Paterson, 45), Dowell; Jozefzoon (Marriott, 80), Waghorn, Lawrence
Substitutes: Shinnie, Hamer, Bennett, Davies
Swansea City: Woodman; Roberts, van der Hoorn, Rodon, Bidwell; Fulton, Grimes (C); Dyer (Peterson, 62), Celina, Alulu (Dhanda, 68); Baston (Surridge, 68)
Substitutes: Nordfelt, Wilmot, Naughton, Byers