Derby County fell to a 2-1 defeat to Bristol City under the lights at Pride Park Stadium on Tuesday evening.
It was the first defeat for Phillip Cocu’s side of the 2019/20 season as first-half goals from Andreas Weimann and Josh Brownhill sealed the victory for the Robins.
Jack Marriott came off the bench to open his account for the new campaign with a superb strike in the final minutes into the top corner to pull one back for the Rams.
Krystian Bielik made his first Sky Bet Championship start for the Rams, replacing George Evans in the starting line-up that faced Stoke City, while Mason Bennett came in for Florian Jozefzoon.
Weimann opened the scoring for the visitors on the 16-minute mark as Bristol capitalised when the Rams failed to clear the lines. Benik Afobe kept the attack alive for Kasey Palmer to bobble his shot into the path of the former Derby winger. Weimann then struck his effort into the far corner.
The Rams looked to quickly level the score. Tom Huddlestone picked out Bennett in the box and played him through with a pinpoint pass. The forward struck from close-range, but his effort was deflected over the cross bar.
From the resulting corner, Richard Keogh headed back across goal from the far post to Huddlestone who couldn’t quite reach for the tap in.
A fairly even game played out for the majority of the first-half, with the home side coming close again with just more than five minutes left of the half. Bennett flung a cross in from the right towards Tom Lawrence at the back post, but Daniel Bentley had it covered well and managed to get there before the winger.
Bristol managed to sneak in another just ahead of the break after a mistake at the back. The ball was crossed in to Brownhill who had time and space inside the area to rifle his shot past Kelle Roos.
Florian Jozefzoon came on after the break to replace Scott Malone as Derby moved to three at the back in an effort to push forward.
The visitors were prepared and with a comfortable lead, sat back to defend. In the early stages, Lawrence picked up a free-kick just outside the area but whipped his effort just over the crossbar.
With five minutes left to play, the Rams pulled one back through a stunning goal by substitute Marriott. Jozefzoon fed the ball to the frontman inside the area. After a brilliant first touch with his right foot, Marriott shifted to his left to curl into the top left corner.
The Rams were unable to break through again to find the equaliser but will look to bounce back quickly when they return to Pride Park on Saturday to face West Bromwich Albion.
Derby County: Roos; Lowe, Keogh (C), Clarke (Knight, 79), Malone (Jozefzoon, 45); Bielik, Huddlestone; Bennett (Marriott, 68), Dowell, Lawrence; Waghorn
Unused Subs: Hamer, Evans, Davies, Buchanan
Bristol City: Bentley; Moore, Kalas, Baker; Hunt (Pereira, 82), Massengo, Brownhill (C), Palmer (O’Dowda, 60); Weimann, Rowe; Afobe (Diedhiou, 70)
Unused Subs: Gilmartin, Szmodics, Semenyo, Eliasson