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Derby County suffered only their fourth home defeat of the season as they were beaten 1-3 by Bristol City.

Former Ram Andreas Weimann gave the visitors the lead in the opening 10 minutes as he beat the offside trap to put Bristol City ahead, whilst it was two before the break as Antoine Semenyo capitalised on an error in the defence as he fired home to make it 2-0.

Derby rallied and pulled a goal back on the hour mark through Craig Forsyth’s headed finish, but with 10 minutes remaining, Bristol City would make sure of the points as Tim Klose headed the third of the game.

Manager Wayne Rooney named an experimental side for the clash with the Robins as he handed a full senior debut to Under-23s striker Bartosz Cybulski, whilst Louie Watson almost made his first start since the season opener against Huddersfield Town.

With relegation confirmed on Easter Monday following the defeat against Queens Park Rangers, all eyes were on the players to see how they would react to that setback.

And it didn’t start well for the Rams as they fell behind on 10 minutes. It would be two former players who combined as Chris Martin laid through Weimann, who had beaten the offside trap, and he fired past Ryan Allsop to give the visitors the lead.

Derby needed a response, and it took them until midway through the half to create their first chance of the game. Malcolm Ebiowei and Ravel Morrison played a neat one-two, the latter shot towards goal but the ball was diverted over the bar by Cybulski.

In a game of little chances, it would be the visitors who doubled their lead later in the first half as Semenyo dispossessed Stearman in defence before firing past Allsop in the Rams’ goal.

But, Derby had a golden opportunity to hit back straight away, but unfortunately could not take their chance. A long ball forward found Craig Forsyth who got to byline on the left-hand side, he crossed for Cybulski who was free six yards out, but the striker headed over the crossbar.

Morrison forced a good save from Robins goalkeeper Dan Bentley before the break, as the stopper palmed away his fierce effort, but Derby went into half time interval needing an improvement in the second half if they were to get back into the game.

And they certainly improved in the second half, with Rooney’s words ringing in their ears. It did take some time to get going, as the Rams had to wait until the hour mark for the game to come alive. Louie Sibley and Luke Plange were introduced to add some energy into the Rams’ attack, and a minute later, Derby had reduced the arrears.

The ball found Ebiowei on the right-hand side, he cut inside and delivered an inch-perfect cross for the onrushing Forsyth at the back post and the defender made no mistake from close range to pull a goal back for the Rams.

But, at the other end, they had to be wary as Bristol City went close to regaining their two-goal advantage. Semenyo was denied by the legs of Allsop before Bell’s rebound was diverted goalwards by Weimann but his deft flick went wide of the post.

Derby looked a lot more threatening in attack, with Sibley putting himself about whilst Ebiowei dazzled with his skill as he got supporters off their feet. He managed to trick his way past three Bristol City challenges and shot but his effort went wide of the post.

However, the visitors made the points safe in the final 10 minutes of the game as Klose headed home a third. A long free kick from midfielder Matty James found the defender in the box and he guided past Allsop to make it 3-1.

And, had it not been for Allsop, the scoreline could have been more for the visitors as he denied Semenyo once again with a smart stop as time ticked down. Rooney did introduce Under-18s midfielder Darren Robinson for his senior debut on 82 minutes but the Rams could not get back into the game and fell to their fourth home defeat of the campaign.

Derby County: Allsop, Byrne, Forsyth, Bird (Robinson 82’), Morrison, Stearman, Ebiowei, Davies (C), Watson (Knight 82’), Thompson (Plange 59’), Cybulski (Sibley 59’).

Substitutes: Roos, Buchanan, Richards.

Bristol City: Bentley (C), Atkinson, James, Williams (King 86’), Martin, Weimann, Semenyo, Cundy, Klose, Scott (Bell 22’, Massengo 77’), Benarous (Idehen 72’).

Substitutes: O’Leary, Wells, Conway.

Attendance: 22,753 (1,044 visiting supporters)

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