Andreas Weimann’s first goal of pre-season sealed Derby County a well-earned draw with Villarreal in their penultimate fixture before the new season.

Andreas Weimann’s first goal of pre-season sealed Derby County a well-earned draw with Villarreal in their penultimate fixture before the new season.

The Rams’ fourth summer signing of the summer converted at the second time of asking shortly after the hour mark to cancel out Leo Baptistao’s opener in the first half.

Impressive from start to finish, Paul Clement’s side had the chance to record a hard-earned victory, but Darren Bent saw a late penalty saved at the iPro Stadium.

In front of a crowd of over 17,000 at the iPro Stadium, Derby County started on the front foot, taking the game to their Spanish counterparts with quick and incisive passing.

Weimann, particularly, looked bright during the first half and he nearly opened the scoring inside five minutes as he connected with Stephen Warnock’s raking diagonal pass, but generate enough power to carry the ball over Mariano Barbosa.

Sandwiched between that and a Tom Ince free kick that flew down the ‘keeper’s throat, Aleix Serrano bent his own set piece over the crossbar as the visitors grew into the contest.

On 27 minutes, the La Liga outfit opened the scoring through Baptistao who poked the ball after Lee Grant could only divert Antonio Rukavina’s effort into his path.

Just as they did in the first 45 minutes, Clement’s side came out in the second half strong after the Yellow Submarine made a raft of half time changes.

Chris Martin clipped a tame effort goalbound from Chris Baird’s tame cross into the arms of Alphonse Areola and soon after, Jeff Hendrick forced the substitute ‘keeper into a fine save from a free kick.

From a flowing move, Ince shot wide from Will Hughes’ fine cut back, whilst Hendrick sent a fizzing volley wide as Clement’s men continued to apply heavy spells of pressure on the opposition goal.

Shortly after the hour mark, Manuel Trigueros cracked the foot of Grant’s near post with a drive – a small reward for Derby’s efforts, but they rewarded further only a minute earlier.

A quick break down the left led to Martin slipping a pass through to Ince, who in turn found Weimann. The Austrian, cool and composed, saw his initial shot blocked before he buried his second effort into an unguarded goal.

With 12 minutes remaining, Martin saw an effort cleared off the line by Mario Gaspar after he rounded Areola and Alex Pearce headed wide from a corner as the Rams continued to create the better openings.

With six minutes remaining, though, David Coote, the referee, awarded Derby the chance to steal victory after Johnny Russell was hauled down in the area.

Darren Bent, who had been on the pitch a matter of a minute, spurned the opportunity, shooting tamely to his right, which was easily read by Areola, but a draw was the least the Rams deserved against a side who will be playing in the Europa League this coming season.

Derby County: Grant, Baird (C), Keogh, Pearce, Warnock; Thorne, Hendrick (Hanson, 68), Hughes (Ssewankambo, 81), Ince; Martin (Bent, 82), Weimann (Russell, 71)

Substitutes not used: Carson (GK), Mitchell (GK), Christie, Forsyth, Shotton

Attendance: 17,304

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