Derby County extended their unbeaten run to seven matches after contesting a hard fought 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers.
In a game largely dictated by the hosts, neither side forced any real goalscoring opportunities as both sets of midfields and defences came out well on top as the rain fell in Lancashire.
Particularly for large periods of the first 45 minutes, Derby soaked up pressure from their Lancashire opponents, sitting deep and holding Blackburn at arm’s length.
With that, chances for either side were few and far between. Chris Taylor, making his first league start of the season, was guilty of missing two of the clearest chances.
First, the wideman, unmarked, headed well wide from a corner, before he side footed another opportunity past the foot of the post after good work by Ben Marshall on the right.
The Rams’ clearest opening came on 18 minutes following a neat passage of play on the right, but Johnny Russell’s close range shot was crucially blocked by Shane Duffy for a corner.
Shortly after the half hour mark, Markus Olsson saw a teasing cross turned behind for a corner as the hosts continued to show more creativity.
The Rams’ only clean shot on target came through Tom Ince, picking the ball up in space in the middle before turning, driving, unleashing a low drive that was palmed away by Jason Steele in the Blackburn goal.
The flow of the contest continued in the same vein in the early stages of the second 45 minutes as Clement’s side seemed content to frustrate their hosts.
Corry Evans wasted a golden opportunity, shanking his first time shot high and wide after neat link up play with Jordan Rhodes and at the other end, Jacob Butterfield blazed over the bar after a half cleared corner.
From the latter, the contests only clear sight of goal came 10 minutes from time after patient saw the ball laid into the path of John O’Sullivan , the substitute, but after evading an incoming challenge, his deflected strike bounced, fortunately, into the arms of Carson.
Shortly after, Marshall, cutting inside from the right, shot tamely wide with a left foot swing and that proved to be the last of the chances in a tight and cagey encounter at Ewood Park.
Blackburn Rovers: Steele, Marshall (Spurr, 90), Duffy, Hanley (C), Olsson, Delfouneso, Evans, Akpan (Williamson, 84), Taylor (O’Sullivan, 76), Lawrence, Rhodes
Substitutes not used: Petshi, Nyambe, Lenihan, David Raya
Derby County: Carson, Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Warnock (Forsyth, 79); Thorne, Butterfield (Hanson, 71), Johnson; Ince, Russell, Martin (C) (Bent, 71)
Substitutes not used: Grant, Baird, Pearce, Weimann
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