Derby County’s impressive run of form in the Sky Bet Championship continued with a 3-0 home victory over Rotherham United.
Goals from Andreas Weimann and Jacob Butterfield had Derby two goals to the good at the break following a strong first-half performance.
Defender Richard Keogh added a third in the second half to round off the scoring and a good afternoon’s work for the Rams.
Derby have now won seven and drawn two of their last nine games and have lost just one of their 14 league fixtures.
Head Coach Paul Clement made one change to his starting XI from the 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town last Saturday.
Forward Tom Ince was ruled out with an ankle injury so Weimann came into the starting line-up after an impressive performance off the bench at the John Smith’s Stadium a week ago.
Derby were also boosted by the returns of Jeff Hendrick and Craig Bryson, who were named on the bench.
Hendrick had missed the Rams’ previous two games due to illness while Bryson picked up a knee injury on the opening day of the season at Bolton Wanderers.
Rotherham included a number of former Rams in their matchday squad with Lee Camp in goal while Paul Green and Chris Maguire were on the bench.
Continuing with Rams connection, On-loan Derby defender Farrend Rawson was unable to face his parent club and watched on from the stands with Kirk Broadfoot coming into the side in his place.
At a packed iPro Stadium Clement’s side attacked towards the Morley Hayes South Stand in the first period and, after just seven minutes, they took the lead with a fine and flowing move as they, not for the first time in recent weeks, started strongly.
Butterfield’s delicious through-ball down the left spotted Craig Forsyth’s excellent run forward from full-back and he, in turn, provided a fine cross into the six-yard box which Weimann fired into the roof of the net to open his account for the Rams.
It was the ideal start for the Austrian attacker, who has had to wait patiently for his opportunity to shine in a Rams shirt this season, with competition for places so strong, following his summer arrival from Aston Villa.
Rotherham did threaten an immediate response to the opening goal when Jonson Clarke-Harris lined up a volley towards goal from the edge of the box but Scott Carson saw the ball wide for a goal-kick.
However, it was Derby who were on top in the early exchanges and only a good save from Camp denied Butterfield, whose stinging drive from distance was arrowing towards the top corner.
Russell also had a chance to double the side’s lead after 20 minutes but, following another excellent move, he fired Cyrus Christie’s cross over the bar from around 12 yards out - while moments later another chance came and went as Weimann’s 25-yard strike went narrowly wide.
Derby’s pressure continued before and after the half hour with Bradley Johnson heading over and Weimann glancing another headed wide before the Rams doubled their advantage with a fine goal in the final minute of the half.
Butterfield, following a patient passing move, found enough space to take a touch and fire a low left-foot effort low beyond Camp’s outstretched left hand and into the bottom corner to, like Weimann, open his account for the club - after joining from Huddersfield Town on Transfer Deadline Day.
Seconds later the half-time whistle sounded and the midfielder’s strike proved to be crucial in giving the Rams breathing space as they returned to the dressing room following an impressive first-half display.
Weimann could have got his name on the scoresheet again early in the second half but he was denied by a goalline clearance from Danny Collins after superbly lobbing the onrushing Camp.
Rotherham pushed for a way back into the game but the Rams remained strong defensively and, although chances were limited compared to the first half, they remained in control of the contest.
Just after the hour Hendrick came on for George Thorne in midfield, who was cautioned in the first half and will as a result miss Tuesday’s home game with Queens Park Rangers after taking his total number of bookings this season to five.
Derby did eventually get a third goal following a corner with Keogh scoring his first goal since December 2013 with a right-footed finish from close range - only seconds after Chris Martin had hit the crossbar with a powerful free-kick from 25 yards out.
The woodwork was rattled again moments later as Keogh’s defensive partner Jason Shackell met Russell’s corner with a firm header, but he could only look on as a the ball hit the top of the bar and went behind for a goal kick.
With little doubt of where the points were heading as the game entered the final stages Derby saw the game out well and, pleasingly, recorded another clean sheet to maintain their strong defensive form this season.
Derby County: Carson; Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Forsyth; Thorne (Thorne 62), Johnson, Butterfield (Bryson 78); Weimann, Russell, Martin (Bent 77)
Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Baird, Shotton, Warnock
Rotherham United: Camp; Buxton, Broadfoot, Collins, Mattock; Newell (Green 46), Smallwood; D Ward, G Ward, Toffolo (White 62); Clarke-Harris
Substitutes Not Used: Collin, Richardson, Thorpe, Maguire, Bowery
Attendance: 30,172 (1,388 away supporters)
Tweets by @ dcfcofficial