Jacob Butterfield’s sublime volley proved to be in vain as Derby County fell to a 4-1 defeat at Burnley.
The Rams midfielder struck 26 seconds after Richard Keogh’s own goal gifted the Clarets their opener, but Sean Dyche’s side struck three times in the second half to seal victory.
Andre Gray converted from the penalty spot after he had been hauled down, before Sam Vokes repeated the trick minutes later.
An out of luck Derby fell further behind as Scott Arfield’s heavily deflected strike looped over Scott Carson to rub salt in the visitors’ wounds.
The defeat meant Paul Clement’s side, without a win in five games, were leapfrogged by Burnley and dropped to fifth in the Sky Bet Championship standings.
It’s a result that nobody would have predicted at the break after Derby delivered a superb first half showing in which a 1-1 draw was the very least they deserved.
Clement’s side made the brighter start in Lancashire and were quick to test Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal.
Chris Martin, restored to the Rams’ attacking line-up, saw a scuffed shot saved by the Clarets’ Captain after the hosts failed to deal with Jacob Butterfield’s deep free kick from the left.
Tom Ince was also denied by the England international shot stopper after he cut inside from the right and stung his palms.
The Rams enjoyed a lot set piece opportunities during the first 20 minutes at Turf Moor as they continued to hold a tighter grip of the contest. Jason Shackell was next to try his luck as his looping header just cleared the crossbar.
Derby’s shape across the park was impressive, as was their retention of the ball and strength off it and all that was missing from their commanding start to the game was a goal.
Shortly before the half hour mark, it did come, not for Derby, though, as Burnley hit them with sucker punch against the run of play.
Worked out to the right, Matthew Lowton collected possession and whipped a dangerous ball into the box that hit the unfortunate Keogh and deflect into the far corner of Scott Carson’s goal.
Rather than wilt, however, Derby hit back immediately as Butterfield recorded his latest stunning strike in Rams colours.
This time from the left, the ball was thrown into Martin, who showed great awareness to flick the ball over the head of an incoming defender and pass the ball into the feet of Butterfield. The midfielder, with no time to take a touch, beat his nearest challenger to the dropping ball and hit a sweet volley that Heaton could do nothing about.
After Andre Gray saw a half volley go agonisingly wide soon after, Clement’s side more clear cut chances as they sought to edge in front.
Nick Blackman, particularly, went close on two occasions – the first he saw deflected over the crossbar before he poked over again from close range.
With the contest more open, Burnley looked a threat on the break. Sam Vokes drove a firm shot straight into the arms of Carson, but Derby went into the break having been the far better side.
Eight minutes into the second half, though, and Sean Dyche’s side hit the Rams with another sucker punch as they scored two quick goals from the penalty spot.
Weaving his way in and out the visitors’ backline, Gray was upended by Keogh, leaving Michael Oliver, the referee, no alternative that to award the spot kick – which the forward dispatched beyond Carson.
Soon after it was 3-1, a handball from Shackell resulting in another free shot on goal, which Vokes assumed control of with the outcome being the same as Gray’s goal.
Burnley were not done either, though, as they compounded a miserable 12 minute spell for Derby by adding a fourth goal, which was just as fortunate as their opener.
Nice play in the middle of the park created the opening as Burnley bypassed the Rams’ midfield and Arfield assumed control of the ball. From range, he took aim and his drive took a heavy deflection of Shackell and looped over Carson and into the back of the net.
To their credit, Derby continued to try and create openings as they continued to have the better of the possession statistics.
Ince dragged a right foot shot just wide of Heaton’s far post after showing neat foot work, whilst at the other end, Gray and David Jones forced Carson into saves.
Whilst they huffed and puffed, Clement’s men failed to test Heaton again as their run without a league win was extended to five in Lancashire.
Burnley: Heaton (C), Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Boyd, Jones, Barton, Arfield; Vokes (Marney, 88), Gray (Hennings, 78)
Substitutes not used: Nizic, Duff, Kightly, Taylor, Darikwa
Derby County: Carson, Christie, Keogh, Shackell, Warnock (C); Thorne, Butterfield, Johnson (Camara, 68); Ince (Russell, 79), Blackman (Bryson, 86), Martin
Substitutes not used: Grant, Hendrick, Baird, ShottonTweets by @ dcfcofficial