Derby County fell to a 2-0 defeat to Leeds United at Elland Road on Friday night in their first away fixture of 2019.
The victory extended Leeds’ lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship while Derby remain inside the top-six.
Kemar Roofe opened the scoring for the home side midway through the first-half when he struck from close range. Jack Harrison then extended their lead to open the second-half with a tap in.
Inside the first minute, the referee has already blown the whistle inside Derby’s area and pointed to the spot after a collision, however, the Rams got a lucky break as the linesman waved for offside.
Leeds remained on the front-foot and pushed forward to find the opening goal, but crucial blocks from both Fikayo Tomori and Richard Keogh denied them the lead in the opening stages.
With the Rams struggling to keep possession, it was the home side that took the lead. In the 20th minute, Jack Clarke shook off Craig Bryson down the right and got a cross in from the edge of the box which Roofe struck cleanly in from the near post.
Derby’s best chance of the first-half came minutes before the break. Jack Marriott played the ball over from the right to Tom Lawrence who fed to Mason Mount down the left side of the box, but his effort from close range was blocked by Ezgian Alioski.
Leeds extended their lead moments into the second-half. After Carson initially tipped a shot from the left away, Alioski got to it at the back post to play it back in to the box for an easy tap in for Harrison.
Minutes later, Max Lowe lobbed a pass up the field for David Nugent to run on to. Nugent was met by Bailey Peacock-Farrell way out of his area, but the keeper managed to block his attempted to shoot round him.
As the Rams looked for a way back into the game, Duane Holmes, who moved to right-back to start the second-half, flicked the ball over his man right in front of the goal but was seemingly hit in the head by Leeds’ ‘keeper as he jumped up to save Holmes’ shot.
Derby were looking more threatening midway through the second-half and a great ball from Keogh from the right swooped towards Marriott at the far post, but Peacock-Farrell jumped in front to punch it away.
With 15 minutes left to play, Nugent did brilliantly to inside the area to overcome two markers to find an open Craig Bryson. The midfielder played through to Martyn Waghorn, who had just come off the bench, but his effort glanced wide.
Despite a better performance in the second-half, the Rams were unable to create a way back into the game as Leeds took all three points.
Leeds United: Peacock-Farrell; Ayling, Cooper (C), Jansson, Alioski; Forshaw; Clarke (Davis, 79), Hernandez, Klich, Harrison (Shackleton, 63); Roofe
Unused Subs: Huffer, Roberts, Stevens, Halme, Gotts
Derby County: Carson; Wisdom (Nugent, 45), Keogh (C), Tomori, Lowe; Bryson, Evans (Jozefzoon, 61), Mount; Holmes, Marriott (Waghorn, 72), Lawrence
Unused Subs: Roos, Bogle, Huddlestone, Malone