2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Matej Vydra (56')
  • Andreas Weimann (89')
  • Johnny Russell (19')

Gary Rowett sees Derby earn crushing win over Birmingham

Gary Rowett returned to haunt Birmingham again as his Derby side stayed second in the Sky Bet Championship with a 3-0 win at St Andrew's.
Sacked as Birmingham manager 13 months ago and replaced by Gianfranco Zola, Rowett has moved on to build a team at Derby who have promotion to the Premier League in their sights.
Goals from Johnny Russell, Matej Vydra and Andreas Weimann did the business as the Rams showed the clinical form that has helped them mount a challenge near the top.
Rowett also guided Derby to victory at Birmingham last April. This latest result means current Blues boss Steve Cotterill has not beaten Derby in 13 games as a manager.
Early impressions were a little misleading, with Derby producing some promising attacks but Birmingham the more positive team.
As early as the fourth minute Birmingham defender Jonathan Grounds took advantage of a deflection to fire in a bobbling shot which bounced against the post and back into play.
Jeremie Boga then made a clever run, cutting in before pushing a cross into the path of Sam Gallagher who attempted to tee up the ball instead of taking a first-time shot from close range.
The Rams survived the initial onslaught and settled down to take a 19th-minute lead.
A long pass from Richard Keogh down the right was collected by Russell. He jinked his way inside and produced what appeared to be a hopeful cross which evaded everyone to creep into the net and give the Rams a shock lead, to the obvious delight of their travelling fans.
A brilliant save by Scott Carson to keep out a 30-yard strike from Craig Gardner kept Derby ahead in what was a keen tussle.
Gardner, as usual, was Birmingham's driving force and Derby were given no respite, illustrated when Curtis Davies resorted to a late tackle on Maikel Kieftenbeld which resulted in the defender being shown a yellow card.
Derby, however, continued to be dangerous on the break. Their more open play created openings with Vydra clipping the bar with a cross shot.
The visitors effectively killed the contest with their second goal in the 56th minute. The unmarked Vydra collected a long ball from defence to race through unchallenged to lash a left-footed shot past David Stockdale.
Four minutes from time substitute Weimann sealed Birmingham's fate with a simple tap-in.

English League Championship Standings

1 Leeds United 27 +18 54
2 Sheffield United 27 +18 50
3 Norwich City 27 +14 50
4 West Bromwich Albion 27 +20 47
5 Middlesbrough 27 +11 46
6 Derby County 27 +4 43
7 Bristol City 27 +5 41
8 Birmingham City 27 +9 39
9 Nottingham Forest 27 +8 39
10 Hull City 27 +6 39
11 Queens Park Rangers 27 -2 39
12 Aston Villa 27 +6 38
13 Swansea City 27 +4 37
14 Blackburn Rovers 27 -6 37
15 Stoke City 27 -3 35
16 Sheffield Wednesday 27 -13 32
17 Brentford 27 +2 31
18 Preston North End 27 -5 30
19 Wigan Athletic 27 -12 29
20 Millwall 27 -10 28
21 Rotherham United 27 -17 25
22 Reading 27 -11 23
23 Bolton Wanderers 27 -22 22
24 Ipswich Town 27 -24 18