| Francesco Baiano and Deon Burton ignited
Derby's dreams of European football with two goals in
three first half minutes in the 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Pride Park.
But as the Rams moved into the top six, Villa began to slide
out of Champions' League contention
Stan Collymore returned to the Villa starting line up for the
first time since January 2 but a lack of
Villa goalkeeper Mark Bosnich also returned after 24 games as
Michael Oakes' understudy only
Alan Thompson pulled one back for John Gregory's side in the
dying moments of the first 45
But Villa barely deserved to still be in the game at the break
after failing to control any part of the
Even Collymore failed to control his temper when he fouled Igor
Stimac to earn a caution from
And it was no surprise when Baiano opened the scoring for the home side in the 18th minute.
Defender Spencer Prior powered forward into the Villa area. The
former Leicester man rolled a
Baiano was delighted to accept the glaring invite and drilled
home first time past Australian
Derby's Italians again combined for Derby's second goal three minutes later.
Eranio played the ball in low at the edge of the area where Baiano
cleverly backheeled into the
The Jamaican international's strike was pure and deadly and Bosnich was left grasping at air.
Villa were looking shell-shocked and Burton should have added
a third for the home side when
But from nowhere, Thompson gave John Gregory's side a priceless lifeline back into the game with a terrific 20-yard strike in the 44th minute.
The impetus appeared to carry over as Villa dominated midfield
but only a sole strike goalwards
Derby took heart and Bosnich had to be at his best to deny Wanchope
when he brilliantly turned
On the hour, Bosnich was again the hero when he saved his legs
from Wanchope after the striker
Collymore finally found the net in the 72nd minute but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Villa boss John Gregory threw on Julian Joachim for Riccardo
Scimeca in 77th minute as he tried
But it was Derby who should have clinched the game when Wanchope
stooped low to meet