Derby see off Brentford for first home win of season
Derby finally won at home for the first time this season as they cruised to a 2-0 victory over struggling Brentford, who lost for the second time in five days under new head coach Lee Carsley.
It was only Derby's second home victory since late February, but they controlled the game from the opening whistle and could easily have added to first-half goals from Chris Martin and Tom Ince.
It was a complete reversal of the match at Derby in April, when Brentford dominated the game, with the home side imposing themselves from the start. And they went in front for the first time at the iPro Stadium this season in the 20th minute.
The goal came just when Brentford were starting to get a foothold in the match but former Derby midfielder Carsley saw his team go behind for the second time since he was appointed head coach on Monday.
Cyrus Christie had made several forays down the right before another powerful run by the full-back took him beyond the Brentford back line and his excellent cross was bundled in by Martin, who got between two defenders.
Brentford were struggling to get any sustained possession as Derby gave them little time on the ball, but they almost equalised in the 33rd minute when Akaki Gogia's volley was superbly blocked by Jason Shackell.
Derby should have scored again in the 35th minute when Craig Forsyth and Johnny Russell combined on the left to set up Ince but he fired over from 10 yards, and a minute later David Button had to sprint off his line to deny Bradley Johnson.
But Derby scored a second two minutes before half-time when another slick attack ended with Jeff Hendrick playing in Ince and this time he fired low past Button from 12 yards.
It was no more than Derby deserved and they continued to stretch Brentford after the break, with Button turning over a free-kick from Ince and then clawing away a header from Johnson.
Derby lost Shackell in the 55th minute but they did not lose their control, which by now was almost total and only a desperate block kept out a George Thorne strike on the hour.
Philipp Hofmann forced Scott Carson into a save in the 68th minute but it was a rare attack by Brentford, who were again fighting fires at the the other end with Harlee Dean turning behind a Russell cross.
Hofmann did force Christie into a goalline clearance in the 88th minute but it could not disguise the fact that Brentford had been very much second best all over the pitch.