Derby continue dominant record against Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday again left Derby empty-handed as they went down 2-0 in a pulsating game at the iPro Stadium.
The visitors were the better side for long periods in front of a 30,000 crowd but failed to take their chances and were beaten by a Cyrus Christie header and Alex Pearce's first goal for Derby, who moved away from the bottom three.
Perhaps the result was no surprise as Derby were unbeaten in their previous 16 matches in all competitions against the Owls.
Wednesday came under early pressure when Jacob Butterfield's 20-yard shot was tipped over by Cameron Dawson in the second minute but they hit back and twice came close to scoring in the space of 60 seconds, with their bench convinced they should have been awarded a penalty.
Adam Reach jinked his way into the box in the sixth minute and when the ball was played across, Kieran Lee's shot was deflected behind for a corner.
Derby failed to get the ball clear and after Scott Carson clawed out Fernando Forestieri's header, Barry Bannan chipped to the back post where Reach's shot appeared to strike the hand of Richard Keogh.
Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal was furious no penalty was given and his sense of injustice deepened when Derby scored in the 17th minute.
Christie won the corner that Tom Ince swung over and although Darren Bent failed to connect, the defender headed past Dawson from six yards.
It was only the second time this season Derby had scored in the first half and although Wednesday looked dangerous, they almost had another in the 43rd minute when Christie crossed from the right and Bent's powerful header flashed just over.
Wednesday were unfortunate to be trailing and they were close to equalising in the 47th minute when Liam Palmer's 20-yard shot deflected off Alex Pearce and went behind.
Forestieri should have scored in the 56th minute when Gary Hooper set him up but he blazed over from 12 yards and he did better four minutes later with a low drive that forced Carson into an excellent save.
But against the run of play, Derby scored again when Butterfield's shot from just outside the box was deflected to Pearce who slid the ball in from eight yards.
Forestieri forced Carson into another save at his near post as Wednesday tried to get back in the game but Derby were only denied a third by an outstanding save from Dawson, who turned away a Butterfield shot in the 88th minute.