Derby 3 Arsenal 0
Paulo Wanchope grabbed the Premiership spotlight again as Derby swept aside
Arsenal at Pride Park.
The Costa Rican celebrated his Carling player of the month award for October
with two second half goals before Dean Sturridge completed Arsenal's misery with
a late third.
It was a superb display from an injury-hit Derby side and gave Jim Smith the
perfect present to mark his 25 years as a manager.
Arsenal never looked like title challengers although it could have been a
different story if Ian Wright had put away a first half penalty.
But once Derby went in front, the Londoners were always chasing the game and
their last chance vanished when a David Platt volley was turned over by Mart
Poom 14 minutes from the end.
There was no sign of the way the game would go as Arsenal put aside the
absence of the suspended Dennis Bergkamp to control large parts of the first
They dominated the midfield but failed to carve out a clear opening until Lee
Carsley brought down Patrick Vieira in the 30th minute.
There were no protests from the Derby players as referee Paul Alcock awarded a
penalty but although the normally lethal Wright sent Poom the wrong way, his
kick came back off the crossbar and Nicolas Anelka headed the rebound over the
Derby had few real openings until 59 seconds into the second half when
Wanchope scored another memorable goal.
He picked up a loose ball and set off on a 30-yard run before driving a right
foot shot which appeared to take David Seaman by surprise as it skidded just
inside his right hand post.
That was Wanchope's eighth goal in all competitions this season and he should
have had another when Francesco Baiano set him up in the 61st minute but he
dragged a shot wide with only Seaman to beat.
But Wanchope made no mistake in the 65th minute when Sturridge opened Arsenal
up with his pace on the left and delivered a low cross which Nigel Winterburn
made a complete hash of, as he tried to clear, and Wanchope lashed a right foot
shot low into the net.
Arsenal made a double substitution bringing on Christopher Wreh and Luis Boa
Morte but it was Derby who struck again after Poom had leapt to tip over a
fierce 18-yard volley from Platt.
Again it was the pace of Sturridge which unhinged the visitors after Matt
Carbon had launched a long ball into the Arsenal half. Baiano released Sturridge
who out-paced Petit before lifting the ball over the unprotected Seaman.
To add to Arsenal's woe on an afternoon they will want to forget, Steve Bould,
Winterburn and Boa Morte were all booked while Wanchope and Gary Rowett were
also shown yellow cards.
Derby: Poom, Rowett, C.Powell, D.Powell, Sturridge, Wanchope,
Laursen, Carbon, Carsley, Solis (Kozluk 46), Baiano.
Subs Not Used: Hoult, Trollope, Burton, Hunt.
Goals: Sturridge 82, Wanchope 46, 65.
Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn (Wreh 69), Vieira, Bould,
Adams, Platt, Wright, Anelka (Boa Morte 69), Parlour, Petit.
Subs Not Used: Manninger, Grimandi, Hughes.
Ref: P E Alcock (Redhill).