Derby County 1
1-0 Sun og 46
1-1 Sturridge 63
- Match reports
- Wed 30 Jan 2008, 12:00AM
- Posted by Leon Collins
Pre Match news
Sven-Goran Eriksson has shook his squad up ahead of tonight's test by making four changes to the starting line up after Sunday's FA Cup shock.
Danny Sturridge is rewarded for his instant impact against Sheffield United and handed his first City start - under the watchful eye of Derby legend - uncle Dean. Sturridge senior here covering the game for local radio.
Onuoha, Hamann, Elano and Mpenza the players to miss out tonight as the Blues look to get back to winning ways.
City started the game with renewed vigour after Sunday’s defeat – Sven opting for a 4-4-2 formation to show his attacking intent.
And after three minutes City should have taken the lead. It was Claude Davis with a Bramble-esque backpass that was woefully short and Darius Vassell dragged his shot wide.
In the sixth minute Petrov’s corner was headed just over by Corluka as City, sporting the love-it-or-hate-it purple away kit, settled in to their new surrounds of Pride Park.
City had another lightening break after 16 minutes which led to a third chance. Sturridge played a beautiful cross-field ball to Petrov, who first time, found Vassell but the striker couldn’t tuck the ball away before big Darren Moore intervened.
Derby's first meaningful effort came after 20 minutes as Kenny Miller spun inside the box to volley straight at Hart.
A fourth chance went begging on 23 minutes for City as Stephen Ireland broke into the box after another lovely touch by Sturridge. Ireland should have shot, instead he opted to slide a good enough ball into the six-yard box, but no-one could read it.
There was a large stoppage just before the half hour mark after Rams keeper Price needed treatment following the latest City raid. Etuhu’s studs appeared to have caught the home stopper as he slid out at the youngster's feet. Price ultimately received two stitches for his trouble.
Another head injury stopped play soon after as Leacock missed the ball and instead met the side of Vassell's head. It was a shorter stoppage this time as Darius shook it off and played on.
After 36 minutes the Derby fans came to life, as did Robert Earnshaw, who turned very sharply on the edge of the box before hitting a shot against the outside of the righthand post.
A lively first half continued as City had two more threatening moments from Petrov crosses - Ireland having the best as his goalbound shot was well blocked just yards from goal.
HALF TIME: Derby 0-0 City
An absolutely awful start to the second half as Derby took the lead a matter of seconds after the restart.
City couldn’t get the ball away from Ghaly on the edge of the box and it fell to Kenny Miller who swung at the ball and his shot looked to be going well wide until it hit Jihai Sun and spun beyond Hart.
In a game City should have been home and clear they trailed 1-0 to a bizarre goal.
Shouts for a penalty from the Blues came after 52 minutes as Moore appeared to handle Ireland's shot, but nothing given by a well placed Mr Bennett.
Sven-Goran Eriksson made a first change 10 minutes into the second half as Elano replaced Etuhu to add more creativity to the Blues' attack.
After a quiet second half City sprung to life and found an equaliser on 63 minutes. Elano fed Petrov who raced clear down the left and Danny Sturridge popped up to put the ball in off the post from seven-yards out.
A fine way to mark his full debut and keep his scoring run going with a fifth goal in just his third game back from injury.
On 71 minutes Petrov again put in a fine first time ball and sliding in Darius Vassell couldn't keep it down and give City the lead.
Corluka earnt himself a booking and a suspension for the Manchester derby on 75 minutes after a rash challenge on Savage – who made the most of it in true Savage fashion.
City's final substitution came 11 minutes from time as the hard-working Vassell was replaced by Emile Mpenza.
Despite some late pressure, City couldn’t create any chances to win it, and ended the game with a disappointing draw when really three more points should have been added to their tally.
FULL TIME: Derby 1-1 City
mcfc.co.uk's Man of the Match: Danny Sturridge. Showed some neat touches and bursts of lightening pace. Unfazed by his full debut and of course scored the goal that secured a point.