Derby County suffered a heartbreaking loss to Queens Park Rangers on Monday evening due an incredible piece of skill from Andre Gray.
The Rams led through Tom Lawrence in the first half before second half volleys from Chris Willock and Gray turned the match on its head. QPR moved up to third with the win as County remained rooted to the foot of the Championship table. The match was not without its positives however from a Rams point of view with Lawrence looking dangerous throughout and carrying on his good form.
Having just played the division’s top three in successive games Derby now face a kinder run of fixtures, taking on Bristol City, Blackpool and Cardiff City in their next trio.
Here, we have taken a look at three things we clearly learnt about the Rams after the Rangers loss…
Graeme Shinnie has been a consistent performer for the Rams since signing from Aberdeen in the summer of 2019 and has shown his worth through tough times in this campaign. It was a beautiful pass from deep that sent Lawrence through on goal inside ten minutes providing Derby with the dream start.
Not known for his creative contributions to the side, Shinnie demonstrated that he has that in his locker and a different side to his game with the vision and perfectly weighted pass for the assist.
It has been a bit of a mystery all season as to why Kelle Roos is being preferred to Ryan Allsop and David Marshall between the sticks at Pride Park and he has to come into question for Andre Gray’s late winner. It is a wonder-strike and deserves immense credit but Roos’ positioning is diabolical.
The chance comes about after Ilias Chair’s header rebounds back off of the post, and after which Gray takes two touches to control the ball before striking it, Roos is stood in almost the same spot in the left half of the goal, as he was for the Chair header, which means that Gray’s shot travels, not with ferocious power, into the empty right half of the net.
It is in the corner but not perfectly and if Roos takes up a better position and is not prepared with his footwork, he should be able to catch the ball and prevent the goal.
Added attacking threat needed
Quiz: 30 questions about some of Derby County’s best ever goalkeepers – Can you score 100% correct?
It is not sustainable to constantly rely on defensive resilience to pick up points. Particularly against the better sides in the division, the Rams need to offer more going forward or they will be punished.
Aside for Lawrence’s excellent finish County struggled to lay a glove on QPR and therefore left the three points there for the taking in the closing exchanges. Derby cannot make up ground on the teams around them unless they start scoring more, such that, outside of the Bournemouth game, has not looked likely.