Aug 4, 2013 at 4pm UK at ​Pride Park
DerbyDerby County
BlackburnBlackburn Rovers
Russell (43' pen.)
Coutts (88')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Best (89')
Best (45'), Kane (60')

Match Analysis: Derby County 1-1 Blackburn Rovers

Match Analysis: Derby 1-1 Blackburn
© Getty Images
Sports Mole picks the bones out of Derby and Blackburn's 1-1 draw to close the opening weekend of the Championship season.

In the final match of the opening weekend of the Championship, Derby County and Blackburn Rovers played out a 1-1 draw at Pride Park this afternoon.

The Rams took the lead two minutes before half time when Alex Marrow carelessly handballed in the area. Debutant Johnny Russell stepped up and dispatched the penalty to put Derby ahead at the break.

Rovers equalised in the 89th minute when substitute Leon Best beautifully turned a volley into the net.

Below, Sports Mole casts its eye over the 90 minutes.

Match statistics:

Shots 16
On target 6
Possession 47%
Corners 7
Fouls 12

Shots 20
On target 4
Possession 53%
Corners 7
Fouls 16

Was the result fair?

Without doubt, yes. If Best hadn't brilliantly equalised for Blackburn, then they would have felt really hard done by leaving without anything. The visitors were far better in the opening 30 minutes but seemed to have their stride broken when their most creative player - Ruben Rochina - had to be taken off because of a dislocated shoulder. Derby took control of the game in the second third but didn't threaten too much. Blackburn had the better chances and deserved at least a draw.

Derby's performance

Nigel Clough will be angry that the lead was squandered so late on, but in truth his side's performance didn't warrant all three points. They were solid enough but were lacking a creative edge throughout. Teenager Will Hughes is believed to be on the watchlist of many Premier League clubs and he put on a good show for any scouts watching. Russell will be glad to open his account at the earliest opportunity but the Scot was quiet in the hour or so before he was substituted.

Blackburn's performance

In his post-match interview, manager Gary Bowyer was asked by Sky Sports News if he thought that his side deserved a point. He said 'No, I think we deserved all three'. Perhaps he's right. Rovers created the better chances and but for a lull in the middle of the game, were the better side. Encouraging stuff for the new full-time Blackburn boss, who knows that a bad start to the season could see him out of a job.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Tommy Spurr: The left-back joined Blackburn from Doncaster only in midweek and went straight into Bowyer's starting lineup. He appears to be a great buy after getting forward on regular occasions today and displaying a mean cross. The 25-year-old also showed off his mighty long throw that could be a useful weapon for Rovers this year.

Biggest gaffe

Has to go to Marrow for his needless arm that flailed backwards and made contact with the ball to gift Derby a penalty. He complained to the referee that he was tugged but there was little evidence of that.

Referee performance

Leniency from referees is often appreciated but Stuart Attwell took it too far in the first half, as twice he should have given out yellow cards for reckless challenges. He correctly awarded the hosts a penalty for Marrow's handball before waving away a pair of Blackburn appeals for spot kicks in the second half. When Buxton tumbled into Rhodes, he could have easily blown up but decided against it.

What next?

Derby: A Tuesday trip to Oldham in the League Cup before a first away league game of the season at Brighton on Saturday.

Blackburn: Rovers go to Carlisle on Wednesday in the Cup before welcoming Nottingham Forest to Ewood Park on Saturday.

Derby's Johnny Russell scores the opener from the penalty spot during the match against Blackburn on August 4, 2013
Read Next:
Result: Late Best equaliser seals Derby draw
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