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Dec 20, 2014 at 12.15pm UK at Pride Park
DerbyDerby County
2-2
NorwichNorwich City
Russell (43'), Martin (55' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-0)
Jerome (51'), Whittaker (89')

Live Commentary: Derby County 2-2 Norwich City - as it happened

Relive the four-goal draw between Derby County and Norwich City in the Championship's Saturday lunchtime kickoff.
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Saturday's lunchtime kickoff in the Championship saw Derby County take on Norwich City in a battle between two of this season's promotion contenders.

Derby were aiming to be top at Christmas, but had to settle for a point as playoff-chasing Norwich hit back late on to earn a point in a 2-2 draw.

Read how it all unfolded at the iPro Stadium in our minute-by-minute updates below.


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Morning all! The first game of the day in England is a big one in the Championship as out-of-form Derby County take on resurgent Norwich City at the iPro Stadium. With just 30 minutes until kickoff, let's get straight to the team news...

DERBY XI: Grant; Christie, Keogh, Shotton, Forsyth; Mascarell, Hendrick, Bryson; Ibe, Russell, Martin
Subs: Roos; Coutts, Dawkins, Hughes, L Naylor, Best, Calero

NORWICH XI: Ruddy; Whittaker, Martin, Cuellar, Olsson; Howson, O'Neil, Tettey, Johnson; Hooper, Jerome
Subs: Rudd, Turner, Grabban, Lafferty, Hoolahan, Redmond, Bennett

Righty ho, that's three Derby changes from the side that started against Premier League leaders Chelsea in the Capital One Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night. Ryan Shotton returns from suspension for Jake Buxton at centre-back, while further forward Jeff Hendrick and Jordon Ibe come in for Will Hughes and Simon Dawkins.

As for visitors Norwich, they go with the same XI that has won two games in a row.



That tweet shows Simeon Jackson scoring a hat-trick when these two sides last met on April 25, 2011. That was as Norwich made their way up to the Premier League. Today, Derby start as favourites, even if they're out of sorts at the moment.

The Rams are just a point off the top and will return to the summit, perhaps only for a few hours, with a win. They've lost two of their last three in the league and were also beaten on Tuesday night by Chelsea. They gave a good account of themselves against the best team in the country, but in the end lost 3-1.

Norwich are one place outside of the playoffs following their two recent victories over Wigan Athletic and Huddersfield Town. The 1-0 victory over the Latics two weeks ago didn't excite, but last Saturday's 5-0 hammering of Huddersfield was much-needed. Before these two wins, the Canaries had won just one of their previous 10 games. Neil Adams is obviously very pleased with the way this side is playing as he goes with the same XI again.

It is somewhat surprising to see Nathan Redmond still on the bench, though. He came on against Huddersfield and changed the game. When you look at Norwich's starting lineup, you wonder if they have enough width. The four midfielders are used to playing more centrally and there's a big reliance on the full-backs to get forward.

PREDICTION TIME: With just under 10 minutes until kickoff, it's time for my pre-game prediction. I've got a feeling that there will be goals today and am going to back a 3-2 Derby win. See what else I had to say earlier this week on the Sports Mole Sofa below.


If you like your Premier League footy as well, open this link in a new tab to join my colleague Barney Corkhill for Man City vs. Crystal Palace..

It's certainly a big game for Chris Martin today. He comes up against his former club for the first time as one of the top strikers in the division with 12 goals in 21 games. Only Ipswich Town's Daryl Murphy (13) has more goals than Martin.



Here we go then. Can Derby go top, or will Norwich rise up into the top six?

KICKOFF! We're underway at the iPro.

Today's referee is Paul Tierney and he opts against booking Bradley Johnson for a tackle which, had it been made not so early in the game, would have surely been a bookable offence.

Russell with a burst of speed down the right to knock the ball past Cuellar but he can't quite take it in his stride and runs the ball out of play. He and Ibe on either wing will pose big problems for the visitors.

CHANCE! First chance of the game falls to Norwich and Johnson, who scored twice last weekend against Huddersfield. It's a deep cross from the right and confusion between Derby keeper Grant and right-back Christie allows Johnson to get up and head the ball. Anything on target and it's probably a goal, but he gets his angles wrong and nods it a long way wide.

BOOKING! This time Tierney does produce a yellow card for another late tackle by a Norwich player. Cuellar's challenge was no worse than Johnson's a little earlier, but he goes into the book.

BOOKING! Certainly a feisty start to the game! It's 1-1 on the yellow-card count as Bryson slides in and wipes out Hooper.

Whittaker wins the ball strongly on halfway to set Norwich away and they get it to Hooper quickly on the edge of the box. He tries to catch Derby out with a snap-shot, but doesn't get hold of it and Grant can watch it wide.

"Is this a fire drill?!" bellow the Norwich fans in the away end. Derby are certainly off to a shaky start and not filling the fans with confidence.

Alert play from Bryson to hoof the ball clear after Hooper had nodded the ball down and Howson was winding up for a shot from 18 yards. Norwich continue to impress.

Derby have had 60% possession in the opening quarter of an hour, but they're yet to have a shot on goal. Norwich have had two, with neither on target.

Great defending from Johnson to clear the ball away from the incoming Hendrick after a surge down the left and inviting cross from Ibe. That's the first time that Derby have really threatened.

From a corner moments later, Mascarell's delivery is met by Martin at the near post but his flick isn't deft enough and isn't troubling Ruddy.

This is certainly one of the more intriguing games in the Championship today, but the biggest one probably comes at Portman Road at 3pm when Ipswich Town take on Middlesbrough. It's a meeting between two of the top four and a game we'll be covering live here on SM from 2.30pm. See all of today's other fixtures by clicking here.

Ibe with more intricate footwork down the left and Whittaker really will have his work cut out against the Liverpool loanee today. It almost opens up for Ibe, but in the end the ball goes out for a goal kick after the ricochet went Derby's way.

Norwich build some pressure by winning a corner and although O'Neil's deliveries are inviting ones, they come to nothing. Johnson's early header remains the one and only clear-cut chance of the game.

Fantastic long-range pass from Mascarell that is perfectly weighted to entice Whittaker to go for it. It's just over his head though and Ibe powers past him into the box where Cuellar meets him and blocks his shot at goal. Ibe has certainly been Derby's best player going forward so far. Rams top-scorer Martin has been very quiet.

Mascarell with an ambitious shot from 30 yards and Ruddy safely watches over his crossbar. Martin is annoyed that the Real Madrid loanee took it on from there and stands on the edge of the box shaking his head with his hands on his hips.

DISALLOWED! Tettey thinks he's opened the scoring with a left-foot shot from the edge of the box, but Jerome was stood miles offside and clearly obstructing the view of the goalkeeper. Tettey can't believe it, but it's the right decision.

With 10 minutes until the break, we're still yet to see a shot on target. My 3-2 prediction looks a bit silly eh?

Right on cue, a shot on target! It's not a clean one, though, as Bryson's low effort from a tight angle takes a deflection off a yellow shirt that makes it an easy save for Ruddy.



Jerome escapes a booking after a late tackle on Keogh, who is arguably the most flamboyant centre-back in the league when it comes to making the most of a foul. He knows how to throw himself.

Bryson with a decent cross from the left but there's only one white shirt in the box so Ruddy is able to easily smother the ball.

CLOSE! Almost a fabulous opening goal from Johnson as he lets fly with his weaker right foot from 25 yards and sends a fizzer just over the bar.

GOAL! DERBY 1-0 NORWICH (RUSSELL)

Out of nowhere, and I mean nowhere, Derby take the lead! It's a really nice goal as Martin brings the ball down, outmuscles his man and surges forward. He drives a firm low pass into Russell, who takes it in his stride brilliantly before poking into the far corner. Great goal.

Two minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.

HALF-TIME: DERBY 1-0 NORWICH

So, it's Derby who take an undeserved lead just before half time. A draw would probably be the right scoreline, but if anything Norwich were more threatening in a first half of few chances.

Everyone in the Championship knows of Derby's quality, though, and the goal was excellent play from both Martin and Russell. Martin's first touch to bring a high ball down was superb, but then the way Russell took the ball in his stride and finished instinctively was unstoppable.

My 3-2 prediction is still on, but it doesn't look very likely! Russell's 43rd-minute goal is the only shot on target of the game so far.

The Canaries did have the ball in the net at one point, but Tettey's strike was ruled out because of Jerome standing miles offside and obstructing Grant's view of the ball.

It wouldn't surprise me if Norwich boss Adams brought on Redmond at half time. The winger was superb off the bench against Huddersfield and would offer some pace that Norwich do lack going forward. If he and Ibe were on the pitch at the same time, it would certainly be exciting.

Click here to see how the Championship table looks right now. As you can see, Derby are back on top but could fall back to third if Bournemouth and Boro both win later today.

DERBY SUB: No changes from Norwich at half time, but the hosts are forced into a change in midfield. Hendrick has picked up an ankle problem so Will Hughes replaces him.

KICKOFF! We're back underway at the iPro. Can Norwich find a way back into the match?

A positive start to the second period from the visitors - I don't think Derby have been in the Canaries' half yet. A spell of pressure ends with left-back Olsson taking on a first-time shot from distance and slicing it wide of the near post.

GOAL! DERBY 1-1 NORWICH (JEROME)

Everyone is waiting for the flag to go up, but Jerome is definitely onside this time and sticks away Howson's bouncing cross from close range. You did feel that the goal was coming and it came after some neat work down the right involving Whittaker and Hooper.

PENALTY TO DERBY! CUELLAR BRINGS DOWN MARTIN!

GOAL! DERBY 2-1 NORWICH (MARTIN, PEN.)

After a bit of a delay, Martin sticks it home for his 13th league goal of the season. He won the penalty by just getting to Russell's pass ahead of Cuellar, who didn't see him coming and tried to swipe clear, only managing to wipe Martin out and take none of the ball. Norwich were level for less than five minutes.

BOOKING! Tettey is booked just before the restart for dissent. He obviously didn't agree with the penalty decision, but it was the right call from referee Tierney.

Back come Norwich and they almost level it up through a fortuitous own goal as Olsson's cross is inadvertently directed just past the post from Shotton.



Surely we'll see some changes from Norwich? Adams needs to mix it up if his side are going to get anything out of this game.

NORWICH SUB: As expected, exciting winger Redmond is the first off the bench for the Canaries. He replaces defensive-minded midfielder Tettey, so Norwich are going for it. They still have the likes of Lewis Grabban and Kyle Lafferty if needed.

Interestingly, Ibe and Russell have switched wings for Derby. That could be because McClaren feels that Russell will be better tracking back and helping Forsyth against the fresh legs of Redmond.

Strong defending from Keogh to deny Jerome a shot at goal from Redmond's low cross. In the last 10 minutes since Martin restored Derby's lead, the visitors have had 75% possession.

Johnson's low strike from distance is going well wide but Jerome diverts it goalwards and almost finds the bottom corner. Hoolahan is being readied on the touchline for the visitors.

NORWICH SUB: Second change for the visitors sees Hooper come off for playmaker Hoolahan.

Strong block from Hughes to stop Hoolahan's shot at the source as the new introduction tried to make his mark instantly.

NORWICH SUB: The visitors have now made all three changes as O'Neil is replaced by striker Grabban.

Bryson picks up a knock and hobbles off, but it looks like he's going to try to play on. Remember, the Rams still have two changes left to make.

DERBY SUB: Ignore that, the Scottish midfielder is replaced by Simon Dawkins. So that's both Hendrick and Bryson who have picked up injuries today.

Hoolahan's cross is just too strong for both Jerome and Grabban in the middle. The latter picks it up at the back post, but is then crowded out in the corner. Quarter of an hour to go at the iPro.

Derby give the ball away deep in their own half and that allows Hughes into the box. He tries to cut it back for Dawkins, but Cuellar is across to make the clearance.

JUST WIDE! Whittaker's left-foot piledriver clips the side-netting after some lazy Derby defending which allowed him to come inside and get off a free shot.

Today's attendance at the iPro is an impressive 27,974, with 1,478 of those being Norwich fans. That will probably be the biggest attendance of the weekend in the Football League.

Ibe almost gives away a cheap penalty as he challenges Olsson from behind. To be fair, the latter tried to stay on his feet so it didn't really look like one.

DERBY SUB: Third and final change for the home side as Paul Coutts replaces Ibe. The former should help Derby hold the ball a little better in these closing stages.

Norwich are the side doing all of the running as we enter the final five minutes. Can they find an equaliser?

GOAL! DERBY 2-2 NORWICH (WHITTAKER)

Yes they can! Derby will feel very aggrieved as there appeared to be a clear handball in the build-up to the goal from Olsson, who even stopped because he thought he had handled. Redmond's shot was blocked for a corner and from the resulting set piece Whittaker fired home an excellent volley at the back stick that went in off the far post.

SAVE! Shortly after four minutes of injury time are signalled, the Canaries go close to snatching a winner as Grabban's effort from the edge of the area is parried clear by Grant.

CLOSE! Norwich again threaten as Redmond, who has been really bright on the wing, beats his man and cuts back into the middle. The ricochet falls to Jerome, whose instinctive volley if anything has too much power and flies just over the bar.

FULL-TIME: DERBY 2-2 NORWICH

A draw it is then after a pulsating second half. There wasn't much to talk about in the opening 45, but the game came to life in the second.

The two Martins, Russell and Chris, give a post-match interview to Sky Sports News and both seem fairly content with a point. Martin must be delighted with a goal and an assist against his former club, but concedes that Norwich deserved that late equaliser.

The goal should never have stood, though. There was a clear handball in the build-up, but referee Tierney somehow missed it. Derby will be annoyed at that, but Norwich deserved at least a point.

A point apiece means that the two sides stay where they were in the table in third and seventh respectively. Check out the latest table ahead of today's 10 other fixtures here.

That's it from us on this commentary, but look out for more Championship football in around 15 minutes when we bring you detailed live coverage of fourth vs. second - Ipswich vs. Middlesbrough. Have a good afternoon!

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Derby County's English manager Steve McClaren stands on the sideline during the English Championship Play Off final football match between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at Wembley Stadium in London on May 24, 2014
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