Millwall maintained their impressive record at Pride Park with a 2-1 victory to dent Derby’s hopes of Championship survival.
Goals in the first half from Jed Wallace and Tyler Burey gave Millwall control and although Jake Cooper put through his own net late on, they saw the game out to complete a fifth victory in the last seven visits to Derby.
Derby had plenty of the ball but could not break down a well organised and disciplined Millwall team who could have scored more goals.
Burey wasted a great chance before he netted and former Derby defender Scott Malone could have got on the scoresheet late on.
Victory for former Derby boss Gary Rowett moved Millwall up to 12th while defeat left Wayne Rooney’s side eight points adrift of safety.
With Tom Lawrence serving a three-match ban for his red card on Saturday, Derby brought in Louie Sibley, who scored a hat-trick at Millwall two seasons ago, but the visitors scored with their first attack.
Derby conceded a free-kick out on the left and Wallace’s whipped delivery evaded everyone and nestled inside the far post.
The home side responded with Max Bird firing just over before Lee Buchanan’s drive was deflected behind for a corner but Millwall should have scored again in the 24th minute.
Derby gave the ball away and Wallace broke clear on the right to set up Burey but the striker fired over from 10 yards.
Burey made amends six minutes later when former Derby midfielder Mason Bennett pulled the ball back from the left and after Wallace’s shot was blocked, Burey buried the rebound.
Derby almost hit back with Festy Ebosele shooting against the legs of Bartosz Bialkowski before Jason Knight got in on the right but fired wide.
But Millwall were good value for their half-time lead and Derby made two changes for the second period with Colin Kazim-Richards and Ravel Morrison replacing Sibley and Ebosele.
Derby started strongly with Knight having a shot blocked and Luke Plange sending a free-kick from just outside the area over the bar.
It was Derby having the bulk of possession but Millwall were holding their shape and denying them any clear openings.
Bialkowski did well to punch clear under pressure from Kazim-Richards but Millwall broke dangerously with Malone shooting over at the back post when he should have hit the target.
Millwall had been solid at the back but they handed Derby a lifeline in the 89th minute when Cooper sliced an attempted clearance into his own net.
But it was too late for Derby who could not fashion another chance and remain deep in trouble in the relegation zone.
What the managers said…
Derby’s Wayne Rooney: “We conceded two sloppy goals and then, give Millwall credit, they defended the box very well. But we kept pushing and I can’t knock the players, they kept going to the end and kept fighting. We will keep going and keep fighting. It’s a setback and a bad result but we’ll lose more games from now to the end of the season and it’s about the games we win.
“We need to turn some of the draws, especially away from home into wins, and we will keep fighting. As I keep saying, this league can throw up anything so we will keep going and believing.”
Millwall’s Gary Rowett: “We’ve had some good results here but it’s a tough place to come and what I would say is Derby have done incredibly well this season. I think football sometimes transcends rivalry and you have to just say they’ve done an incredible job. It would have been very easy to be demotivated but a young team and Wayne, a young manager, have been brilliant.
“I thought we were fairly comfortable first half and we had a period in the second where we looked really, really comfortable and it was probably the most innocuous ball into the box all game that ends up causing us a problem. It made for a really nervy last five or six minutes and I felt like a last minute goal was coming but in fairness to the players we dug in and got what I thought was a deserved result.”