Friday’s Championship fixture saw a comfortable victory for the hosts, courtesy of two goals apiece from Matej Vydra and Bradley Johnson, as well as a close-range finish by former Tiger Curtis Davies.
Coming off the back of a 4-0 win at home to Bolton, Hull were in a rich run of form but seemed lacklustre in their first game after the international break. Leonid Slutsky made four changes, including giving debuts to Nouha Dicko and loanees Stephen Kingsley and Jon Toral. The Tigers were fragmented from the first whistle and struggled to stretch Derby’s defence, especially after Seb Larsson sent the ball into row Z from the penalty spot.
Derby, who looked like they would have a mammoth task on their hands, were still reeling from a 2-0 loss at Bramall Lane before the break, but came out all guns blazing on their home turf. The Rams were fierce going forward and Vydra shone early on before bagging his first of the day, lashing home a free kick to the keeper’s left. At 1-0 the game was still fairly balanced and when referee Darren Bond pointed to the spot 27 minutes in, it looked as though Hull had found their way back into the game. Dead ball specialist Seb Larsson stepped up to take the penalty but fired over the bar, much to the delight of the South Stand fans.
Vydra soon added another to his tally, finishing a slick team move after a lay off from strike partner David Nugent. Derby exploited Hull’s defensive frailties once again when former Hull Player of the Year Curtis Davies headed home a corner after losing his marker. Hull ‘keeper Allan McGregor showed a rare moment of quality when he denied Vydra his first half hat trick, only for midfielder Bradley Johnson to add insult to injury on the stroke of half time when he bundled the ball into the net.
Derby took their foot off the gas in the second half but there were no notable signs of improvement from the visitors as more loose defending saw Johnson slot home from 20 yards, securing all three points and the Man of the Match award.
It seems Hull have a lot of work to do if they expect anything from their next fixture, away at Fulham on the 13th September. Derby, on the other hand, will be in good spirits for their trip to Oakwell in the EFL Cup on the 12th.