Derby County 1-2 Fulham: Player ratings

by Sarah on March 4, 2018

Marks out of ten after Fulham recorded an important victory at Pride Park yesterday afternoon …

Marcus Bettinelli: The only blemish on a solid afternoon for the Fulham goalkeeper was the moment when he let Cameron Jerome prod the ball out of his grasp and almost fashion a chance for Tom Lawrence to equalise. Fortunately, Tim Ream was on hand to block the shot. Looks much more confident in coming for crosses, fielded a number of long-range efforts with ease and produced an outstanding save to push away Richard Keogh’s goalbound strike in injury-time. 7

Ryan Fredericks: Another high-octane display from Fredericks on his 100th appearance for Fulham. Got forward effectively and posed real problems for Derby down their left side, but was dependable defensively – reading the game well and timing his challenges excellently. 7

Matt Targett: Made an impact at both ends of the field in the first half. Did well to nullify what had looked like Derby’s most likely source of down down their right in the early exchanges and always looked to offer an outlet in support of Ryan Sessegnon going forward. Delivered the short corner that gave Stefan Johansen the time and space to chip into the box and led to Fulham’s opening goal. 7

Tim Ream: Another astonishing display from the American, who has become of the division’s best defenders this season. Made a number of important interceptions and blocks in what was a very open first 45 minutes and came to the fore as Derby put Fulham after some serious pressure after the break. Produced a brave block to prevent Lawrence from levelling the contest – and, as ever, looked composed on the ball. Outstanding. 9

Denis Odoi: Stepped in for Tomas Kalas after the Czech international had hurt his hip and rarely put a foot wrong. Largely had the better of Cameron Jerome aside from a couple of moments where the former Norwich City striker got away in the second half. Was an effective distributor of possession and battled away in the air throughout. 7

Kevin McDonald: Anchored the midfield expertly and it was largely down to the Scottish midfielder than Lawrence and then Kasey Palmer didn’t have the space to wreak real havoc. Dropped back to support his back four often, but won a number of crucial 50-50s and was first to countless loose ball. Tidy in possession and carried the ball forward with purpose. McDonald remains one of the major reasons for Fulham’s sudden upturn in form since Christmas. 8

Stefan Johansen: Did brilliantly for the hour or so he was on the field. Made both goals with two different moments of magic. Produced a clever chip that completely befuddled Craig Forsyth and allowed Aleksandr Mitrovic to give Fulham the perfect start. His backheel to find Ryan Sessegnon for the second goal was simply outrageous. Covered so much ground with his trademark energy, but was replaced after being booked for a cynical challenge. Fulham’s retention of the ball suffered after his departure. 8

Tom Cairney: Class from the captain, who now looks like he is getting back to his peerless best. Set the tone and tempo of proceedings from a deep playmaking role but soon left the Derby midfield trailing in his wake. Seemed to have all the time in the world to operate, but his role became even more pivotal once Gary Rowett’s men were pushing for that equaliser. Some of his close control and touches were mesmerising, especially after he took another clattering from the opposition. 9

Floyd Ayite: Preferred to Piazon again down the right and this was a typical Ayite display – full of pace and desire to get beyond his full-back. Gave Derby real problems throughout the first 45 minutes and almost surprised Carson at his near post with a speculative shot just before half-time. Still sometimes picks the wrong option in the final third, but looked lively in taking on defenders. 7

Ryan Sessegnon: Showed his class with the way he punished Derby for offering him a yard’s worth of space inside their box. Smashed a finish across Carson and into the far corner with the minimum of fuss and got through an awful lot of work. Had been pushed back in the early stages by Andre Wisdom, but won that individual battle hands down, with the former Liverpool full-back being substituted by Rowett. 7

Aleksandr Mitrovic: We might have been severely understating it in describing the Serbian as Fulham’s missing local. Mitrovic was at his imposing best here, continually rolling off his makers to either fire in shots or find a team-mate. Took what was ultimately a scrappy goal really well by decisively measuring a finish after Forsyth’s horrible blunder. Engaged in a running battle with the Derby centre backs and held the ball up brilliantly, before fading slightly later on in the contest. 8

Substitutes:

Ollie Norwood (replaced Stefan Johansen, 62): Was quieter than Johansen, which was to be expected as Derby were building up at a hand of steam at the time of his introduction. The Northern Ireland international was often times as deep as McDonald in trying to prevent the Rams from breezing through Fulham’s midifeld and did his drop well – even if a few passes went astray. 7

Lucas Piazon: (replaced Floyd Ayite, 71): Got through plenty of work after replacing Ayite – toiling manfully to prevent Derby from finding too much space in front of the Fulham defence and also trying to get forward wherever possible. Never really had the chance to hurt Derby in their final third, but did a decent job of helping the Whites absorb the pressure. 6

Sheyi Ojo (replaced Ryan Sessegnon, 88): The Liverpool loanee didn’t have a lot of time to impress but provided a useful outlet when Fulham were penned deep inside their own half. 6

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