Derby sort of emerged with a point after denying West Brom’s dominance in a 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns.
Sky Bet championship leaders West Brom dominated the proceedings and really should have buried Wayne Rooney’s side after missing numerous chances and forcing several saves from goalkeeper Kelle Roos.
It was Roos who saved Derby’s clean sheet to death when he blocked Darnell Furlong’s plunging head.
Albion initially came desperately close to taking a ninth-minute lead in a short, smooth turn routine.
Seyi Ajayi’s shot was deflected from the line by former Albion center-back Curtis Davies after Alex Mowatt found Grady Diangana, secured the comeback and crossed for Karlan Grant to slice his shot at Ajayi.
Diangana’s volley was deflected widely after Furlong pushed Mowatt’s deep cross back before Mowatt’s corner was cleared by goalkeeper Roos, who appeared to be targeted by the home side from his corners.
Furlong was in the thick of it and his header was deflected over Callum Robinson’s cross bar before his curling free kick was knocked back by Roos diving to his left.
Robinson asked Roos to stretch to hold back a hooked shot from Adam Reach’s cross as Albion continued to push for the opening goal.
In an effort to break the deadlock, Albion head coach Valérien Ismael made a double halftime substitution, bringing in Jordan Hugill and Matt Phillips for Grant and Robinson.
Hugill had the first open after the restart when his up and down drive sailed high and wide.
Reach then created half a header for Ajayi and Furlong, but both efforts fell off target.
Albion missed two great chances in the 58th minute. Diangana shot too close to Roos one-on-one, then Furlong escaped the rebound.
The pressure from the home side was relentless and Phillips, slipping in, failed to turn Diangana’s cross at the far post before Roos reached out his right leg to block the effort from Phillips’ side foot just to inside the surface.
Roos denied West Brom what appeared to be a certain goal in the second minute of extra time when he blocked Furlong’s diving header on Phillips’ cross.
What the managers said …
West Brom Valérien Ismaël: “Now that’s a clear trend against us. After five games you have a clear picture of West Brom and after the international break the opponent doesn’t want to play football against us. They had a point before the game. and they didn’t want to take risks, it is clear that something is going on against us and we need to adapt more to it.
“We put the intensity and energy into changing the game. We had so many chances – 26 shots, nine on target and we didn’t concede any shots, so we have to score. We saw that in the second. period when we had clear chances on the line, but we have to make sure we get the ball over the line. “
Derby Wayne rooney: “Their style of football is not pretty but it is efficient. It was a poor game to watch and it is not a very good style to play but it is efficient and if you do it well you can earn points. It’s definitely a point West Brom has started the season well and it’s a tough place to come.
“Kelle was excellent and that’s why he plays. He’s a good goalkeeper and he kept us in the game a few times. He’s not just our goalie – they do it to all their goalies. corners. They have a few short corners that you need to be mindful of and they’re right on your keeper, but Kelle was aware of that. They put a lot of long balls in our box and there were a few blocks on the line, and we had to put our bodies on the line, so I’m happy to come away with a point. “