Stupid Ayala makes life much easier for Rowett
DERBY manager Gary Rowett labelled Daniel Ayala’s sending off “stupid” but praised his side’s clinical display as they ended their Riverside hoodoo.
The game was well-poised at the break despite Derby leading 1-0, but the game was swung in the second half after Ayala’s foul on the Czech forward inside the box, with referee Simon Hooper having no choice but to point to the spot
From thereon in, Boro hit the self-destruct button as Ayala clattered ex-Boro teammate David Nugent from behind and was given his marching orders, before Vydra grabbed his third goal after a mistake from goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
And Rowett said: “(Boro) are a team that have spent a hell of a lot of money on their squad, but in the second half we were much better.
“We stepped up, got the penalty and I thought Ayala was very lucky to stay on the pitch for that penalty.
“Then he was particularly stupid to get sent off after that.”
The nature of Boro’s second-half collapse, however, was the talking point.
We’ve seen Boro battle back from losing positions on several occasions this season but that second goal right at the very start of the second half just sapped the life out of them.
Instead of making life uncomfortable for Derby, they made it incredibly easy for the visitors.
The Rams didn’t break sweat in the second half. They ran rings round Boro and could easily have helped themselves to two or three more.
At half-time, there were very few signs of what was around the corner.
Boro had finished the first half on top and had carved out at least a handful of chances to have been on the scoresheet.
The Rams were undoubtedly the happier to hear the half-time whistle, but within two minutes of the re-start, they had the breathing space they craved.
The Derby fans were just starting to give it the old ‘ole’ treatment when Matej Vydra wrapped up his hat-trick.
From thereon in, it resembled more of a training drill for the visitors. At times, they made it look incredibly easy against a Boro team that were just chasing shadows.
The vast majority in the crowd had seen enough long before the full-time whistle...it was a disastrous afternoon.