Stupid Ayala makes life much eas­ier for Rowett

Sunday Sun - - Football -

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 whis­ was a dis­as­trous af­ter­noon.

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