I’m not saying that it was wet in Derby but I swear that I saw a bearded geezer building an ark in the car park before the match. Despite the monsoon conditions the Pride Park pitch was picture perfect.

The highlight of the first half was a thunderous volley by Gianfranco Zola that cannoned back of the post. The Italian’s strike was hit with more venom than a Colin Hendry elbow. Chelsea were denied a penalty later in the half when an off-the-ball elbow by West on Gudjohnsen was missed by the myopic match officials.

The second half started slowly but ended with Chelsea running rampant and the Blues fans celebrating jubilantly. Zola scored the first after being set up by Hasselbaink. But after that Chelsea sat back and defended.

There was disquiet in the away end when Zola was taken off but that was soon forgotten. The floodgates opened up towards the end as Derby fell to pieces. Three late goals secured Chelsea’s third, and best, away win of the season.

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