Derby County gave a performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers that really makes you wonder if they do want to make it to the Championship play-offs this season.
The Rams looked jaded, slow and lacking ambition and ideas, as the Black Country side moved majestically toward the Premiership.
Wolves were given the majority of possession and took full advantage after just six minutes. The Rams failed to move up as a unit to a ball hit high into the box, which found Diago Jota not only on-side but with time to bring the ball down and then chip the ball over the advancing Scott Carson to put Wolves into a lead that was rarely challenged.
The Rams were still in the game at halftime and were only the one goal down but Wolves with their tails in the air were not going to give anything away and their confident display continued into the second period. Then a moment of pure magic from £14m signing Ruben Neves. A ball cleared by the Derby County defense looped out to the waiting midfielder whole flicked the ball into the air before hitting the ball on the volley, smashing it into the top right-hand corner of Scott Carson’s goal, giving the keeper no chance of saving it. Possibly the best goal conceded by the Rams this season and a potential goal of the season by Neves.
The Rams were just outclassed by Wolves who now need just two points to gain promotion to the Premier League, but could be celebrating before a ball is kicked this weekend if the chasing teams fail to win.
Derby meanwhile will go away, lick their wounds and hopefully respond before playing Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium on Saturday. A game where the Rams need to improve their performance and attitude if they have any ambition of claiming one of the playoff berths in May.