Mason Mount was instrumental on his return as Derby County destroyed Rotherham United 6-1 at Pride Park.
The Chelsea loan star came back into the Derby side following a 10-week layoff from injury. His last outing came in the 1-0 FA Cup win over League One side Accrington Stanley in January.
During his absence, Derby have struggled for form. The Rams came into the clash with Rotherham having won just two of their previous 10 games in all competitions. As a result, they started the weekend down in eighth position in the Championship table.
But Mount’s return to the starting line-up provided the spark needed to get Derby’s playoff bid back on track. The young midfielder was utterly brilliant from the get-go, finding space all over the park.
How Mason Mount inspired Derby County to victory:
It was Mount’s neat turn and control which won Derby the first-half penalty that Martyn Waghorn duly finished. And, after Rotherham provided a scare from a corner which was cleared off the line, the hosts then upped the ante just before half-time and found themselves 3-0 up after 42 minutes. Bradley Johnson and another Waghorn goal all-but ended the game as a contest heading in to the break.
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The second half was more one-way traffic. Mount deservedly got his goal, finishing hard and low after a brilliant Jayden Bogle cutback. The England U21 international then turned provider for Duane Holmes after a brief Rotherham consolation.
Waghorn completed the rout with another penalty, before Mount departed to a standing ovation on 75 minutes. The 20-year-old left the field having created two chances and completing 88.9% of his intended passes.
Manager Frank Lampard told reporters how Mount was like a caged lion, desperate to return to action. His presence makes a huge difference to Derby, with his fellow teammates performing better around him.
The victory moves the Rams momentarily back into the Championship’s playoffs. Lampard’s side now face back-to-back away games, and they will be hoping to maintain the standard set against the Millers.