Football: Rams romp home

Derby County 4 Eranio 76, Wanchope 79, Baiano 82, Carsley 83 Southamp ton 0 Attendance: 25,625
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The Independent Online
Derby scored four goals in seven minutes to inflict a seventh Premiership defeat of the season on a lack-lustre Southampton. In doing so they signalled that connoisseurs seeking internationally flavoured football can feast not only at Stamford Bridge and Highbury, but, unlikely as it seems, in the East Midlands too.

Southampton, who have not won a point away from home this season, were never really in the game. Although they may feel that the Derby penalty which started the rout was unfair, they could not complain about the three other goals they conceded.

Seven foreign internationals started in the Rams line-up, including an Estonian, a Croatian, a Dane, and a Jamaican. It was the two Italians and the Costa Rican, however, who really made an impact, and at times Derby looked as though they could score at will.

The breakthrough however didn't actually come until the 75th minute, when Stefano Eranio, making a run into the Southampton box, was tackled by Richard Dryden and fell. A penalty was given and Eranio converted from the spot.

Derby manager Jim Smith acknowledged afterwards that the decision was "debatable" and Saints manager David Jones called it "an absolute disgrace", but whoever was right, it changed the course of the game.

Three minutes afterwards, Eranio's fellow Italian Francesco Baiano took possession in the Southampton box and a flicked a delightful backheel to Paulo Wanchope, who scored. Only three more minutes elapsed before Wanchope, a 6ft 4in Costa Rican international, was able to repay the favour from a similar position and Baiano scored. The match was well and truly sealed when Wanchope fed a deft through ball to Lee Carsley. Carsley ran around two defenders and took his time before putting the ball securely past Saints' goalkeeper Paul Jones.

Southampton gave a debut to midfielder Carlton Palmer, who gave a steady if unspectacular performance, but they were again without Matt Le Tissier, who was absent yesterday due to a bereavement in his family.

They were also without their Norwegian international striker Egli Ostenstad who is still out with an ankle injury. Saints' best chances came after five minutes when Kevin Davies sliced wide when he should have scored, and after 26 minutes when Mickey Evans had a long range attempt saved.