Thursday 28 February 2013
An injury-time winner from Ashley Ward gave newly promoted Derby County a surprise win over Chelsea at the Baseball Ground.
The result came four days after Chelsea had qualified for the FA Cup quarter-finals but Ruud Gullit’s side struggled throughout the match. Chelsea’s goals through Scott Minto and Frank Leboeuf were their only shots on target.
Both scorers suffered mixed fortunes. Minto cancelled out his strike with an own goal and, seven minutes after his goal, Leboeuf was sent off for handling on the line. Aljosa Asanovic equalised for Derby from the penalty spot.
Just as Chelsea were thinking that stand-in goalkeeper Frode Grodas had earned them a point with a string of saves, Ward converted Dean Sturridge’s mis-hit shot to earn Derby three valuable points.
After briefly flirting with the relegation zone Jim Smith’s Derby went on to finish their first campaign back in the Barclays Premier League in 12th position. The defeat dropped Chelsea to seventh and they finished the season only one place higher.