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Saturday 15 February 2014

On this day in 1997: Asanovic earns vital Derby victory

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Derby beating relegation rivals West Ham

  • Aljosa Asanovic's penalty was the difference as Derby defeated West Ham 1-0

  • West Ham's new signing John Hartson was handed a debut, but Derby prevailed

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

15 February 1997: Derby County 1-0 West Ham United

Aljosa Asanovic converted a 53rd-minute penalty to give Derby County their first win in 10 Barclays Premier League matches.

Asanovic held his nerve to tuck away the spot-kick, which had been awarded for a trip on him by Rio Ferdinand. It was the Croatia midfielder’s fifth top-flight goal of the season and moved the Rams up three places to 13th. The defeat was West Ham United’s fourth in a row in the league and left them in the relegation zone after a run of one win in 14 matches.

The Hammers were giving debuts to two strikers - John Hartson, who had arrived from Arsenal, and former Derby player Paul Kitson, who had come from Newcastle United.

It was the Rams who came closest to breaking the deadlock at the Baseball Ground when Dean Sturridge hit a post from eight yards out. After Asanovic’s goal there were some nervous moments for the hosts, none more so than when West Ham had penalty claims for handball against Igor Stimac dismissed.

Derby, in their first season in the Barclays Premier League and first in the top flight for six seasons, finished the campaign 12th, two places and four points above the Hammers.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Aljosa Asanovic's goal gave Derby an important victory over West Ham