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Derby County heaped further misery on Steve Cotterill's relegation-threatened Birmingham City with a 3-0 thumping at St Andrew's.

Johnny Russell, Matej Vydra and Andreas Weimann grabbed the goals to give Gary Rowett his second win in succession as visiting boss.

This one, though, was far more convincing than the last which saw Tom Ince win it with virtually the last kick of the game in March.

The second-placed visitors arrived at B9 as the Championship's form team and they showed why. Derby were by no means pretty, but they were effective - remind you of anyone?

Here's how the match unfolded...

Full-time: Blues 0-3 Derby

Gary Rowett’s second return to Birmingham City ended the same way as his first: with three points.

The Derby County manager saw his team run riot at St Andrew’s to end Steve Cotterill’s side’s three-game winning streak.

Johnny Russell’s deflected effort, Matej Vydra’s rocket and Andreas Weimann’s tap-in gifted the high-flying Rams another three points and left Blues rooted to the bottom of the table.

Blues 0-3 Derby (Weimann)

Weimann makes it 3-0 to Derby. A poor afternoon for Blues just got worse.

Time for Jota

Jota replaces Boga with around seven minutes plus stoppage time to go.

Kief booked

Kieftenbeld is booked for bringing down Russell.

Russell booked

Russell rugby tackles Maghoma in the middle with Blues breaking at pace. The classic ‘taking one for the team’ sees the Derby man booked.

Derby change

David Nugent replaces Sam Winnall for Derby. Both teams have now made one change...

Blues change (66)

Che Adams replaces David Davis. The young striker is a very popular arrival...

Response needed

Poor defending from Blues to be caught out from a long ball forward. Vydra outpaced Roberts and smashed the ball home. Blues need a quick response.

Blues 0-2 Derby (Vydra, 56)

Vydra latches onto a long ball forward and smashes the ball into the roof of the net.

Second half underway

Blues get the second half underway. Another big 45 minutes coming up...

Half-time: Blues 0-1 Derby

Blues trail at the break following Johnny Russell’s deflected strike. Blues have looked dangerous at times but they haven’t been able to punish Derby.

Gallagher goes down

Gallagher goes down inside the box under a challenge. Cotterill thought it was a penalty and Blues appealed but the referee wasn’t interested.

Davies booked

Curtis Davies becomes the first player to be booked for a rash challenge on Kieftenbeld as he broke forward.

Gardner lets fly

Gardner lets fly from range but Carson pushes it over. The local lad has started well and Blues look far more assured with him in the team. Skipper Harlee Dean flicks the resulting corner over.

Almost!

A great corner from Gardner is met by Roberts at the far post but Blues’ defender can’t bundle the ball home after a poor initial connection. Despite Derby’s goal, Blues are playing well.

More on the goal

Blues should never have allowed Russell to travel so far unchallenged. Grounds and Boga backed off and before they knew it, the ball was in their net. Blues almost hit back but Gallagher’s deflected shot doesn’t quite fall to the unmarked Maghoma.

Blues 0-1 Derby (Russell, 19)

Russell is allowed to carry the ball a long way down the right and his cross-shot takes a big deflection and beats Stockdale. A lead Derby haven’t deserved.

A big chance for Sam

Absolutely brilliant play from Boga sees him get to the byline and pull the ball back for Gallagher. The striker’s movement was intelligent to find a yard of space but he wanted to control the ball when he should have hit it first time.

Swing and a miss

Gardner’s free-kick falls invitingly to Davis inside the box but he swings and misses with his weaker left peg. Blues are looking very dangerous...

Woodwork saves Derby

Maghoma’s attempted pass deflects into Grounds’ path and he smashes the ball against the post. Blues were an inch away from being 1-0 up after five minutes.

Bright start

A lively start by Blues is drawing a response from the Tilton. Craig Gardner finds Gallagher neatly and he plays the ball out wide to Maghoma, whose powerful low cross is eventually cleared. Derby go up the other end and Vydra fires wide immediately.

Rowett's reception

Gary Rowett gets a decent reception from the Blues fans as he makes his way down the touchline. The former boss has a warm embrace with Blues assistanty Lee Carsley and is joined in the away dugout by St Andrew’s favourite Super Kevin Phillips.

All set

Mr Blue Sky has just finished and the players are waiting in the tunnel. Derby have travelled in decent numbers as they always do. The first of two matches between West and East Midlands today will get underway shortly.

Cotterill welcomes Rowett

Blues took a lot of stick last year for failing to acknowledge Rowett’s achievements in the matchday programme - but there has been nothing of the sort this time around.

Cotterill has been most welcoming. He said:

I’d like to welcome Derby County today and Gary Rowett, his staff and players. Obviously all of our supporters know Gary very well. He had a very good time here. It was a period when they had good stability at the club and he ended up being successful here. He is now at Derby and I am sure he will be coming back here wanting to win. We have to make sure we do our best not to let that happen.

Team news: Cotterill names same team

Steve Cotterill has named the same Birmingham City team for the fourth game in a row for today’s visit of Derby County.

Gary Rowett returns to St Andrew’s coincides with Blues’ best run of form since his shock sacking in December 2016.

A pitiful 2017 has been put to bed and Cotterill’s side are going in search of their fourth win on the spin in all competitions.

Goalkeeper David Stockdale continues between the sticks and is looking for his fourth shut-out in succession following clean sheets in the wins over Leeds, Reading and Burton Albion.

At the other end of the field, Sam Gallagher will be looking to continue his hot streak in front of goal. The on-loan Southampton striker has scored four times in his last five games having been given the nod by Cotterill in his preferred position.

Meanwhile, Maikel Kieftenbeld - who almost joined Derby in the summer - starts in midfield.

Blues XI (4-3-3): Stockdale; Colin, Roberts, Dean, Grounds; Gardner, Kieftenbeld, Davis; Maghoma, Gallagher, Boga

How Derby line up

Rowett on Kief

Gary Rowett reckons Maikel Kieftenbeld’s bizarre return to Birmingham City ‘changed the dynamic’ of Derby County’s season.

Former Blues boss Harry Redknapp agreed to sell Kieftenbeld to Derby on Transfer Deadline Day in August only for the player to return to St Andrew’s a week later after the EFL failed to ratify the transfer.

And Derby, who arrive for today’s match at Blues sitting in second spot in the Championship, signed free agent Joe Ledley after missing out on the Dutchman.

Wales international Ledley has played 15 times this season and only ended up on the losing side once during the Rams’ rise up the table.

It is interesting because it (what happened with Kieftenbeld) probably changed the dynamic of our season, in some ways. I am not saying it (the Kieftenbeld deal) wouldn’t have changed it for the better as well, but of course the deal not going through meant that we brought Joe Ledley in which has had a massive effect on our season.

Rowett on his return

Former Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett insists he doesn’t ‘feel smug at all’ ahead of his St Andrew’s return.

The 43-year-old was bizarrely sacked by Blues in December 2016 with the club just three points behind third-placed Reading.

Gianfranco Zola was appointed as his successor just hours later and almost led Blues to an unthinkable relegation before Harry Redknapp stepped in and saved the day.

And Rowett is growing tired of speaking about his sacking.

I don’t feel smug at all. I built good relationships there and you don’t just throw them away. To be honest, I’m bored of speaking about it now. It’s been a year now and we’ve already been back once. I’m Derby manager now and that’s all I’m focused about.

Welcome to St Andrew's

Welcome to St Andrew’s for Birmingham City’s match with Derby County. Today marks Gary Rowett’s second return to St Andrew’s since his sacking in December 2016. The first saw Derby win 2-1 thanks to a last minute goal from Tom Ince.

Blues head into today’s match in their best run of form since Rowett’s departure having won their last three matches.