Derby County 1-0 Manchester United
Kris Commons' wonderful first-half strike gave Derby a deserved, but slender, first-leg win over Man United in the Carling Cup semi.
The outstanding Commons crashed a superb left-footed strike past United's second-choice keeper Tomasz Kuszczak on the half-hour mark to give the Rams more than a fighting chance of securing a shock win over the Premier League and European champions and a place at Wembley ahead of the second leg at Old Trafford in a fortnight's time. The win was no more than the home side deserved for their bright enterprising play throughout as United looked off-colour all night, posing little threat to the derby back-line. Indeed the Rams should have been in front early on when first Mile Sterjovski and then the excellent Steve Davies both had efforts cleared off the line inside the first 15 minutes. Then Commons struck and the Rams were able to defend their lead with relative ease as the expected fight-back from Sir Alex Ferguson's men never materialised. Second-half substitute Cristiano Ronaldo did fire a free-kick just inches wide but Derby, with Commons always a major threat in the final third, should have extended their first-leg lead. Rob Hulse was particularly guilty of missing a great chance from close range when he fired over from a rebound after Commons' initial effort was saved. Derby, who had newly-appointed boss Nigel Clough watching in the stands, will be delighted with the win but will no doubt feel that just a 1-0 lead to defend at Old Trafford remains a tough ask and the outcome from Pride Park sets things up for a mouth-watering tie in the return leg.