Cardiff City – 0
Derby County – 2
Blackman (80 pen.)
By James Lloyd at the Cardiff City Stadium
Ten-man Cardiff City slumped into the Championship relegation places with a lacklustre 2-0 loss at home to managerless Derby County.
Tom Ince scored the Rams’ first goal early in the second-half with a cool finish past Ben Amos in the City net before Nick Blackman slotted in a penalty in the 80th minute after he was fouled by Matthew Connolly, who consequently saw red.
Nigel Pearson was suspended by the East Midlands outfit just hours before kick-off after an apparent row with owner Mel Morris.
But Derby showed no sign of disarray on the field as a comfortable second-half effort sealed their place above Cardiff in the Championship.
Rickie Lambert limped off for the Bluebirds in the 13th minute and his early shot proved to be only one of two Cardiff City efforts on target in the first half.
Sean Morrison forced Scott Carson into a reflex save with a powerful header midway through the opening period and at the other end Amos was forced into a double save from Jacob Butterfield.
Derby showed quality after the interval courtesy of some slick link up play from Will Hughes and goalscorer Ince.
The former Liverpool man had a shot saved by Amos in the 52nd minute after a smart pirouette before finding the breakthrough two minutes later with a low, curling effort.
County topped off their win late on with Blackman converting his own penalty that he won following Connolly’s clumsy foul.