Ipswich 0-3 Derby: Match Report
Three and easy for Derby at Ipswich
Derby underlined their Premier League credentials with a stunning first-half performance in their 3-0 win against Ipswich at Portman Road.
Three first-half goals saw Derby cruise to victory as Craig Bryson, Tom Ince and Darren Bent found the net against confidence-hit Ipswich - and left the second half a mere stroll for the promotion chasers, who moved into the play-off places.
Derby took the lead after just nine minutes in routine fashion when Ince rolled the ball across the area and Bryson side-footed the ball into the corner.
Three minutes later the lead was doubled when Chris Baird played the ball behind Jonas Knudsen, allowing Ince to burst into the box, cut inside on to his left foot and find the top corner of Bartosz Bialkowski's goal.
Ipswich were shell-shocked, although star man Tom Lawrence found space in the area to shoot straight at Scott Carson's body.
It was almost three in the 30th minute when a patient move ended with Marcus Olsson's low cross turned goalwards by Ince but straight at Bialkowski.
Ince was the main danger for the visitors and his low inswinging cross narrowly missed the far post before, from the resulting short corner, Bryson's thunderous shot was brilliantly tipped on to the crossbar by Bialkowski.
It mattered not as the ball found its way to Butterfield whose cross was headed home from close range by the unmarked Bent.
Embarrassed in front of their own fans, Ipswich attempted to hit back after the restart and David McGoldrick, brought on after just 36 minutes, saw a decent goalbound effort blocked.
But Derby were looking menacing on the counter attack and Bryson dragged a shot wide before they missed a golden chance when Bent's low cross found Ince and he somehow hit the outside of a post from 10 yards when given the freedom of the Ipswich penalty area.
Bent was denied a fourth by a fine low save by Bialkowski as Derby continued to create chances.
Bryson should have done better when played through by Ince but his shot lacked power before Butterfield was thwarted by a combination of Bialkowski and post.
Ipswich offered little although the home fans that remained inside Portman Road had half-hearted appeals for a penalty turned away when Grant Ward went down under Jason Pearce's challenge.
Not for the first time this season, the final whistle brought a smattering of boos for Mick McCarthy's men.