On a day pundit Paul Parker branded them 'regimented and not exciting', Sheffield United proved anything but - although it wasn't enough to earn a share of the spoils at Pride Park.
Goals from Craig Bryson, inside the first few seconds of the game, and the impressive Jack Marriott sealed victory for Derby County, either side of Chris Basham's equaliser following superb work from John Fleck,
But it was the sight of centre-half Basham scoring at the back post, after a mazy run by the Scottish star Fleck, that made Parker's comments on TV before the game even more laughable. Ultimately, though, as home man of the match Marriott finished off Craig Forsyth's superb cross in the second half, it counted for little.
Earlier, Blades boss Chris Wilder had named an unchanged side for the fifth game in succession, with Paul Coutts still on the bench as he continues his comeback from a broken leg. But United were rocked inside 20 seconds when, without them touching the ball, Bryson swept home, leaving goalkeeper Dean Henderson rooted to the spot.
United eventually got themselves going, though, and after John Egan twice denied the hosts with timely interceptions, dragged themselves level with a goal that owed more to the creator than the scorer. Fleck picked up the ball outside the Derby area and beat four men, electing to square the ball rather than shoot. Basham, unmarked at the back post, tapped home and United's travelling fans went crazy.
Henderson was at his best to deny both Marriott and Derby sub Tom Lawrence, but could do little about their eventual winner; Forsyth's pinpoint cross from the left swept home by Marriott, who was later replaced.
Blades: Henderson, Freeman, Basham (Washington 80), Egan, O'Connell, Stevens, Fleck, Norwood, Duffy (Coutts 65), McGoldrick, Sharp (Clarke 65). Subs: Moore, Cranie, Stearman, M Johnson.
Derby: Carson, Forsyth, Bryson (Lawrence 36), Tomori, Keogh, Wilson, Mount, Waghorn (Jozefzoon 71), Marriott (Davies 86), Bogle, Huddlestone. Subs: Roos, Nugent, B Johnson, Malone.