Championship strugglers Derby County, with new manager Nigel Clough watching from the directors' box, beat Manchester United 1-0 in the semi-final first leg of the English League Cup at Pride Park on Wednesday.

Kris Commons 30th minute left-footed shot past United keeper Tomasz Kuszczak was enough to claim victory against the World, European and Premier League champions in Derby's first major semi-final since 1976. It ended the Red Devils' 14-match unbeaten streak dating back to 8 November when Arsenal beat them 2-1 at the Emirates stadium.

Without the calming influence of Rio Ferdinand, Vidic and Tomasz Kuszczak United were subjected to early moments of discomfort as they were unable to find any of their customary rhythm and it was hardly against the run of play when Derby deservedly broke the deadlock. Reaching the semi-final stage cost Commons almost 1,000 pounds in purchasing tickets for his friends, but the fulminating 25-yard shot he guided beyond United's Polish keeper after 30 minutes was pure gold dust for David Lowe, elevated from youth team coach to temporary Derby manager for the evening.

United were so unconvincing that Ferguson's plans to rest all his key players ahead of Sunday's League meeting with title rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge had to be abandoned after an hour. They had barely registered a shot against their former goalkeeper Roy Carroll's goal when Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo were introduced to cure the lethargy that gripped the overwhelming favourites.

Derby Country 1 - 0 Manchester United Highlights


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