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Summary

  1. Result: Brighton 3-0 QPR
  2. Brighton go top of Championship
  3. Result: Derby 1-0 Birmingham
  4. Derby one point below play-off spots

Live Reporting

By Rob Stevens

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

#bbcefl

That's it from me this evening, thanks for joining me as both Brighton and Derby continued their fine form with victories.

It's worrying times for QPR fans though, with the west London side just three points above the bottom three.

Elsewhere, Birmingham supporters may be questioning the wisdom of replacing Gary Rowett with Gianfranco Zola after suffering back-to-back defeats.

We'll have more live text coverage of the Championship on Thursday, when Aston Villa host Leeds and Burton go to Rotherham.

Until then, goodbye.

Recap: Brighton go top

FT: Brighton 3-0 Derby

Brighton celebrate
Rex Features

Earlier on today, Brighton went two points clear at the top of the Championship with a routine victory over 10-man QPR.

Sam Baldock fired in the opener from 20 yards and Glenn Murray's coolly-taken penalty, awarded for Massimo Luongo's foul on Dale Stephens, made it 2-0.

Anthony Knockaert cut inside and sent a shot underneath Alex Smithies to round off the scoring for the Seagulls.

QPR, who had captain Nedum Onuoha sent off, fell to a sixth successive loss.

You can read Phil Cartwright's full report here.

Derby revival continues

FT: Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Owen Phillips

BBC Sport at Pride Park

Darren Bent’s penalty earned Derby an eighth win in nine Championship matches and ensured a second consecutive defeat for new Birmingham boss Gianfranco Zola.

The Rams took control following a lacklustre first half and increasing home pressure resulted in Bent confidently scoring after Michael Morrison bundled over Richard Keogh.

With Will Hughes outstanding in midfield, Derby continued to create chances as Birmingham struggled to retain possession.

But the hosts did not need a second goal to secure a win which takes them to within a point of the play-off places.

You can read more of Owen's report here.

FT: Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Derby deserved that one, with the Rams on top for most of the afternoon at Pride Park.

The hosts had 14 efforts on goal, with two on target.

The Rams have now kept a club-record seven consecutive clean sheets at home.

Birmingham, meanwhile, did not have an effort on goal and Scott Carson was rarely called into action.

FULL-TIME

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Darren Bent
Rex Features

That's it at Pride Park!

Derby have their eighth win in nine Championship games and are now one point behind the play-off places.

New Birmingham boss Gianfranco Zola has lost both his games since taking over from Gary Rowett.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

It's absolute carnage in the Derby box, as one Blues player tries an overhead kick and Lukas Jutkiewicz heads goalwards.

Scott Carson get a hand on it but drops the ball... however, referee Graham Scott blows for a foul.

It looks like Derby have weathered the late Birmingham storm.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Late free-kick for the Blues and they go long. Can they find an equaliser?

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Derby winger Tom Ince heads towards the corner.

The Rams look like they will see this one out.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

We are into three minutes of added time. Birmingham are going increasingly direct.

Derby are inching closer to a club-record seventh consecutive clean sheet at home.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

The free-kick is towards the back post but Bradley Johnson is there to head it away from danger.

The Blues go route one again, but the ball drifts through to Derby keeper Scott Carson.

Not much longer to hang on for the hosts.

YELLOW CARD (Hughes)

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Ryan Shotton pumps the ball into the Derby box but Ikechi Anya heads clear.

Birmingham are rallying in search of an equaliser.

Che Adams bursts forwards and is brought down by Will Hughes. The Rams midfielder gets a yellow for that one.

This is in a decent position to test the Derby defence.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Gianfranco Zola
Rex Features

We've not seen much of Birmingham coming forward in the second half.

Rams right-back Chris Baird is in the right place again to head a cross from Greg Stewart away from goal.

A long throw causes more problems, but David Davis has a speculative shot from range blocked.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

A worry for the visitors, as Alex Pearce gets to the corner just ahead of Blues keeper Tomas Kuszczak.

His header goes narrowly wide.

Derby could do with a second goal to spare them a nervous finish.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Tom Ince's ball into the box is decent, but a Birmingham defender gets there first and heads away.

Moments later Ince gets in behind the back four again, but Ryan Shotton is there to block at the expense of a corner.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Derby get a free-kick just outside the Birmingham box as Ryan Shotton goes through Will Hughes after the midfielder out-foxed him with a smart touch.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Gerry Taggart

Ex-Northern Ireland defender on BBC Radio 5 live

Birmingham need to change their game plan and throw more people forward. At the moment, the one they're using isn't working.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Derby make their final change as Abdoul Camara comes on for Johnny Russell.

The Rams are closing in on victory.

CLOSE!

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Johnny Russell is oh so close to making it 2-0 to Derby.

Great play by Will Hughes, who has been so industrious today, and he finds Tom Ince on the right of the box.

His ball goes all the way across the area to Russell, who volleys over from a tight angle.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Owen Phillips

BBC Sport at Pride Park

Birmingham fans have been in good voice throughout. But since the goal they have been a bit quieter. 

The Derby supporters take the chance to taunt them with "there's only one Gary Rowett". He's a former Ram of course.

So much for goodwill to all men.

Gary Rowett is at Pride Park today, working as a television pundit.

Gary Rowett
Empics

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Chris Baird is alert to save Derby's bacon with a great interception.

He nips in ahead of Diego Fabbrini to clear the ball after good work from Birmingham's Che Adams.

Derby make their second switch, as Matej Vydra replaces goalscorer Darren Bent up front.

Can the Czech's pace help bag a second for the Rams?

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Tom Ince
Getty Images

Tom Ince almost finds Will Hughes in the box but a blue shirt gets there first to clear.

Derby are asking plenty of questions of the Birmingham defence at the moment.

Strains of 'there's only one Gary Rowett' from the stands at Pride Park. Has that decision to change managers and bring in Gianfranco Zola derailed their play-off challenge?

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

A bit of aerial ping-pong and the ball drops to Tom Ince on the edge of the area.

He miscues his shot and skews the ball well wide.

Derby are on top at the moment. Rams keeper Scott Carson has not had much to do.

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Another half-chance for the hosts.

Will Hughes runs at the Blues defence and causes a bit of chaos but the ball eventually drops to Johnny Russell.

Russell gets plenty of power on his effort, but it is wayward.

SUBSTITUTION

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Birmingham make their second change of the match, with Diego Fabbrini replacing Maikel Kieftenbeld.

Can the Italian help compatriot Gianfranco Zola find a way back into the game?

Otherwise Zola will be starting his tenure with back-to-back defeats.

Gianfranco Zola
Rex Features

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Birmingham come forward for the first time since the goal, and Che Adams gets his first touch.

He looks to find an overlapping Jonathan Grounds, but the left-back has strayed offside.

Bent puts Derby ahead

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Owen Phillips

BBC Sport at Pride Park

I think Darren Bent enjoyed that. Maybe not the wisest move to make sure the celebration was very close to the Birmingham fans.

But it was a perfect penalty and the Derby fans next to the Blues supporters are literally bouncing now.

Was it a penalty?

Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Gerry Taggart

Ex-Northern Ireland defender on BBC Radio 5 live

You only get given those penalties at home. I think Keogh starts it, Morrison reacts to it. It's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

That's as clinical as you get from Darren Bent.

GOAL: Derby 1-0 Birmingham

Darren Bent (pen)

Darren Bent makes no mistake from the spot, sending Blues keeper Tomasz Kuszczak the wrong way.

The former Aston Villa strker slots the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Derby have the lead and are on course to make it nine matches unbeaten.

Darren Bent
Getty Images

PENALTY TO DERBY

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

A chance for Derby to find the breakthrough as Graham Scott points to the spot.

From a corner, Michael Morrison bundles over Richard Keogh. Morrison had his arm around the County skipper's neck.

Darren Bent has the ball on the spot.

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

In terms of possession at the moment, it's all Derby.

The Rams are looking for another opening and are probing for a weakness in the Blues defence.

The visitors make their first change, as Che Adams replaces Jacques Maghoma on the wing.

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

Ikechi Anya goes down in the Birmingham box under the challenge of Greg Stewart.

Home fans cry for a penalty, but the offside flag is up. Stewart did have a piece of his shirt...

YELLOW CARD (Davis)

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

Blues midfielder David Davis goes into the book for a mistimed sliding challenge on Bradley Johnson.

The Rams are starting to show more urgency.

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

Gerry Taggart

Ex-Northern Ireland defender on BBC Radio 5 live

Ryan Shotton gave the goalkeeper a big hug. He'd have been at fault if that had gone in.

Ryan - he's just saved your bacon.

Darren Bent
Rex Features

GREAT SAVE!

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

Birmingham keeper Tomasz Kuszczak is finally called into action.

Latching onto a poor header back from Ryan Shotton, first Darren Bent tries to lift the ball over the Pole.

The former Manchester United man rushes out off his line and smothers that one.

Tom Ince picks up the pieces and shoots, but it's straight at Kuszczak.

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

Steve McClaren and Gianfranco Zola
Rex Features

Both these men have managed in the Premier League, and they'd love to do so again.

And both have been frustrated so far this afternoon at Pride Park

Such long faces on the touchlines from Steve McClaren and Gianfranco Zola.

Who will be the man to make one of them smile?

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

Darren Bent is flagged offside again, this time from a ball forward from Richard Keogh.

The Birmingham defence had stepped up in unison, laying a fine trap to catch the Derby striker ahead of the play.

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

Bradley Johnson carries out a sly foul in the centre circle, tripping Blues striker Lukas Jutkiewicz.

The Derby midfielder escapes without a booking, despite protests from Birmingham players.

CLOSE!

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

The hosts have two chances in quick succession to go ahead.

The corner causes chaos and Stephen Gleeson has to be off the post quickly to block an effort.

Then Jacob Butterfield's cross-cum-shot evades everyone, Jonathan Grounds ducks under it and the ball cannons off Darren Bent and behind for a goal kick.

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

Richard Keogh pumps a ball forward in search of Johnny Russell.

A slight mix-up in the visitors' defence gives Derby a corner.

KICK-OFF

Derby 0-0 Birmingham

The second half is under way.

As it stands, Derby are moving up to seventh in the Championship, three points off the play-offs, and extending their unbeaten run to nine matches.

Blues would go seventh if they win.