Match ends, Sheffield Wednesday 0, Derby County 0.
Derby missed out on the chance to go second in the Championship as they were held to a draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
The home side were generally more enterprising, with Ross Wallace's shot forcing a superb save from Lee Grant.
It was the only effort on target in the opening half and chances remained scarce for either side after the break.
Daniel Pudil hammered a shot wide for the Owls, while Derby's Bradley Johnson rattled the bar with a late free-kick.
The Rams remain in third place, two points behind Middlesbrough, with Wednesday moving above Birmingham City into seventh place, and outside the play-off places on goal difference only.
The match saw players and supporters pay tribute to 18-year-old Sheffield Hallam University student Caroline Everest, who was found dead in a river last month, with a round of applause in the 18th minute.
|Hard to beat|
|Derby have taken 33 points from their last 14 league games, while Wednesday have 26 from the last 13 - both sides only beaten once|
Wednesday have not beaten the Rams in any competition since April 2006 and boss Carlos Carvalhal made five changes to the starting line-up against Blackburn last weekend in the hope of finding a winning formula.
The visitors had Lee Grant in goal in place of the injured Scott Carson and he soon proved his worth as he prevented Wallace's powerful half-volley from finding the top corner.
There was plenty of endeavour by Wednesday in the first 45 minutes, but the game lacked the touch of quality that might have been expected from two of the division's form sides.
Derby, having won 10 of their last 13 Championship matches, took until the 67th minute to produce an effort of note, when Johnson's left-foot effort was saved by Keiren Westwood.
Tom Ince was largely ineffective in front of watching father Paul and was taken off just after the hour mark along with Stephen Warnock, who had taken a knock.
It was Johnson, back in the side after suspension, who came closest to a winner when Johnny Russell rolled an indirect free-kick to him inside the box after the Owls were penalised for a backpass, and his shot struck the woodwork.
Wednesday defender Glenn Loovens glanced a corner wide, and Derby sub Darren Bent had the ball in the net late on but it was ruled out for offside, with neither side able to break the deadlock.
Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal: "I analysed the game and I think they played very well, but today I think we played better than the opponent.
"I am not saying we are better than Derby, but today I think we had more quality on the pitch.
"This is good for us, this is good for the future. Where you are in the table, I don't think it is important as it's December.
"In May, it can be important but not at this moment. It is important that we're in a process."
Derby County head coach Paul Clement: "I didn't think we played very well today - I was very disappointed at the end of the first half.
"It was slightly better in the second half and in the end we were only a crossbar away from nicking it, but I think overall it was probably a fair result.
"Credit to them and the way they defended - tight lines, a lot of pressure on the ball, doubling up and they've got confidence here at home. They've got a good home record."
- 4HutchinsonBooked at 53mins
- 36PudilBooked at 70mins
- 21LópezBooked at 31mins
- 45ForestieriBooked at 90mins
- 18Lucas JoãoSubstituted forHooperat 76'minutes
- 37WarnockSubstituted forBairdat 64'minutes
- 18ButterfieldBooked at 30mins
- 34ThorneBooked at 23mins
- 23InceSubstituted forRussellat 63'minutes
- 24WeimannSubstituted forBentat 76'minutes
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sheffield Wednesday 0, Derby County 0.
Offside, Derby County. Chris Martin tries a through ball, but Darren Bent is caught offside.
Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Fernando Forestieri (Sheffield Wednesday).
Johnny Russell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. George Thorne (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Foul by Gary Hooper (Sheffield Wednesday).
Jason Shackell (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Derby County. George Thorne tries a through ball, but Darren Bent is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Glenn Loovens (Sheffield Wednesday) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ross Wallace with a cross following a set piece situation.
Daniel Pudil (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Cyrus Christie (Derby County).
Attempt saved. Chris Martin (Derby County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Bradley Johnson (Derby County) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Johnny Russell following a set piece situation.
Back pass by Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday).
(Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Ross Wallace (Sheffield Wednesday) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Gary Hooper.
Daniel Pudil (Sheffield Wednesday) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Bradley Johnson (Derby County).