Derby had started the season with a 3-3 draw at home against Leeds United, but took a further four games to record their first win.
Fast forward seven months, Manchester United sat at the top of the tree, followed by Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle, while Derby sat 12th.
A visit to Old Trafford was next up for the Rams. Derby had managed a draw against the Champions at the Baseball Ground, but Jim Smith's men knew the difficulty of the task ahead.
Manchester United lined up with: Johnsen, the two Neville's and Pallister in defence in front of Schmeicel. The midfield consisted of Giggs (ever present), Keane, Butt and Beckham with a front two of Cantona and Cole.
But it was Derby who took the lead at Old Trafford through Ashley Ward. Paulo Wanchope, making his debut, headed the ball back across the box and the ball took a slight deflection to go over Schmeicel. But Wanchope wasn't finished.
The Costa Rican made a lasting impression on the Derby fans that day and his goal was voted by the fans as the Rams' best ever during the 125 year anniversary celebrations in 2009.
Cantona did manage to get United back into it after half time, but with 15 minutes to go Dean Sturridge – uncle of Daniel Sturridge – netted his ninth of the season to put Derby 3-1 up.
Solsjkaer had come on by that point and netted another for United just a minute later but the Rams ran out winners that day and supporters had a memorable goal to take back to Derby with them.
Both Steve McClaren and Paul Simpson were involved that day – McClaren as assistant coach and Simpson playing – and today 17 years later their Derby side travel to Middlesbrough continuing their bid to get back to the top flight.