81 touches, 95% pass accuracy: Real Madrid loanee shows he can replace Thorne

Derby County stadium entrance

Omar Mascarell put in his most impressive performance to date as Derby County beat a hapless Wolverhampton Wanderers side by five goals to nil on Saturday.

Real Madrid loanee Omar Mascarell was outstanding for Derby County as the Rams won back their place at the top of the Football League Championship table. 

The 21-year-old, along with his Derby County team-mates, put in a performance of high quality for the Sky Sports cameras and showed the watching nation just why they're currently ranked the best side in the division - and bookmakers' favourites for promotion.

Stoke City defender Ryan Shotton (on loan at Pride Park) opened the scoring for the Rams after just 16 minutes, getting onto the end of sensational Mascarell free-kick and leaving Carl Ikeme with no chance whatsoever. Derby doubled their lead through Jeff Hendrick just 12 minutes later, after a Simon Dawkins knock-down set him up nicely on the edge of the box to place the ball into the far left-hand corner. 

Johnny Russell grabbed a third just before half-time, following a well-worked Mascarell corner, and sent the home side into the dressing room at half-time in good spirits. 

In the second-half, Derby piled on more misery for Kenny Jackett's men as both Hendrick and Russell doubled up to send Derby fans home happy with a top-class performance and, above all, three priceless points. 

After the match, many Derby County fans spoke of the performance against Wolves as being reminiscent of a similar standard to what they saw towards the end of last season. More specifically, what they saw when George Thorne was playing in the same role as Mascarell back then. 

In light of Thorne's injury, the Spaniard has been battling with veteran midfielder John Eustace for the defensive midfield role at the club - but this performance will surely swing the pendulum in the Real Madrid man's favour for good. 

Omar Mascarell v Wolverhampton Wanderers stats:

  GoalsAssistsChances CreatedTotal PassesAccurate PassesTotal TacklesForward PassesTouchesMins Played
Omar Mascarell 0 1 4 64 61 2 26 81 89

The Spaniard made the most touches, most passes and most key passes of anyone at Pride Park, while he boasted the best passing accuracy out of anyone on the pitch. Mascarell, though, will undoubtedly be most happy with his assist for the opener. 

A passing accuracy of 95% from a total of 64 attempted passes underlines the quality of the midfielder. However, when you consider he made more forward passes than anyone else on the pitch - 26 - it highlights his quality even more. 

In the absence of Thorne, Derby County simply haven't been able to hit the standards they set at the back-end of last season. Until now.

Mascarell's performance may just make Derby fans believe. Firstly, that the Spaniard can fill that midfield void, at least until Thorne returns, and, secondly, believe in promotion.

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