Jesse Lingard, on loan from Manchester United, was among the goalscorers, showing manager Steve McClaren why he needs to be in the team for the rest of the season.
Lingard may be a small attacking player but he has several attributes, which suggest he can play a key role for the Rams over the rest of the season.
The 22-year-old seemed to relish the chance to play alongside some very talented attacking players last night and in behind experienced striker Darren Bent.
His main challenge over the rest of the season is to try and stay consistent in big games for his loan club.
Derby being at the top of the table suggests that they are the targets for every other side in the Championship.
Teams will be determined to knock them off of top spot and put them under pressure, as they seek to improve their own positions at the top and bottom of the table.
The job for the manager is throwing him into the team and withdrawing him at the right moments to keep him fresh during big games.
Manchester United will want McClaren to give him plenty of game time, but the manager has to do what’s best for Derby as they look to secure a place in the Premier League.
It could be the case that Lingard has played such an influential role on this Derby side at the end of the season that the Rams look to try and tie him down on a long term permanent deal. However, it’s one step at a time and the focus moves to the match against Fulham.
Here’s what Derby fans had to say about Lingard’s performance last night on Twitter.
Thorne just comes back in effortlessly. Lingard as dangerous as Ibe.— Derby Retweets (@DerbyRetweets) February 24, 2015
LVG a fan of Lingard and will be monitoring his progress carefully. Has the potential to do what Ibe has done.— Derby Retweets (@DerbyRetweets) February 24, 2015
Derby got in some amazing loans. Ince, Lingard, Bent... hard to see them not being in the top 2— Luke Middleton (@LuxWFC) February 25, 2015
Jesse Lingard on target again tonight for Derby. Have rated him since day one. Hope he gets his chance at United next season.— JJ Peterson (@JJPeterson7) February 25, 2015
Rate Bent/Lingard/Ince— Sam (@MaudzleySam) February 24, 2015
Great win for the Rams tonight at this stage of the season. It's the 3 points that counts! Knew Lingard would score #DCFCvCAFC— Black County Rams (@UltimateSB17) February 24, 2015
@chrislowe16 the second goal was a decent move and well finished by lingard— Josh_DCFC (@josh_birley) February 24, 2015
Derby won very strong team Lingard getting a goal good to see rate him very highly .— joshua bunting (@Buntinglad) February 24, 2015