Match ends, Derby County 3, Brentford 0.
Cameron Jerome scored his first goal for Derby as they comfortably beat 10-man Brentford at Pride Park.
The Bees lost Sergi Canos to a straight red card after just 21 minutes for a dangerous tackle from behind on Marcus Olsson, before two goals in three minutes put Derby in complete control.
Tom Huddlestone scored from close range before Jerome fired in off the bar.
Matej Vydra converted a stoppage-time penalty after Sam Winnall was brought down to help keep Derby second.
Gary Rowett's side were on the back foot in the opening exchanges before a lunge by Canos saw the Brentford striker dismissed and Derby took full advantage.
Huddlestone scored his first goal of the season - and his first for the Rams - when he turned in Jerome's saved header, and it was 2-0 when Tom Lawrence's shot was blocked, presenting Jerome with his chance to score his first goal since his January move from Norwich.
Victory extended Derby's unbeaten league run to 11 matches and keeps them in the automatic promotion places by a single point.
Brentford, who spurned an excellent early chance when Florian Jozefzoon lashed a volley over the bar from 12 yards out, failed to gain ground on the play-off places and remain eight points adrift.
Derby manager Gary Rowett:
"If I'm being honest it didn't look like a blatant sending off, it looked like a dangerous tackle although I'd have to see a really clear view to see whether I thought it was particularly dangerous.
"My players were surrounding the referee? I think that's a cop-out, you can't blame players for surrounding the referee.
"You can blame a player for going in recklessly, you can blame a referee if you don't think it's the right decision but to suggest our players have influenced the referee is an excuse in my opinion."
Brentford head coach Dean Smith:
"Unfortunately the scoreline is reflective of the referee's decision which, for me, was very harsh.
"I think the reason he is sent off was because of the reaction of the Derby players. They run around the referee, four or five go straight round him which makes his mind up.
"The referee said it was excessive force but I don't know how you can make a tackle on that pitch when it's as greasy as that without excessive force. There's certainly nothing malicious in that tackle."
- 29OlssonBooked at 90mins
- 34ThorneSubstituted forLedleyat 79'minutes
- 8AnyaSubstituted forPalmerat 90'minutes
- 32JeromeBooked at 63minsSubstituted forWinnallat 63'minutes
- 5BjellandBooked at 71mins
- 12MokotjoSubstituted forJudgeat 76'minutes
- 15WoodsBooked at 37minsSubstituted forYennarisat 62'minutes
- 7JozefzoonSubstituted forMarcondesat 62'minutes
- 47CanosBooked at 21mins
- Peter Bankes
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Derby County 3, Brentford 0.
Attempt missed. Romaine Sawyers (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.
Attempt missed. Yoann Barbet (Brentford) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.
Marcus Olsson (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Marcus Olsson (Derby County).
Ollie Watkins (Brentford) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Goal! Derby County 3, Brentford 0. Matej Vydra (Derby County) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Penalty Derby County. Sam Winnall draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Chris Mepham (Brentford) after a foul in the penalty area.
Substitution, Derby County. Kasey Palmer replaces Ikechi Anya.
Offside, Derby County. Ikechi Anya tries a through ball, but Sam Winnall is caught offside.
Foul by Tom Huddlestone (Derby County).
Romaine Sawyers (Brentford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Matej Vydra (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Romaine Sawyers (Brentford).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Sam Winnall (Derby County) because of an injury.
Attempt saved. Sam Winnall (Derby County) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tom Huddlestone.
Attempt saved. Tom Lawrence (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcus Olsson.