Half-time: Theo Robinson strike gives Derby County hope at Leicester City
THEO Robinson's ninth goal of the season has given Derby County hope at the King Power Stadium - but they still trail Leicester City 2-1 after the first half of their Championship encounter.
Zak Whitbread headed the Foxes into a sixth-minute lead and Martyn Waghorn added a second as the hosts threatened to run riot.
However, Robinson halved the deficit seven minutes before the interval to keep Nigel Clough's men in the game.
Derby were without midfielder Craig Bryson (knee) and Gareth Roberts (calf) due to injury, so there were starts for Jeff Hendrick and James O'Connor.
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The Foxes went ahead with barely five minutes on the clock.
Waghorn's outswinging corner was met by Whitbread, whose downward header from eight yards beat keeper Adam Legzdins and Michael Jacobs on the line.
Leicester's tails were up and Waghorn, after he was fouled by Jake Buxton, saw his 25-yard free kick clawed around the post by Legzdins in the 10th minute.
A couple of minutes later, Waghorn's free kick from the left looped over the keeper and clipped the crossbar.
Derby could not stem the tide and Jamie Vardy smashed a shot wide through a crowd of bodies after Richard Keogh's desperate clearance fell to him.
Moments later, Lloyd Dyer's cross from the left was acrobatically volleyed goalwards by Waghorn but Legzdins produced a fine reflex save.
The home side doubled their lead after 22 minutes.
O'Connor gave the ball away to Anthony Knockaert, who then beat the Derby left-back before picking out Vardy in the middle.
In turn, Vardy slipped a pass to Waghorn and his deft finish from 10 yards gave the keeper no chance.
Leicester kept coming and Vardy pounced on another poor pass, skipped past Keogh and fired in a low shot which Legzdins kept out with his legs.
The corner found its way to Knockaert on the edge of the area and his curling effort was tipped over by the Rams keeper.
Finally, Derby managed to get a foothold in the game - having changed formation to 4-5-1 - and Paul Coutts forced Kasper Schmeichel into a smart save with a low shot from 25 yards in the 33rd minute.
Michael Jacobs then shot straight at Schmeichel after good work from O'Connor - and the visitors pulled a goal back in the 38th minute.
Will Hughes slid a pass to Jacobs, who clipped the ball between two Leicester defenders to Robinson.
The striker, just onside, controlled neatly before volleying an emphatic shot past Schmeichel from eight yards.
The balance of the game suddenly shifted as Derby sensed a way back.
Hughes played in Conor Sammon, who burst between two defenders but his shot lacked conviction, allowing Schmeichel to block with his legs.
In first-half stoppage time, Hughes picked out Robinson 20 yards from goal and his curler was beaten away by the keeper.