Leicester boss Nigel Pearson expressed delight at his side's flying start after they inflicted a heavy 4-1 defeat on Derby in an enthralling East Midlands derby at the King Power Stadium.

Martyn Waghorn took centre stage as the Foxes surged into a two-goal lead during a thoroughly one-sided opening half-hour.

Derby halved their arrears through Theo Robinson, but David Nugent then came off the bench to score twice and secure a victory that lifts Leicester back up to third in the npower Championship.

"It was an outstanding start to the game for us. I think that's the best we've played," said Pearson. "We totally dominated and to get two goals in that period was fully deserved.

"I was a bit disappointed that we were only one goal ahead at half-time, but I think we kept our composure well in the second half."

It was Waghorn's corner that led to Zak Whitbread's opener and the England Under-21 international could have had a hat-trick before scoring Leicester's second on 23 minutes.

Pearson added: "Over the last two or three weeks he's put in some very good performances for us. He's certainly contributed in a very positive manner and I think scoring his first goal, when we beat Ipswich (6-0 on November 17), took a bit of pressure off him."

Derby manager Nigel Clough was left to bemoan the defensive frailties of his team, who have now lost four away games on the trot and five successive league meetings with Leicester.

"The first time Cardiff went in our box the other night they scored and it was the same with Leicester. It's another goal conceded from a set-play," said the boss. "That's the only thing that's holding us back.

"The general performance was not too bad for long periods of the game, but all that goes out the window if you don't defend properly and we certainly didn't in the first half hour. If you give someone like Leicester the first goal after five minutes they're going to be all over you. They're extremely strong at home."