Wolverhampton Wanderers fired out a potential festive statement of intent to derail Derby's Pride Park bandwagon and register their first Boxing Day win in almost a decade.
Not since beating Oxford in 1997 had Wolves enjoyed a successful December 26, but this was almost worth the wait as they produced an archetypal away-day performance and manager Mick McCarthy did a job on opposite number Billy Davies.
Last September, Davies brought his struggling Derby side to Molineux sitting one off the bottom of the Championship table and left with a vital three points, thanks to a display brimming with determination and a Steve Howard goal.
This time around, Wolves, though certainly not struggling, were mindful of an incredible run of form which has resulted in Derby winning five games on the trot at home to propel themselves into the race for automatic promotion.
Just as at Birmingham last month, McCarthy went for a 4-5-1 formation, transforming to a 4-3-3, based on a solid midf ield of Karl Henry, Darren Potter and the forward-thinking Seyi Olofinjana, plus the twin threat from wingers Michael McIndoe and Michael Kightly which meant Wolves were far from defensive.
It may well be that Derby were just getting the measure of the game-plan when Olofinjana headed home an excellent opener on 66 minutes.
But from there, they were unable to put together anything to overly trouble McCarthy's men and K ightly's excellent injury-time finish was a gleefully-accepted dose of icing on the cake.
"Was that our best performance of the season? That's for you guys to say," McCarthy said.
"It's one of our best results, certainly, and I thought we were the better side. That makes it four points from our first two Christmas games and, while I never set any targets, I'm sure we'd have taken that last week.
"Maybe it's the other way round from what people might have expected but I never look into that too much."
As has become traditional for Wolves in recent weeks, there was something of a slow start to the game, although perhaps that was not necessarily a negative, considering Derby's lofty status at third in the table and the fact that they had won their previous five games at Pride Park and lost only one in 11 overall.
Indeed, it was McCarthy's men who fashioned the game's first two chances with Leon Clarke and Kightly shooting straight at goalkeeper Stephen Bywater before Derby's David Jones saw his free kick deflected on to the crossbar.
Steve Howard also went close with a blistering drive before the break but it was after half-time that things picked up a notch when, within a minute, Marc Edworthy appeared to handle a routine through-ball.
Referee Trevor Kettle, however, awarded only a corner, after which Derby almost took immediate advantage as Howard connected with Matt Oakley's cross only for his close-range effort to bounce back off the post.
The cautioning of Derby substitute Bob Malcolm, for tangling with Kightly as he warmed up, raised the temperature before the Rams squandered a glorious opening as Jon Stead turned and shot wide just after the hour.
Ultimately, though, it was Wolves who showed the way to goal with Olofinjana's header, after which Murray saved twice from Jon Stead before Kightly produced his emphatic finale.