Match ends, Queens Park Rangers 2, Derby County 1.
Ilias Chair scored seconds after coming off the bench to earn Queens Park Rangers victory over Derby County at Loftus Road.
Both sides are anchored in mid-table but victory saw QPR leapfrog their opponents into the top half although both side's play-off hopes are slim.
Grant Hall gave the hosts a first-half lead with a splendid half-volley, only for Martyn Waghorn to head home the equaliser two minutes before the break.
But, less than two minutes after being sent on by Rangers boss Mark Warburton, Chair was found by Eberechi Eze and he lashed in the winner with his right boot.
Victory continued QPR's improved form having now earned eight points in their past four games, after losing their previous three, to steer them well clear of a relegation battle.
Derby's away form has been the reason they have not mounted a more serious play-off challenge, boasting the second-best home record in the Championship but the third-worst form on the road. This was their their 10th away defeat of the campaign.
They were behind 11 minutes before half-time as a corner found Hall in the centre of the penalty area and his right-foot effort flew in off the underside of the bar.
Derby levelled from their own corner when Waghorn glanced in a header off the left-hand post from Max Bird's outswinging delivery.
But Chair, who had barely touched the ball after being introduced, won the game 15 minutes from time as Eze slid a pass to him in the right half of the area and his thunderous strike was too much for Ben Hamer in the Derby goal.
QPR were made to wait to confirm victory after referee Keith Stroud was struck in the head and needed treatment - and that allowed Derby one final chance as a long ball fell to Waghorn just inside the area but he curled a left-foot effort wide.
Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Warburton told BBC Radio London:
"They're a tough opponent and their front line is up there with anything in the division so we knew they posed an attacking threat.
"We felt we could expose them with our attacking threat at the other end of the pitch and that was the case.
"In the first half I thought we were lethargic, deserved to be in front but huffed and puffed in the final third. We felt if we stepped up the tempo we would take the points."
Derby manager Philip Cocu told BBC Radio Derby:
"In these games you play well and create a lot of opportunities to score but only score one, but the opponent score two from maybe three chances, so they were very effective.
"We have to defend better in these key moments. The first one was an unlucky bounce but the second we have to defend better.
"If we can prevent this goal there is a chance we can win the game but we didn't put our heads down, we kept going as we always do and at the end we could even have won it."
- 2KaneBooked at 51mins
- 29BarbetBooked at 80mins
- 10EzeBooked at 90mins
- 7PughSubstituted forChairat 73'minutes
- 9HugillSubstituted forClarkeat 62'minutes
- 33DaviesSubstituted forBogleat 71'minutes
- 4ShinnieSubstituted forWhittakerat 79'minutes
- 9WaghornBooked at 52mins
- 14MarriottSubstituted forMartinat 72'minutes
- Keith Stroud
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Queens Park Rangers 2, Derby County 1.
Attempt missed. Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.
Eberechi Eze (Queens Park Rangers) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.
Hand ball by Eberechi Eze (Queens Park Rangers).
Attempt saved. Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Grant Hall.
Attempt blocked. Tom Lawrence (Derby County) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Corner, Derby County. Conceded by Grant Hall.
Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left from a direct free kick.
Morgan Whittaker (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dominic Ball (Queens Park Rangers).
Attempt saved. Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Max Bird.
Attempt saved. Ilias Chair (Queens Park Rangers) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ryan Manning with a cross.
Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Geoff Cameron (Queens Park Rangers).
Foul by Andre Wisdom (Derby County).
Bright Samuel (Queens Park Rangers) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Hand ball by Ryan Manning (Queens Park Rangers).
Attempt missed. Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.