Derby County ended an eight-game winless run and eased their relegation fears with a gritty victory over out-of-form promotion hopefuls Leicester.
Richard Keogh leapt highest to convert Jamie Ward's inswinging free-kick before Chris Martin's well-directed header doubled the Rams' advantage.
The Foxes improved after a limp first-half display and substitute Jeffrey Schlupp's fierce strike made it 2-1.
Derby end losing run
Derby's victory in the 96th East Midlands derby between the sides ends a run of five consecutive defeats against the Foxes.
The Rams last took points off the Foxes in March 2010, when they won this corresponding fixture 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Andy King.
But Derby had the better chances late on and held out for a deserved win.
It was an East Midlands derby victory the Rams desperately needed after a good day for many of the Championship's strugglers, and it means Nigel Clough's men maintain their six-point gap over the bottom three.
Derby dominated the first period and were in control against a Leicester side who have now gone five games without a victory and have slipped down to sixth spot following Nottingham Forest's 2-1 win at Hull City.
Leicester looked like a side lacking in confidence against a Derby team who grew in stature and matched their endeavour with quality in the final third.
Captain Keogh gave them the platform for their crucial win, running onto leading scorer Ward's teasing set-piece to head past Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel on 16 minutes.
Martin almost made it 2-0 soon after and the on-loan striker did double the lead just before the break when, after a good move down the left flank, he coolly headed Craig Forsyth's cross into the corner of the net from eight yards.
Schlupp, who has been on trial with Manchester United, increased the tension around Pride Park just after the hour when his blistering shot flew past Frank Fielding after a neat lay-off from David Nugent.
Nugent could have drawn the Foxes level within a couple of minutes, only to shoot straight at Fielding.
But the hosts regained their composure and remained the better side.
Ben Davies saw a fizzing 25-yard effort fly just over the bar and Martin had a deflected effort saved by Schmeichel.
However Derby did not need the cushion of a third goal and held on to win with relative ease despite six minutes of injury time and some sustained late pressure.
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +6:00
Direct free kick taken by Frank Fielding.90:00 +6:00 Booking
Booking Sean St. Ledger is cautioned by the ref for dissent.90:00 +5:50
The referee penalises Danny Drinkwater for handball.90:00 +4:05
Free kick awarded for a foul by Harry Kane on Jeff Hendrick. Frank Fielding takes the direct free kick.90:00 +3:04
Shot from just outside the area by Paul Konchesky goes over the bar.90:00 +1:23
Shot from outside the area by Jeff Schlupp misses to the left of the target.89:27
Shot by Paul Konchesky from 20 yards. Paul Coutts gets a block in. Danny Drinkwater takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.87:28
Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Konchesky on Craig Bryson. Free kick taken by Paul Coutts.86:13
Effort on goal by Ben Marshall from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.85:03
Drilled left-footed shot by Harry Kane. Jake Buxton gets a block in.83:38
Danny Drinkwater is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ben Davies, save by Kasper Schmeichel.80:05
The free kick is swung in right-footed by Ben Marshall, clearance made by Richard Keogh.80:05 Substitution
Substitution Kieron Freeman leaves the field to be replaced by Valentin Gjokaj.80:05 Booking
Booking Kieron Freeman goes into the referee's book.79:50
Free kick awarded for a foul by Kieron Freeman on Jeff Schlupp.78:58
Shot by Chris Martin. Blocked by Wes Morgan.78:32
Craig Bryson fouled by Danny Drinkwater, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Craig Bryson.77:13
Centre by Paul Konchesky, Jake Buxton makes a clearance.77:07
Centre by Sean St. Ledger, Jake Buxton manages to make a clearance.
Shot from 20 yards by Chris Martin. Comfortable save by Kasper Schmeichel. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Harry Kane by Craig Bryson. Ben Marshall shoots direct from the free kick.70:02
Shot by Craig Bryson. Jake Buxton gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ben Davies from the left by-line, Michael Keane manages to make a clearance.69:19
David Nugent takes a shot. Comfortable save by Frank Fielding.68:28 Substitution
Substitution Chris Wood goes off and Harry Kane comes on.67:39
Corner taken right-footed by Ben Davies to the near post.64:19
Shot from 25 yards by Ben Davies. Comfortable save by Kasper Schmeichel.63:26
Andy King concedes a free kick for a foul on Conor Sammon. Jeff Hendrick crosses the ball in from the free kick, comfortable save by Kasper Schmeichel.62:46
David Nugent takes a shot. Save by Frank Fielding.62:02 Substitution
Substitution Ben Davies joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jamie Ward.61:27
David Nugent provided the assist for the goal.61:27 Goal scored
Goal! - Jeff Schlupp - Derby 2 - 1 Leicester Jeff Schlupp fires in a goal from the edge of the penalty box high into the middle of the goal. Derby 2-1 Leicester.58:44
The referee blows for offside against Conor Sammon. Indirect free kick taken by Kasper Schmeichel.58:11
A cross is delivered by Paul Konchesky.57:04
Ben Marshall takes a shot. Frank Fielding makes a comfortable save.55:58 Substitution
Substitution Ben Marshall is brought on as a substitute for Lloyd Dyer.52:55
Foul by Chris Wood on Jeff Hendrick, free kick awarded. Craig Forsyth takes the direct free kick.51:44
Conor Sammon is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Kasper Schmeichel restarts play with the free kick.50:30
Jamie Ward delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, comfortable save by Kasper Schmeichel.50:30 Booking
Booking Michael Keane goes into the book.50:25
Unfair challenge on Conor Sammon by Michael Keane results in a free kick.47:49
Handball by Andy King. Kasper Schmeichel takes the free kick.46:13
Sean St. Ledger fouled by Chris Martin, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Kasper Schmeichel.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Jeff Schlupp is brought on as a substitute for Richie Wellens.45:00 +2:19 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +0:32
Chris Wood has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.43:27
The assist for the goal came from Craig Forsyth.43:27 Goal scored
Goal! - Chris Martin - Derby 2 - 0 Leicester Chris Martin scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Derby 2-0 Leicester.41:39
Corner from the right by-line taken by Paul Konchesky, clearance made by Richard Keogh. Andy King has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.41:02
Jamie Ward takes a shot. Save made by Kasper Schmeichel.36:13 Booking
Booking Paul Coutts is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.35:59
Chris Wood takes a shot.34:03
Paul Coutts crosses the ball, Jamie Ward takes a shot. Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Coutts on Sean St. Ledger. Sean St. Ledger restarts play with the free kick.31:28
Chris Wood fouled by Craig Bryson, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Drinkwater takes the direct free kick.27:24
Shot from 12 yards by David Nugent. Save by Frank Fielding.26:10
Unfair challenge on Jamie Ward by Andy King results in a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jamie Ward from left wing.24:57
Andy King crosses the ball, Shot by Lloyd Dyer from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.23:35
Danny Drinkwater takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Chris Martin makes a clearance.22:48
Inswinging corner taken by Danny Drinkwater from the left by-line.22:12
Chris Martin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Wes Morgan. Kasper Schmeichel takes the direct free kick.21:49
Foul by Chris Wood on Jake Buxton, free kick awarded. Frank Fielding takes the free kick.21:08
Kasper Schmeichel restarts play with the free kick.21:08 Booking
Booking Jamie Ward is given a yellow card.21:00
Jamie Ward gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy King.20:43
The ball is swung over by Paul Konchesky, comfortable save by Frank Fielding.18:55
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Danny Drinkwater from the right by-line, Frank Fielding fouled by David Nugent, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Frank Fielding.15:55
Assist on the goal came from Jamie Ward.15:55 Goal scored
Goal! - Richard Keogh - Derby 1 - 0 Leicester Richard Keogh finds the net with a headed goal from close in. Derby 1-0 Leicester.15:14
Foul by Wes Morgan on Conor Sammon, free kick awarded. Jamie Ward crosses the ball,13:50
Jamie Ward produces a cross, Conor Sammon takes a shot.12:07
David Nugent fouled by Jeff Hendrick, the ref awards a free kick. Danny Drinkwater restarts play with the free kick.10:38
Outswinging corner taken by Jamie Ward from the right by-line.6:45
Jamie Ward is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Kasper Schmeichel.5:07
Free kick awarded for a foul by Richie Wellens on Paul Coutts. Frank Fielding takes the direct free kick.2:27
Header from deep inside the area by Andy King goes over the bar.0:50
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Martin by Wes Morgan. Paul Coutts takes the free kick.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to start the match.
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