Cesc Fabregas struck with three minutes to go as leaders Chelsea ground out a win against QPR at Loftus Road.
The midfielder arrived late into the box and fired home from 16 yards after Eden Hazard and Oscar capitalised on a poor kick out by QPR’s Rob Green.
Chelsea had not registered a single shot on target until then but did enough to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.
QPR forced saves from Thibaut Courtois but remain two points adrift of safety.
It would not have been undeserved if Chris Ramsey’s side had taken all three points – Belgian keeper Courtois denying Charlie Austin and the impressive Matt Phillips twice.
The leaders were struggling to deal with some intense Rangers pressing, while midfielder Joey Barton caught the eye as he drove the hosts forward at every opportunity.
He, like Austin and Bobby Zamora further forward, made it uncomfortable for Jose Mourinho’s men, who looked like going an entire 90 minutes without forcing a save from Green.
But the former England keeper’s poor clearance was picked up by Eden Hazard, who combined with Oscar down the left before the playmakers picked out Fabregas. The Spaniard arrived at exactly the right time to steer the ball home.
It was not pretty from Chelsea, but it was certainly effective and they went 12 points clear of fourth-placed Manchester City, 11 ahead of Manchester United and six in front of Arsenal to edge ever closer to winning their first title since 2010.
Chelsea’s goal celebrations were marred by home fans throwing missiles, with Branislav Ivanovic appearing to be struck by an object which he subsequently handed to referee Andre Marriner.
It spoiled a dramatic end to a contest which saw a well-organised Rangers side once again impress in their battle to remain in the division.


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