Full-time: Derby County beaten 4-1 at Leicester City
DERBY County suffered a fourth successive away defeat as they went down 4-1 against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Goals from Zak Whitbread and Martyn Waghorn put the Foxes in control and they threatened to run riot before Theo Robinson's ninth goal of the season got the Rams back in the game.
However, substitute David Nugent sealed the points for the home side with a late brace.
Derby were without midfielder Craig Bryson (knee) and Gareth Roberts (calf) due to injury, so there were starts for Jeff Hendrick and James O'Connor.
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The Foxes went ahead with barely five minutes on the clock.
Waghorn's outswinging corner was met by Whitbread, whose downward header from eight yards beat keeper Adam Legzdins and Michael Jacobs on the line.
Leicester's tails were up and Waghorn, after he was fouled by Jake Buxton, saw his 25-yard free kick clawed around the post by Legzdins in the 10th minute.
A couple of minutes later, Waghorn's free kick from the left looped over the keeper and clipped the crossbar.
Derby could not stem the tide and Jamie Vardy smashed a shot wide through a crowd of bodies after Richard Keogh's desperate clearance fell to him.
Moments later, Lloyd Dyer's cross from the left was acrobatically volleyed goalwards by Waghorn but Legzdins produced a fine reflex save.
The home side doubled their lead after 22 minutes.
O'Connor gave the ball away to Anthony Knockaert, who then beat the Derby left-back before picking out Vardy in the middle.
In turn, Vardy slipped a pass to Waghorn and his deft finish from 10 yards gave the keeper no chance.
Leicester kept coming and Vardy pounced on another poor pass, skipped past Keogh and fired in a low shot which Legzdins kept out with his legs.
The corner found its way to Knockaert on the edge of the area and his curling effort was tipped over by the Rams keeper.
Finally, Derby managed to get a foothold in the game - having changed formation to 4-5-1 - and Paul Coutts forced Kasper Schmeichel into a smart save with a low shot from 25 yards in the 33rd minute.
Michael Jacobs then shot straight at Schmeichel after good work from O'Connor - and the visitors pulled a goal back in the 38th minute.
Will Hughes slid a pass to Jacobs, who clipped the ball between two Leicester defenders to Robinson.
The striker, just onside, controlled neatly before volleying an emphatic shot past Schmeichel from eight yards.
The balance of the game suddenly shifted as Derby sensed a way back.
Hughes played in Conor Sammon, who burst between two defenders but his shot lacked conviction, allowing Schmeichel to block with his legs.
In first-half stoppage time, Hughes picked out Robinson 20 yards from goal and his curler was beaten away by the keeper.
After a subdued start to the second period, Dyer burst into the area past Buxton, only to see his angled drive saved by Legzdins.
At the other end, Paul Konchesky's error let in Sammon but, from the right by-line, Schmeichel managed to force the ball out for a corner.
Just after the hour, Jacobs' 20-yard free kick was diverted narrowly over by the wall and when Robinson dived in to meet Sammon's low centre, Schmeichel blocked.
Waghorn almost got his second goal in the 74th minute when he shrugged off O'Connor in the area but his lob came back off the bar, possibly via a touch from Legzdins.
But it was only a brief reprieve for the Rams as moments later, Ben Marshall crossed from the left for fellow substitute Nugent, who rose above Keogh, to head in from six yards.
Nugent was not finished and, with two minutes to go, his fine half-volley from Danny Drinkwater's pass found its way into the top corner.
LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel, De Laet, Morgan, Whitbread, Konchesky, Knockaert (James, 80), Drinkwater, King, Dyer (Marshall, 67), Waghorn, Vardy (Nugent, 66). Other subs: Logan (gk), Schlupp, Moore, Futacs.
DERBY COUNTY: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, Buxton, O'Connor (Freeman, 77), Coutts, Hendrick, Hughes, Jacobs (Bennett, 86), Robinson (Tyson, 81), Sammon. Other subs: Fielding (gk), O'Brien, Hoganson, Davies.
REFEREE: G Eltringham (County Durham).
ATTENDANCE: 20,680 (883 away fans).