Eden Hazard produced a moment of searing pace and trickery to force a penalty, which he duly converted to break the hearts of a dogged QPR at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.
That spot kick, with 15 minutes left, restored the lead which Chelsea had handed to their visitors on 62 minutes when Charlie Austin's deft back heel equalised Oscar's stunning forest half opener.
Chelsea remain top of the pile with West London neighbours QPR struggling a spot off bottom place.
In truth the Blues should have won by more. On possession and chances alone, Chelsea totally dominated the visitors.
Chelsea are now nine points clear of Manchester City with their Derby with United to come tomorrow.Three corners in the opening two minutes signalled Chelsea's intent to put pressure on beleaguered QPR as quickly as possible.
To their credit, Rangers defended manfully and repelled each corner kick professionally.
A brilliant Chelsea move, started by a sublime Cesc Fabregas ball out wide to Branislav Ivanovic on nine minutes ended with Oscar scuffing a left footer just past Robert Green. A. Knute later and Ivanovic should have put the Blues ahead when he got onto a Willian byline cross at Green's near post but could not steer the ball home.
The visitors first break almost saw them score on 15 minutes when Charilir Austin had a header from eight yards out deflected over the Chelsea crossbar by Gary Cahill.
A smart break by QPR's Leroy Fer on 24 minutes saw the midfielder cut through the Chelsea defence. Sadly for the midfielder he ran out of puff and was eventually stopped by the outstretched boot of Nemanja Matic.
Inevitably the relentless pressure put on the visitors bore fruit and boy was it a beauty. Started off by Fabregas once more, the Spain midfielder raced into the heart of the QPR back four. On the edge of the penalty area, he slide the ball to the in-running on the right, and, without breaking his pace, the Brazilian curled the perfect ball with the outside of his right-foot which flummoxed Green and the ball nestled into the bottom corner of his net.
Neither side made a change at half-time, but the flow of the game followed that of the first, towards QPR's goal.
The first change came from the visitors with manager Harry Redknapp replacing weary-looking Junior Hoilett with fellow striker Bobby Zamora on 60 minutes.
Two minutes later and, incredibly, the visitors were level.
A one-two between Vargas and Austin saw Thiabaut Courtois punch the ball out to the edge of the penalty area. Fer tried a sneaky volley, it was miss hit but the ball fell to Austin whose cleve back heel fooled Courtois and the ball limped into the back of the net.
Jose Mourinho instantly brought in Didier Drogba for Willian in an attempt to wrestle back the lead.
A daisy-cute by Sandro almost crept past Courtois but the ball inches wide of the home side's goal.
A brilliant save by Green thwarted Oscar from a free-kick with 20 minutes left, while a minute later, Hazard thumped a fierce right-foote just over Green's crossbar as Chelsea went in search of the goal which would give them the three points.
A quick break by Rangers almost caught Chelsea flat-footed. Thankfully for Diego Costa who initially lost the ball, Austin's shot was high and wide of goal.
But the lead was restored with 15 minutes left.
Hazard, running towards goal for once in he'd into the QPR penalty area. Under ps sure from Eduardo Vagas, the Belgium midfielder hit the deck.
Referee Michael Jones Instantly pointed to the penalty spot.
Hazard dusted himself down and cooly sent Green the wrong way to put Chelsea 2-1 up.
Moutinho then introduced Andre Schurrle for tiring Costa.
The German World Cup winner forced a great save from Green who then followed that up with an even better one from a glancing John Terry header.
The Blues confidently saw out the game and the three points are a welcome boost ahead of next Saturday's trip to Anfield where they will face troubled Liverpool.
Teams: Chelsea, Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Filipe Luis; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa, Cech, Zouma, Ake, Ramires, Salah, Schurrle, Drogba
QPR, Green, Caulker, Austin, Fer, Suk-Young, Isla, Henry, Dunne, Hoilett, Vargas, Sandro
Subs, Murphy, Traore, Hill, Phillips, Wright-Phillips, Kranjcar, Zamora
Referee, Michael Jones