Wayne Rooney watched from the dugout as Derby’s winning run at Pride Park was ended by a 1-1 draw with QPR.
Martyn Waghorn’s free-kick put the Rams ahead but the striker then gave away the penalty that Eberechi Eze converted at the end of the first half.
Derby were pushing for a sixth straight home win but Rangers showed character and might have taken all three points with more composure in the final third.
Rooney was given a rousing reception when he came out on the pitch before taking his place among the hosts’ coaching staff for the first time.
The former England captain is not eligible to play until January but he would have approved of the way Derby started with Jayden Bogle getting in on the right to force Joe Lumley into a diving save in the second minute.
But Phillip Cocu’s side have struggled at set pieces and Rangers caused problems from corners in the first 10 minutes with Geoff Cameron heading narrowly over.
Derby were caught from a quick free-kick in the 16th minute when Bright Osayi-Samuel got in on the right but Ben Hamer, in for Kelle Roos, turned his shot behind.
QPR had not kept a clean sheet all season and they conceded again in the 23rd minute when Jack Marriott was tripped just outside the box and Waghorn curled the free-kick over the wall and into Lumley’s top left corner.
But Derby looked far from secure and Ryan Manning forced Hamer to push out a skimming 25-yard drive before Jordan Hugill shot just wide in the 29th minute.
Angel Rangel flashed a shot wide as the visitors pressed again but they levelled in stoppage time when Waghorn’s clumsy challenge on Osayi-Samuel resulted in a penalty which Eze rolled past Hamer.
It was the least R’s deserved for a vibrant display and they started the second half brightly, although Marriott fired over from a corner in the 53rd minute.
Derby had another chance in the 67th minute when Marriott crossed from the left but Bogle put his shot over from 10 yards.
The momentum had switched to Derby and Waghorn headed wide from a Scott Malone cross before Marriott volleyed over in the 76th minute.
QPR responded when Hugill drove in a cross which Hamer could only parry and Josh Scowen had a shot deflected behind off Curtis Davies in the 87th minute.
Derby had a chance to win it in the third minute of added time when they earned a free-kick 25 yards out but Tom Lawrence could not beat Lumley.
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