In-form Said Benrahma scored two second-half goals as he inspired automatic promotion-chasing Brentford to a 3-1 victory over Derby at Pride Park.
It's a win that sees the Bees move above Fulham into third once more, with three points separating them and second-placed West Brom, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Thomas Frank's men took less than 180 seconds to edge in front when Ollie Watkins tapped his 24th league goal of the season home (3), but Jason Knight capped a spell of Derby pressure with a deserved equaliser (29).
Former Bees goalkeeper Ben Hamer gifted the visitors the lead when he allowed Benrahma's relatively tame effort to squirm from his grasp (49), before the Algerian netted for the sixth time in just three games with a brilliant curling effort (64). Derby sit 10th after their second successive defeat, three points off the top six.
How Brentford won their seventh straight game
Kicking off before automatic promotion rivals West Brom and Leeds gave Brentford another chance to apply some more intense pressure to the two teams who have exclusively occupied the division's top two positions since October.
The Bees couldn't have got off to a better start. A brilliant, defence-splitting ball from Josh Dasilva allowed Mbeumo to get a shot away, with Watkins mopping up after the ball bounced off the base of the post and into his path - a goal that saw him move level with Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic at the top of the division's scoring charts.
Derby's response was inspired and shortly after Chris Martin stung the palms of David Raya, Knight angled a shot beyond the goalkeeper from the edge of the six-yard box after Wayne Rooney had rolled the ball in his direction.
The equaliser invigorated the Rams, but their hard work to get back on level terms was undone just a few minutes after the restart. A pass from Emiliano Marcondes allowed Benrahma to try his luck and though the shot lacked venom, Hamer was left red-faced as it trickled through his outstretched hands.
Any chance of Phillip Cocu's men getting back into the game was effectively wiped out when the reported Chelsea target added his second of the afternoon with a stunning effort after cutting in from the left wing.
The hosts had a shout for a late penalty when Tom Lawrence appeared to be fouled by Rico Henry, but referee Tim Robinson waved away half-hearted appeals to condemn them to another loss.
Man of the match - Said Benrahma
He may not be in west London for much longer, if reports are to be believed, but the Algerian is certainly doing his utmost to ensure both Brentford are playing Premier League football next season, whether that be with him or not.
Sporting a striking new blonde hairdo since the restart, Benrahma has netted at least one goal in each of his last three games, helping Thomas Frank's men to heap the pressure on West Brom to perform. His second at Pride Park was mesmerising.
What the managers said...
Derby's Phillip Cocu: "It's frustrating, events occur during the game but I think we played a decent game against a very strong team.
"Ben took full responsibility for his mistake but I think it's also too easy to only blame the goalkeeper because if a striker, Benrahma, is able to take a shot in the 18-yard box just two-and-a-half minutes after the break it is just poor defending by the whole team."
Brentford's Thomas Frank: "We knew when we went into this restart we were 10 points off the top two so that was a very difficult task.
"Our aim was to win as many games as possible and first and foremost to secure a play-off place and then see what is happening but now, can we catch them (the top two)? Fantastic but if not, then we want to keep the momentum and good performances and take that into the play-offs. Right now, we are in a very good place and we just need to continue. I am spoiled with good players that it is a privilege to coach and be around."
Derby travel to the Cardiff City Stadium to face Cardiff on Tuesday, July 14, while Brentford host Preston in the penultimate league game at Griffin Park the following evening. That game is live on Sky Sports Football from 4.30pm; kick off is at 5pm.