Jordi Gomez’s stoppage-time free-kick clinched victory for Blackburn Rovers in a seesaw game with MK Dons.
Samir Carruthers put the visitors ahead with a curling left-foot shot, but Gomez headed Rovers level with the first of his double following a corner.
Elliott Bennett’s low drive put the hosts in front for the first time, only for Alex Revell to square matters, slotting in Josh Murphy’s cross.
Rovers won it as Gomez curled superbly over the wall to beat Cody Cropper.
It was a heartbreaking finale for Karl Robinson’s side, whose relegation worries deepen after the side immediately below them in the Championship table, Rotherham, were 2-1 winners over Brentford.
For Blackburn, it was a second consecutive home league victory that lifted them to 18th after Fulham were beaten at Middlesbrough.
Rovers were booed off at the break, but their second-half performance was much improved, with goalkeeper Jason Steele needing to tip Jake Forster-Caskey’s free-kick on to the bar before Carruthers’ opener.
Even so, after a Dons revival that saw Dean Bowditch shoot into the side-netting and substitute Revell equalise, it needed a moment of magic from Spanish former Sunderland midfielder Gomez to seal just a fifth home league success of the season for Paul Lambert’s men.
Blackburn Rovers boss Paul Lambert on the winning goal by Gomez:
“Jordi Gomez, as I said before, has been terrific. Jordi plays the game as if it’s really natural to him – all top players do that.
“He’s technically excellent on the ball. Even his first goal was a brilliant header. The second goal was genuine world class. We’re thankful that Sunderland have let him come (on loan).
“I am delighted obviously with the win. First half, we were nowhere near it. I expect better and demand better. Second half, yes.
“I know how players react and how they think and sometimes you can see what is going to happen but your legs don’t carry you because you feel tired from the game.
“It wasn’t until the second half when we got them in, changed the system, got more bodies around the ball and started to dominate the middle of the pitch.”
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson:
“I thought we were excellent in our performance levels. We showed we move the ball really well but we work hard as well in and out of possession.
“Today what’s cost us is schoolboy-error defending from a set-piece and they need to eradicate that themselves and need to learn their lessons.
“It’s gut-wrenching as a manager when we’re sat here with nothing.
“I think we’ve been robbed, and that’s not being disrespectful to Blackburn Rovers. Everybody knows the respect I have for this football club, but I’m gutted.”