Chris Wilder suffered a miserable return to Bramall Lane as Sheffield United swept aside Middlesbrough 4-1 to maintain their promotion challenge.
Wilder received a great reception from the United supporters having led the club from League One to the Premier League during his time in charge.
But goals from Sander Berge, Billy Sharp, Jack Robinson and Morgan Gibbs-White secured victory for the Blades, with substitute Folarin Balogun replying for Boro.
Berge had the simple task of tapping into an empty net after Sharp’s cross came off Marc Bola and fell into his path in the 23rd minute. It was 2-0 just two minutes later when Oliver Norwood won possession and found Gibbs-White, who passed to Sharp and the striker produced a clinical finish.
Robinson added a third goal just before the hour mark with a shot on the turn after Norwood’s corner was headed back.
Balogun reduced the arrears three minutes later after capitalising on an error from Wes Foderingham, the keeper slipping after receiving a backpass.
But Gibbs-White made it 4-1 in the 79th minute with a fine backheeled finish after meeting a first-time ball into the area from Ben Osborn. The goal sealed an impressive win for the Blades, who have not lost at home since October, and moved Paul Heckingbottom’s men up to fifth while Boro dropped out of the top six.
Championship leaders Fulham took another step towards promotion as they moved 14 points clear after sweeping to a 5-1 win at 10-man Swansea.
The Cottagers had seen off rivals Blackburn 2-0 on Saturday and were given a boost when Swans defender Ryan Manning was shown a straight red card for a foul on Harry Wilson shortly before the break.
It was Wilson who had a hand in Fulham’s opener early in the second half when he crossed for Aleksandar Mitrovic to knock in his 35th league goal of the season.
Swansea’s Ben Cabango deflected in an own goal in the 53rd minute, before Bobby Decordova-Reid nodded home a third with 17 minutes left.
Although Joel Piroe scored a swift a consolation for Swansea, on-loan Liverpool defender Neco Williams slotted in twice during the closing stages as Fulham edged closer to a Premier League return.
Bournemouth lost further ground after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by bottom club Peterborough.
The Cherries, beaten 2-1 at Preston on Saturday to a last-minute goal, fell behind when Jack Marriott struck on the half-hour mark.
Although Ryan Christie hauled Bournemouth level shortly after the restart, Scott Parker’s men could not conjure an equaliser.
Luton maintained their own play-off hopes with a 1-0 win at Coventry thanks to a goal from Elijah Adebayo seven minutes before half-time.
Blackburn played out a goalless draw against in-form Millwall at Ewood Park. Rovers midfielder John Buckley hit the post, but neither side could make a breakthrough as the Lions saw their five-match winning run stall.
At the other end of the table, Barnsley looked to be on course for a crucial win in their survival battle only for Stoke to hit a stoppage-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Oakwell.
The Tykes broke the deadlock with 20 minutes left through Domingos Quina’s left-foot drive. But with five minutes of added time played, Stoke captain Lewis Baker – who had hit the woodwork during the first half – curled in a fine equaliser.