AFC Bournemouth blew away Blackpool for the second time this season to return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship.When Brett Pitman scored a first-half hat-trick it looked like the Cherries might match the six goals they scored in the reverse fixture at Bloomfield Road in December, but only one more followed after the break, with Callum Wilson netting from the penalty spot.
The 4-0 win was Bournemouth's third straight success while bottom club Blackpool have now lost five in a row to leave them 18 points from safety.
It was a crucial victory for Eddie Howe's team after Middlesbrough had gone top of the table with a 4-1 win over Ipswich Town in the day's early kick-off at the Riverside Stadium.
Daryl Murphy cancelled out Daniel Ayala's opening goal for the hosts, but Boro surged to a comfortable victory with a further effort from Albert Adomah and Patrick Bamford's brace.
Despite sitting proudly at the summit prior to the 3pm starts, Middlesbrough finished the afternoon third after Watford defeated Reading by the same scoreline at Vicarage Road.
Almen Abdi, Matej Vydra, Troy Deeney and Fernando Forestieri were all on target for the Hornets while Jem Karacan replied for the visitors.
Two more title contenders battled it out at Carrow Road, where Norwich City and Derby County shared the points in a 1-1 draw. Cameron Jerome fired the Canaries ahead but an own goal by John Ruddy meant it finished all square.
Brentford were the only losers in the top six as they were beaten 2-1 at home to Cardiff City, who ended the game with nine men.
Andre Gray gave the Bees the lead but goals from Federico Macheda and Alex Revell turned the match on its head, before Kadeem Harris and Macheda were sent off late on.
Wolves were unable to take full advantage after they needed a Rajiv van La Parra equaliser to draw 1-1 at Brighton & Hove Albion, who went in front through Bruno Saltor's strike.
At the bottom, Millwall lost after Adam Le Fondre's first-half double gave Bolton Wanderers a 2-0 win.
However, Wigan Athletic continued to keep their survival hopes alive as two superb free-kicks from Jermaine Pennant saw them win 2-1 at Rotherham United. Matt Derbyshire headed a reply for the Millers, who are now just six points above Latics.
Elsewhere, Jordan Rhodes' brace either side of Craig Conway's strike gave Blackburn Rovers a 3-1 victory at Charlton Athletic, who pulled a goal back courtesy of Yoni Buyens' penalty.
Matt Smith cancelled out Stevie May's opener for Sheffield Wednesday to earn Fulham a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough.
It was also 1-1 at St Andrew's as Birmingham City and Huddersfield Town shared the points. David Cotterill put Blues ahead but Joe Lolley levelled for the Terriers. Leeds United and Nottingham Forest drew 0-0 at Elland Road.