Goals from Ryan Flynn, Chris Porter and Ched Evans gave promotion-chasing Sheffield United their eighth win in a row as they easily defeated Hartlepool.
Flynn put the Blades ahead with a low shot from 20 yards and Porter doubled the lead, heading in Flynn's cross.
Evans made it 3-0 before half-time with his 14th goal of the season, calmly finishing from Matthew Lowton's pass.
Peter Hartley scored with a low drive late on but Neale Cooper's second reign as Pools boss began with a defeat.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"The first half was a fantastic performance. It was 45 minutes full of everything from our perspective.
"Good defending, great attacking play, exciting wing play and goals. To come together doesn't always happen but it did for the first 45 minutes."
"We're happy to be in second place but the goal is to still claw back Charlton's lead and top this division."