In-form Middlesbrough moved top of the Championship with a dominant home display against lowly Sheffield Wednesday at the Riverside Stadium.
Justin Hoyte's brilliant first-time shot put Boro ahead before Wednesday equalised when a clearly-offside Gary Madine smashed past Jason Steele.
Second-half goals from Ishmael Miller and Lukas Jutkiewicz stretched Boro's unbeaten run to eight league matches.
Fifth-bottom Wednesday remain three points clear of the drop-zone.
Middlesbrough knew victory would move them above previous leaders Crystal Palace - at least until the Eagles travel to third-bottom Peterborough on Saturday.
From the first whistle Tony Mowbray's men played with the confident swagger expected of an in-form side, dominating possession throughout with their short, sharp passing game.
Argentine playmaker Emmanuel Ledesma provided the creative spark and set up Boro's first two goals with slide-rule passes.
He sliced open the away defence after 13 minutes with a perfectly-weighted through ball which Hoyte raced on to before curling into the top corner with the outside of his right boot.
Wednesday levelled in controversial fashion three minutes after half-time when Madine pounced on Michail Antonio's knockdown, despite appearing at least a yard offside.
But Boro restored their lead on the hour mark with Ledesma again the architect. He won possession and fed Scott McDonald, who turned the ball goalwards before Miller tapped in to make sure.
Substitute Jutkiewicz's near-post header from Grant Leadbitter's corner completed victory in front of a 28,229 crowd - Boro's biggest gate since May 2009.