Match ends, Hull City 3, Middlesbrough 0.
Championship leaders Hull City stretched their unbeaten league run to 10 matches with a deserved win against top-four rivals Middlesbrough.
Mohamed Diame put Hull ahead at the end of an entertaining first half, firing in from Ahmed Elmohamady's cross.
Tigers keeper Allan McGregor blocked George Friend's firm strike to deny Boro before Sam Clucas deflected in David Meyler's shot for 2-0.
Tom Huddlestone's stunning late strike added gloss to an impressive win.
Hull, who have not conceded a goal in five matches, stay top on goal difference from Brighton, while Middlesbrough remain fourth.
The visitors started the brighter at the KC Stadium, David Nugent dragging a shot wide after he was played in by Diego Fabbrini's fine through ball.
But the Tigers began to take control of an open first half as Dimitrios Konstantopoulos tipped over Clucas' free-kick and then denied Elmohamady.
Abel Hernandez wasted a gilt-edged chance when he failed to get a touch to Elmohamady's flick, but the pressure finally told when Diame converted Elmohamady's pinpoint cross at the far post.
McGregor was rarely tested, but did well to stop George Friend's strike - Boro's only effort on target of the match.
And midway through the half, Clucas doubled their lead when he stuck out a foot to divert Meyler's wayward drive past Konstantopoulos from close range.
Huddlestone capped City's fifth straight league win with a superb third, smashing in a powerful 18-yard strike into the top corner.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce:
"Considering the opposition it probably has to be (Hull's best performance). It was a really terrific performance.
"We looked a very decent team today and long may that continue.
"If we finish above Middlesbrough we will give ourselves an outstanding chance. On the day we were the better team by a distance and let's hope that continues.
"We're not going to get carried away because it's a long winter, especially in the Championship."
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka:
"This season I have one of the best squads in the league so I was thinking after other games we need to have more ambition.
"They are one of the best teams in the league so when you do not have ambition this is what happens.
"When you are not ambitious and when the other team is ambitious, and a good team with very good players, this is what happens.
"The pressure is on me because I want to have the pressure."
- 21DawsonBooked at 62mins
- 27El Mohamady
- 7MeylerSubstituted forHaydenat 87'minutes
- 17DiaméSubstituted forHuddlestoneat 79'minutes
- 9HernándezSubstituted forAkpomat 72'minutes
- 8ClaytonSubstituted forLeadbitterat 65'minutes
- 35NugentSubstituted forKikeat 51'minutes
- 10De Pena
- Jeremy Simpson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hull City 3, Middlesbrough 0.
Attempt missed. Moses Odubajo (Hull City) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Tom Huddlestone.
Foul by Chuba Akpom (Hull City).
Fernando Amorebieta (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Hull City. Isaac Hayden replaces David Meyler.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Jake Livermore.
Goal! Hull City 3, Middlesbrough 0. Tom Huddlestone (Hull City) left footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Tom Huddlestone (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough).
Substitution, Hull City. Tom Huddlestone replaces Mohamed Diamé.
Hand ball by Chuba Akpom (Hull City).
Substitution, Hull City. Chuba Akpom replaces Abel Hernández.
Attempt missed. Kike (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Grant Leadbitter.
Foul by Mohamed Diamé (Hull City).
Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Mohamed Diamé (Hull City).
Diego Fabbrini (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Tomas Kalas with a cross.
Goal! Hull City 2, Middlesbrough 0. Sam Clucas (Hull City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Meyler.