Ian Holloway could hardly have wished for a better start to his new job as Crystal Palace boss as a Glenn Murray hat-trick helped the Eagles rise to the top of the npower Championship with a 5-0 thrashing of Ipswich Town.
Palace's win, coupled with another shocking away day capitulation by Cardiff City and just a point for second-placed Middlesbrough, sent Holloway's new side flying high into pole position.
Yannick Bolasie opened the scoring for Palace on 24 minutes and then two penalties in five second half minutes by Murray sealed the win. Murray completed his hat-trick after 61 minutes, and substitute Andre Moritz netted a fifth in injury time.
Cardiff's away day woes continued in a 5-4 defeat to Charlton Athletic at The Valley, with the visitors blowing an early 2-0 lead to trail 5-2 before two injury-time strikes made the result a more respectable 5-4 in the Addicks' favour.
Heidar Helguson and Joe Mason eased the visitors into a 2-0 lead inside 24 minutes, before two Johnnie Jackson goals brought the Londoners level at half-time. The home side then charged towards victory with further goals from Dale Stephens, Danny Haynes and a Rob Hulse header.
Craig Noone and Aron Gunnarsson both scored in injury time to give Cardiff hopes of a dramatic rescue mission, but the home side held out for a much-needed victory.
Boro failed to extend a run of six straight wins as they were held to a goalless draw by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. Meanwhile, Leicester City were held to a goalless draw by Dougie Freedman's Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium, allowing Hull City to jump to fourth with a 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the KC Stadium.
Lee Novak's strike five minutes into injury time salvaged a point for Huddersfield Town in a 2-2 draw with Blackburn at the John Smith's Stadium. Managerless Blackpool proved there is life after Holloway with a 2-0 win at struggling Sheffield Wednesday as Tom Ince put the Seasiders in front after 18 and Ludovic Sylvestre added a late second.
Charlie Austin scored his 17th goal of the season with an 83rd minute header which earned Burnley a 1-0 win over Leeds United at Turf Moor, Brighton & Hove Albion posted a 1-0 home win over Peterborough United, while second-half goals from Chris Burke and Marlon King saw Birmingham City to a 2-0 win over Bristol City.
James O'Connor and Nathan Tyson gave Derby County a 2-0 win over Barnsley at Pride Park, while the game between Watford and Millwall ended goalless.