Middlesbrough will spend Christmas top of the Championship, after ending Brighton’s unbeaten start to the season with a 3-0 win at their promotion rivals.
Before Saturday, Chris Houghton’s men set a new club record after going 21 league matches undefeated, but Boro took the lead on five minutes when Kike headed home from Albert Adomah’s cross, for his first goal since August.
The visitors doubled their lead when this time Adomah flicked the ball into the back of the net from a Daniel Ayala header, before Christian Stuani rounded off the scoring in the second-half with a simple finish.
Derby also added to Brighton’s misery as they went second after a 1-0 win at Ipswich, courtesy of Tom Ince’s fourth goal in five days.
In a tight game, where both sides had few chances, the former England under-21 international was on hand to supply the finish after Johnny Russell had put him through on goal.
Rotherham’s 2-0 win over Hull saw them move to within a point of safety, as the Tigers lost ground at the top of the Championship; Lee Frecklington’s penalty and a great solo effort from Joe Newell enough to defeat Steve Bruce’s men.
Meanwhile, fellow strugglers Charlton lost 4-0 at Burnley, who won for the first time in seven league games.
Scott Arfield’s strikes either side of half-time put the Clarets 2-0 up, before Andre Gray and Sam Vokes sealed a superb win which keeps them six points behind second placed Derby.
Sheffield Wednesday came from behind to thrash Wolves 4-1 to move within just a point of the play-offs.
Benik Afobe had given the away side the lead, but a quick-fire double from Fernando Forestieri put the Owls 2-1 up at half-time. before further efforts from Danil Pudil and Gary Hooper sealed the three points.
Brentford beat Huddersfield 4-2 in one of the most entertaining matches of the season.
The Bees stormed into a 3-0 lead in the first 30 minutes through Sergi Canos, Lasse Vibe and Alan Judge.
The Terriers pulled one back with a strike from Joe Lolley but Judge then netted his second of the game from the penalty spot.
Kyle Dempsey’s injury-time goal was just a mere consolation for David Wagner’s side who are just three points from safety.
Bolton were denied their first win in 16 matches when managerless Fulham rescued a point with a late Ross McCormack goal.
Luke Garbutt had put the Cottagers ahead, before a brace from Zac Clough made it 2-1 to the struggling Trotters.
However, McCormack netted his 14th goal of the season with just five minutes left on the clock to keep the hosts bottom and five points from safety.
Brian McDermott won his first game in his second spell as manager of Reading with a 1-0 victory over in-form Blackburn.
Danny Williams scored the only goal of the game with a stunning half-volley from the edge of the penalty box to condemn Paul Lambert to his first defeat since taking over Rovers.
Birmingham won their first home game in two months, with a 1-0 victory over fellow play-off chasers Cardiff.
Paul Caddis’ penalty was enough for Gary Rowett’s side to secure a much-needed the three points after five matches without victory.
Leeds won for the third time in four games beating Preston 1-0, who were reduced to 10 men.
Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was given a controversial red-card for the visitors, before Alan Browne then added to North End’s woes with an own goal.
Elsewhere, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is still searching for his first win as QPR manager, after drawing 1-1 at strugglers Bristol City, whilst Nottingham Forest extended their unbveaten run to five matches with a 2-1 against relegation threatened MK Dons.
Player of the Week: Scott Arfield (Burnley)
Team of the Week: Middlesbrough
Goal of the Week: Danny Williams (READING vs Blackburn)