Ched Evans's brace saw Sheffield United hammer Rochdale to go back into the League One automatic promotion spots.
Dale opened the scoring through Jason Kennedy but two minutes later Kevin McDonald thundered home an equaliser.
Evans's 33rd and 34th goals of the season, either side of a Lee Williamson strike, saw Danny Wilson's side 4-1 up at the break.
Michael Doyle added another with a 30-yard strike, before Dale loanee Tope Obadeyi tapped in a consolation.
The result leaves Dale on the verge of relegation. Anything other than a win on Saturday against Exeter will see them return to League Two - and even a win might not be enough if results elsewhere go against them.
Evans struck the post with the first attack of the game but Kennedy headed Dale in front from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro's cross. However, McDonald volleyed in a leveller and Evans made it 2-1 from 20 yards.
Williamson tapped into an empty net after Dave Lucas failed to hold Evans's shot and the Wales international grabbed his second with a clinical finish.
Skipper Doyle turned it into a rout before Obadeyi's neat effort.
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Rochdale manager John Coleman told BBC Radio Manchester:
"They went through in injury time and poked a ball straight at our goalkeeper. That was their sixth shot on target. The other five, they scored.
"Over the 90 minutes, we gave as good as we got, but we can't concede goals the way we did.
"We're not down yet, but if we go down, it will be my team that goes down.
"It could be really easy to hide behind it and say 'it's not my team' but I'm not going to hide behind anything."
Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"That was a tougher game than the scoreline suggests, but I thought in front of goal we were absolutely clinical today.
"We're not really too concerned with other teams. We have to do the business ourselves and we've come here tonight knowing what we needed to do and we've done it.
"We said that this league will be very tight and, with two Sheffield clubs in the same position, there was always going to be that rivalry and it's more intense than it normally would be. We're pushing each other to the limits."
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