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.
Wednesday's Teesside torture
It has been 21 years since Wednesday last won at Middlesbrough. The Owls won 2-0 at Ayresome Park on New Years' Day 1991 thanks to goals from David Hirst and Paul Williams - with current Boro boss Tony Mowbray playing for the hosts.
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.
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.
Chris O'Grady concedes a free kick for a foul on Lukas Jutkiewicz. Free kick taken by Justin Hoyte.
Effort from the edge of the area by Scott McDonald goes wide of the right-hand upright.
Foul by Anthony Gardner on Lukas Jutkiewicz, free kick awarded. Grant Leadbitter takes the direct free kick.
George Friend gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lewis Buxton. Chris Kirkland restarts play with the free kick.
Foul by Jermaine Johnson on Josh McEachran, free kick awarded. Andre Bikey restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Justin Hoyte, Chris Kirkland makes a comfortable save.
Gary Madine takes a shot. Save by Jason Steele.
A cross is delivered by Lewis Buxton, clearance made by Seb Hines.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Lewis Buxton on Lukas Jutkiewicz. Josh McEachran takes the free kick.
Substitution Rhys McCabe is brought on as a substitute for Ross Barkley.
Substitution Chris O'Grady on for Paul Corry.
Daniel Jones crosses the ball.
Faris Haroun takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
Grant Leadbitter provided the assist for the goal.
75:43 Goal scored
Goal! - Lukas Jutkiewicz - Middlesbro 3 - 1 Sheff Wed Lukas Jutkiewicz scores a headed goal from close in. Middlesbrough 3-1 Sheff Wed.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Grant Leadbitter,
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Ledesma by Michail Antonio. Jason Steele takes the direct free kick.
Substitution (Middlesbrough) makes a substitution, with Faris Haroun coming on for Marvin Emnes.
Substitution Jay Bothroyd leaves the field to be replaced by Jermaine Johnson.
Emmanuel Ledesma takes a shot. Miguel Llera gets a block in. Corner taken by Grant Leadbitter, save made by Chris Kirkland.
The ball is delivered by Scott McDonald, clearance by Anthony Gardner. Corner taken right-footed by Grant Leadbitter.
The ball is delivered by Michail Antonio.
Substitution Ishmael Miller leaves the field to be replaced by Lukas Jutkiewicz.
The ball is swung over by Daniel Jones, Jason Steele makes a comfortable save. Scott McDonald has an effort at goal. Blocked by Anthony Gardner.
Scott McDonald takes a shot. Ishmael Miller gets a block in.
Scott McDonald provided the assist for the goal.
59:06 Goal scored
Goal! - Ishmael Miller - Middlesbro 2 - 1 Sheff Wed Ishmael Miller finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Middlesbrough 2-1 Sheff Wed.
Emmanuel Ledesma delivers the ball.
The referee gives a free kick against Gary Madine for handball. Direct free kick taken by Jason Steele.
The ball is swung over by Jay Bothroyd, Andre Bikey makes a clearance.
Jay Bothroyd has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
Grant Leadbitter has a drilled shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Justin Hoyte by Jay Bothroyd. Free kick taken by Justin Hoyte.
Marvin Emnes crosses the ball.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Emmanuel Ledesma, Header on goal by Seb Hines from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
Assist on the goal came from Michail Antonio.
48:00 Goal scored
Goal! - Gary Madine - Middlesbro 1 - 1 Sheff Wed Gary Madine finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Middlesbrough 1-1 Sheff Wed.
Lewis Buxton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Scott McDonald. Free kick taken by Andre Bikey.
The referee gets the second half underway.
Substitution Seb Hines joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jonathan Woodgate.
45:00 +1:23 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.
Marvin Emnes fouled by Jose Semedo, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Grant Leadbitter.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Gary Madine. Jason Steele takes the indirect free kick.
Curled right-footed shot by Michail Antonio. Save made by Jason Steele. Corner from the right by-line taken by Jay Bothroyd, Shot from close range by Miguel Llera misses to the right of the goal.
George Friend produces a cross.
Michail Antonio is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Jason Steele.
Grant Leadbitter produces a drilled right-footed shot from 35 yards. Save by Chris Kirkland.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Grant Leadbitter by Ross Barkley. Free kick taken by Jonathan Woodgate.
Josh McEachran takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.
Michail Antonio handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jason Steele.
Unfair challenge on Jonathan Woodgate by Gary Madine results in a free kick. Jason Steele restarts play with the free kick.
Shot on goal by Ross Barkley from long range goes harmlessly over the target. Lewis Buxton fouled by Scott McDonald, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.
Emmanuel Ledesma sends in a cross.
The ball is swung over by Michail Antonio.
A cross is delivered by Michail Antonio, Jay Bothroyd takes a shot. Save made by Jason Steele.
Jonathan Woodgate challenges Gary Madine unfairly and gives away a free kick. Miguel Llera restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ishmael Miller by Anthony Gardner. Grant Leadbitter crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save by Chris Kirkland.
Emmanuel Ledesma has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the target.
Emmanuel Ledesma provided the assist for the goal.
12:31 Goal scored
Goal! - Justin Hoyte - Middlesbro 1 - 0 Sheff Wed Justin Hoyte scores a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the top left corner of the goal. Middlesbrough 1-0 Sheff Wed.
Jay Bothroyd has a shot on goal from outside the box which misses right.
Outswinging corner taken by Jay Bothroyd, Andre Bikey manages to make a clearance.
Gary Madine fouled by Andre Bikey, the ref awards a free kick. Centre by Jose Semedo, Miguel Llera takes a shot. Save made by Jason Steele. Emmanuel Ledesma concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Corry. Free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.
Jay Bothroyd challenges Scott McDonald unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by George Friend.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jose Semedo on Scott McDonald. Josh McEachran takes the direct free kick.
Inswinging corner taken by Grant Leadbitter, Chris Kirkland makes a save. Corner taken right-footed by Grant Leadbitter from the left by-line, Chris Kirkland makes a save.
Lewis Buxton produces a cross, Jonathan Woodgate makes a clearance.
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