Brighton boosted their hopes of clinching a place in the play-offs with a win over rivals Crystal Palace.
The Seagulls struck twice in three minutes before half-time when Leonardo Ulloa headed in the opener before David Lopez curled in a 20-yard free-kick.
Ulloa volleyed in an exquisite third in the 50th minute to kill off the game.
Palace, who would have moved second with a win, were almost gifted a lead by Brighton's Matthew Upson but his header was saved by Tomasz Kuszczak.
Brighton are unbeaten in the Championship at the Amex in 2013, taking 16 points from a possible 18.
Brighton's win was their first in four games and first at home to Palace in 25 years. It moved Gus Poyet's side level on points with sixth-placed Leicester City - only trailing by goal difference.
The visitors started the brighter with winger Wilfried Zaha causing plenty of problems.
The England international teed up opportunities for defender Jonathan Parr, who shot straight at Brighton keeper Kuszczak from close range, and the Championship's leading scorer Glenn Murray, who headed just off target.
Kuszczak's best save came when he clawed out Upson's misplaced clearance moments before the game was turned on its head just before the break when Will Buckley's floated cross was bundled in at the back post by Ulloa.
Two minutes later, Kagisho Dikgacoi's rash challenge on Buckley on the edge of the box was perfectly punished when Lopez's free-kick crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.
Eagles manager Ian Holloway made a double substitution at half-time to try to salvage a result - throwing on veteran striker Kevin Phillips, 39, along with midfielder Andre Moritz.
But the game was up five minutes later when Brighton added a beautifully crafted third.
Buckley picked out Andrea Orlandi and his header dropped into the path of Ulloa, who smashed in a volley from six yards.
The Argentine striker went close to a hat-trick with 15 minutes to go but his shot was well saved by compatriot Julian Speroni, who also kept out Buckley's follow-up.
Brighton manager Gus Poyet told BBC Sussex:
"Playing in this division is difficult and it can be tough even when you're the best team on the pitch. What a day - one to remember.
"Leonardo Ulloa is making the difference. I am pleased for him, if he had been here for the first six months I can't imagine where we would be right now.
"What a prize for him, scoring two goals against our biggest rivals. I am very happy for him."
Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway:
"With the team I picked, I expected us to cause them a few more problems defensively and create a few more chances but unfortunately it didn't pan out that way.
"We needed to come out all guns blazing in the second half but we went out with a powderpuff really."
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.
Ashley Richards fouled by Kazenga LuaLua, the ref awards a free kick. Julian Speroni takes the direct free kick.
Wilfried Zaha fouled by Liam Bridcutt, the ref awards a free kick. Andre Moritz restarts play with the free kick.
Kazenga LuaLua takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.
Substitution Dean Hammond is brought on as a substitute for Moreno David Lopez.
Kevin Phillips produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.
Jose Ulloa challenges Wilfried Zaha unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mile Jedinak.
Inigo Calderon fouled by Jonathan Parr, the ref awards a free kick. Moreno David Lopez takes the free kick.
Jonathan Parr concedes a free kick for a foul on Will Buckley. Free kick taken by Moreno David Lopez.
Shot by Wilfried Zaha from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
Aaron Wilbraham takes a shot.
Mile Jedinak takes the direct free kick.
Booking Booking for Moreno David Lopez for unsporting behaviour.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wilfried Zaha by Moreno David Lopez.
Glenn Murray fouled by Kazenga LuaLua, the ref awards a free kick. Mile Jedinak takes the free kick.
Andre Moritz challenges Will Buckley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Moreno David Lopez.
Jose Ulloa takes a shot. Save made by Julian Speroni. Will Buckley takes a shot. Julian Speroni makes a save.
Andre Moritz produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Andre Moritz from the right by-line.
Booking The referee shows Wayne Bridge a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kagisho Dikgacoi by Wayne Bridge.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Will Buckley. Indirect free kick taken by Damien Delaney.
Substitution (Crystal Palace) makes a substitution, with Aaron Wilbraham coming on for Peter Ramage.
Jose Ulloa takes a shot. Save by Julian Speroni.
Glenn Murray challenges Liam Bridcutt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Liam Bridcutt takes the direct free kick.
Peter Ramage challenges Jose Ulloa unfairly and gives away a free kick. Moreno David Lopez restarts play with the free kick.
Substitution Andrew Crofts joins the action as a substitute, replacing Andrea Orlandi.
Andre Moritz takes a corner.
Corner taken left-footed by Andre Moritz.
Shot from just outside the penalty area by Andre Moritz misses to the left of the target.
Moreno David Lopez takes a shot. Save by Julian Speroni.
Andrea Orlandi decides to take a short corner.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Wilfried Zaha on Liam Bridcutt. Tomasz Kuszczak restarts play with the free kick.
Foul by Ashley Richards on Kazenga LuaLua, free kick awarded. Wayne Bridge takes the direct free kick.
The assist for the goal came from Andrea Orlandi.
49:57 Goal scored
Goal! - Jose Ulloa - Brighton 3 - 0 C Palace Jose Ulloa finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Brighton 3-0 Crystal Palace.
Jonathan Parr concedes a free kick for a foul on Inigo Calderon. Liam Bridcutt takes the free kick.
Andrea Orlandi takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Header from deep inside the area by Will Buckley goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Ashley Richards gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kazenga LuaLua. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Andrea Orlandi, Andre Moritz makes a clearance.
The second half kicks off.
Substitution Andre Moritz on for Jonathan Williams.
Substitution Kevin Phillips on for Yannick Bolasie.
45:00 +3:21 Half time
Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.
The assist for the goal came from Will Buckley.
45:00 +2:23 Goal scored
Goal! - Moreno David Lopez - Brighton 2 - 0 C Palace Moreno David Lopez hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from outside the penalty box to the top right corner of the goal. Brighton 2-0 Crystal Palace.
45:00 +0:55 Booking
Booking Kagisho Dikgacoi receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Will Buckley by Kagisho Dikgacoi.
Will Buckley provided the assist for the goal.
42:55 Goal scored
Goal! - Jose Ulloa - Brighton 1 - 0 C Palace Jose Ulloa scores a headed goal from close in. Brighton 1-0 Crystal Palace.
Jonathan Parr challenges Will Buckley unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Moreno David Lopez, Glenn Murray manages to make a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken by Yannick Bolasie, Tomasz Kuszczak makes a save.
Unfair challenge on Glenn Murray by Gordon Greer results in a free kick. Yannick Bolasie restarts play with the free kick.
Long range effort from Yannick Bolasie misses to the left of the goal.
Shot by Glenn Murray from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
Glenn Murray fouled by Jose Ulloa, the ref awards a free kick. Julian Speroni restarts play with the free kick.
Jonathan Williams challenges Liam Bridcutt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Moreno David Lopez crosses the ball in from the free kick.
Andrea Orlandi takes the outswinging corner, Inigo Calderon produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.
Jonathan Parr takes a shot. Tomasz Kuszczak makes a save.
Jose Ulloa concedes a free kick for a foul on Mile Jedinak. Direct free kick taken by Mile Jedinak.
Foul by Liam Bridcutt on Wilfried Zaha, free kick awarded. Yannick Bolasie restarts play with the free kick.
Kazenga LuaLua challenges Kagisho Dikgacoi unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mile Jedinak takes the free kick.
Andrea Orlandi decides to take the corner short.
Foul by Mile Jedinak on Liam Bridcutt, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Matthew Upson.
Foul by Jonathan Parr on Will Buckley, free kick awarded. Andrea Orlandi fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
Yannick Bolasie is ruled offside. Tomasz Kuszczak takes the direct free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Parr by Inigo Calderon. Julian Speroni restarts play with the free kick.
The offside flag is raised against Jose Ulloa. Julian Speroni takes the indirect free kick.
Will Buckley gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Williams. Direct free kick taken by Mile Jedinak.
Yannick Bolasie concedes a free kick for a foul on Liam Bridcutt. Free kick taken by Matthew Upson.
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