Brighton and Hove Albion issued a clear warning to their automatic promotion rivals by thrashing Fulham 5-0 to go second in the Championship on Friday.
Having required a last-gasp winner to beat Nottingham Forest on Monday, Chris Hughton’s men picked the perfect time to produce a more polished performance and crank up the pressure on leaders Middlesbrough and Burnley, Tomer Hemed helping himself to a hat-trick.
Two goals in five first-half minutes from Hemed, the opener arriving from the penalty spot, set the tone for the hosts and eased any nerves at the Amex.
Bruno and Anthony Knockaert netted either side of Hemed’s third, meaning Brighton nudge a point ahead of Burnley, who travel to Birmingham City on Saturday.
Late drama at the KC Stadium in the Championship’s other game saw Hull City beat Wolves 2-1 thanks to an outstanding 94th-minute Robert Snodgrass free-kick, which bounced in off goalkeeper Carl Ikeme having hit the woodwork.
Adama Diomande earlier punished Ikeme’s fumble to break the deadlock before David Edwards levelled.
The victory moves fourth-placed Hull seven points behind Burnley.