Sheffield Wednesday bolstered their play-off hopes after a thrilling 2-1 victory over second-placed Newcastle United.
Second half headers by Tom Lees and Steven Fletcher helped the Owls seal back-to-back Championship victories.
Jonjo Shelvey, Newcastle's standout performer, pulled a goal back in the 88th minute but Wednesday deservedly held on for three vital points.
It was a big statement of intent by Carlos Carvalhal's team in front of the TV cameras and one of their best performances of the season.
Victory came hours after Fulham had reclaimed the final play-off spot after the Cottagers brushed aside Ipswich Town.
It was just Newcastle's second defeat on their last 12 trips to S6 as they missed the opportunity to go back to the top of the table.
Wednesday rose to the occasion to condemn the Magpies to only their second defeat in 18 matches.
There was one eye-catching change to Wednesday's starting line-up. Carvalhal opted to drop Jordan Rhodes and hand a first-team recall to Daniel Pudil. It was Czech Republic international Pudil's first outing since February 18.
Despite shrugging off a knee injury, Fernando Forestieri was deemed only fit enough for the substitutes bench.
Wednesday could have gone ahead in the second minute but Gary Hooper's fierce right foot effort rattled the crossbar following good work on the left flank by Adam Reach and Pudil. Hooper will be disappointed he didn't
At a noisy Hillsborough, the hosts looked in the mood to cause an upset.
Steven Fletcher missed another wonderful opportunity to put Carlos Carvalhal's side in front in the 17th minute after a lovely free-flowing move. Hooper beat the offside trap and raced on to Barry Bannan's clever pass and squared to Fletcher, who some how sliced wide with the goal at his mercy.
Moments later, Ayoze Perez curled wide from long range following a rare Newcastle foray forward.
Bannan was cautioned after a late, clumsy tackle on Magpies forward Matt Ritchie.
The visitors were then indebted to goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who produced a stunning save to deny Fletcher inside the six yard box after Hooper dispossessed Chancel Mbemba.
It was all Wednesday and Jack Hunt had a decent penalty appeal turned down by referee Stuart Attwell after the full-back tangled with Yoan Gouffran.
Shelvey's speculative free-kick forced Keiren Westwood into a routine save as the Magpies struggled to gain a foothold in the contest. Rafael Benitez's side suffered another blow when top-scorer Dwight Gayle had to be withdrawn before the half hour mark after the speedy striker picked up a knock.
Daryl Murphy, Gayle's replacement, turned smartly on the edge of the area and saw his low drive deflected just wide of Westwood's far post.
The Fletcher and Hooper double act troubled Newcastle's shaky backline throughout the first half but neither of them could turn the ball in following a dangerous Ross Wallace corner.
Against the run of play, Shelvey nearly gave the Magpies the lead on the stroke of half-time. The midfield playmaker spotted Westwood off his line and his spectacular 50-yard lob from inside his own half struck the crossbar.
Carvalhal was forced to rejig his back four at half-time, with Vincent Sasso replacing captain Glenn Loovens, who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture.
Newcastle registered the first shot of the second period but Westwood comfortably gathered Shelvey's low piledriver.
Shelvey, a notable absentee when the two sides last met on Boxing Day, looked determined to get on the scoresheet but his curling free-kick was superbly palmed to safety by Westwood.
Republic of Ireland international Westwood continued to frustrate Shelvey and Newcastle by pulling off another fine save as the Magpies upped the ante.
But Lees rose above the Newcastle defence to head in Wallace's free-kick to give the Owls the advantage just before the hour mark.
Darlow then punched away Wallace's inswinging free-kick before Wednesday doubled their lead midway through the half.
Fletcher claimed his third goal in two outings, looping a deft header over Darlow following a long throw in by Pudil. It was Fletcher's four goal in his last six home league appearances against Newcastle.
The visitors went for broke in the latter stages but Westwood repelled yet another Shelvey strike.
But England international Shelvey reduced the deficit with three minutes left, tapping in from close range after Westwood spilled substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic's shot.
Newcastle kept plugging away and Westwood had to be alert to keep out Jamaal Laschelles' downward header.
However, Wednesday kept their nerve to secure their first league double over the Magpies for 30 years.
Owls: Westwood; Hunt, Lees, Loovens (Sasso HT), Pudil; Wallace (Semedo 72), Jones, Bannan, Reach; Hooper (Rhodes 58), Fletcher. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Winnall, Palmer, Forestieri.
Newcastle; Darlow; Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett; Ritchie (Mitrovic 78), Shelvey, Diame (Atsu 72), Gouffran; Perez, Gayle (Murphy 29). Substitutes: Elliot, Gamez, Haidara, Ameobi.
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)