West Ham survived the 56th-minute sending-off of Robert Green - and the handicap of having no substitute goalkeeper - to thrash Blackpool 4-1 at Bloomfield Road and return to the top of the npower Championship.
Green was dismissed for hauling down Roman Bednar with his side 2-1 ahead and midfielder Henri Lansbury was forced to take over in the net, but Sam Allardyce's side eventually eased home to leapfrog Southampton in the table.
James Tomkins and Nicky Maynard had the Hammers two up before Kevin Phillips responded for the home side on the stroke of half-time. The Londoners were holding on after Green's red card until Gary O'Neil drilled home his side's third in the 74th minute to increase their advantage. Ricardo Vaz Te struck the visitors' fourth in injury time.
Chris Hughton's Birmingham jumped to third after a convincing 3-1 win over Barnsley at Oakwell.
A Rob Edwards own goal after eight minutes put Birmingham in front and despite Craig Davies' equaliser, the visitors guaranteed the points through Keith Fahey's 27th-minute strike and a late Nathan Redmond effort.
Two goals from Marvin Emnes moved Middlesbrough back into the play-off zone and heaped more woe on struggling Millwall as Tony Mowbray's men triumped 3-1 at the New Den.
Emnes' first-half double put the visitors well in control and despite a goal for Millwall from Darius Henderson just before the break, Curtis Main sealed the points by firing home four minutes from time.