Joe Ledley scored against his former club Cardiff City to plunge them into relegation danger as Crystal Palace secured a crucial 3-0 win.
Jason Puncheon also scored twice at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday as Tony Pulis' side gave their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost.
With only five points separating the two sides heading into the game, Pulis had insisted his side would do Cardiff no favours, despite the Welshman having watched the club during his youth.
His words certainly bore truth in a spirited first half as a fierce drive from Puncheon saw Palace lead 1-0 at the break.
The hosts pushed for a leveller in the second half, but they were caught out when Marouane Chamakh – returning from a month-long hamstring lay-off – saw a header parried into the path of Ledley who duly netted the follow-up on his first return to Cardiff since leaving for Celtic in 2010.
Puncheon added further gloss in the closing stages with a superb curling effort from 20 yards, as Palace moved seven points clear of the relegation zone to 14th, while Cardiff face an uphill task to avoid the drop with a six-point gap to 17th-placed Norwich.
The visitors settled the better of the two sides and Kagisho Dikgacoi firing the first sight of goal in the fourth minute high and wide.
After a lacklustre opening, Cardiff began to gain a foothold in the game, with ex-Palace winger Wilfried Zaha giving his former employers a timely reminder of his potential with a series of promising runs that failed to yield opportunities.
Cardiff's improvement resulted in their first effort on target after 24 minutes, Fraizer Campbell ghosting between Palace's centre-backs to head Jordon Mutch's cross from deep and force a smart low save from Julian Speroni.
However, the home side's failings in defence were once more evident in the 31st minute as Puncheon opened the scoring, shortly after wasting a similar opportunity.
Good work from Ledley led to Puncheon working room on the right side of the penalty area before he drilled a fierce left-foot strike into the near corner.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first with Palace asking the questions, and Ledley bent a shot wide from 18 yards in the 51st minute.
From the next attack Cardiff had tentative claims for a penalty waved away by Phil Dowd when Mats Daehli went to ground when challenged by Dikgacoi.
Cardiff forced a scramble when Speroni spilled Craig Noone's cross in the 65th minute, but Palace survived and duly added the second.
Chamakh leapt highest to meet a free-kick that was expertly saved by David Marshall, yet he could do nothing to prevent Ledley tapping home the rebound.
Puncheon found the top corner with two minutes of normal time to go, adding a dominant air to the result which could ultimately seal Palace's survival and Cardiff's fate.
|28||K. Théophile Catherine|
|Coach: O. Solskjær|
for W. Zaha 62'
for M. Dæhli 72'
for K. Jones 78'
|Espanyol 0 Athletic Bilbao 2 (1-3 agg): Basque club into final|
|QPR cannot keep relying on Austin, says Ramsey|
|´No problems whatsoever´ with Gomis|
|Celtic 0 St Johnstone 1: Swanson stunner shocks leaders|
|Tottenham 3 Swansea 2: Spurs bounce back from Wembley loss|
|Liverpool 2 Burnley 0: Sturridge celebrates starting return with goal|
|PSG 2 Monaco 0: Hosts sail into semi-finals|
|Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 1: Last-gasp Young strike gives visitors dramatic win|
|Lazio 1 Napoli 1: Gabbiadini on hand to spare holders´ blushes|
|Manchester City 2 Leicester City 0: Champions bounce back|
|West Ham 0 Chelsea 1: Hazard wins it for the leaders|
|QPR 1 Arsenal 2: Second-half improvement seals victory for Wenger´s men|
|Stoke City 2 Everton 0: Moses and Diouf do the damage for Hughes´ men|
|Bayern Munich 2 Eintracht Braunschweig 0: Holders ease into quarter-finals|
|Gutierrez makes comeback after beating cancer|
|Blatter calls for points deductions to punish racism|
|Evian 1 Lorient 0: N´Sikulu extends hosts´ run|
|Villarreal 1 Barcelona 3 (2-6 agg): Busquets blow sours Copa progression|
|Eredivise Preview: Schreuder issues Twente rallying call, PSV hoping to return to form|
|Barca sweat over Busquets injury|
|Gomis collapses during Tottenham game, Swansea confirm he is ´stable´|
|Ban lifted on Greek Super League action|
|AFC Champions League Review: Zeng injury overshadows Guangzhou win|
|Orlando draw up Walt Disney World link|
|Pearson pragmatic over handling of Premier League ´sideshows´|
|Robertson targeting first-team run|
|Dortmund breathe sigh of relief over Reus injury|
|Bayern can´t be caught, claims Hoffenheim chief|
|Lahm will ´definitely´ end career at Bayern|
|Pele: Brazil should copy Germany for Copa America glory|
|Dynamo hit with partial stadium ban after crowd trouble|
|Dani Alves close to Barca exit - agent|
|Injuries fail to dampen Montella´s Coppa excitement|
|Boateng turned down Barca offer|
|Atalanta replace Colantuono with Reja|
|Pogba to return against Fiorentina, Allegri confirms|
|Don´t make Costa angry, warns Allardyce|
|Pochettino wants end-of-season break for Kane|
|MLS 2015 Preview: Galaxy target defence as new boys welcome marquee signings|
|Debt-riddled Twente cop three-point penalty|
|Gladbach targeting DFB Pokal glory|
|Montreal Impact 1 Pachuca 1 (agg 3-3): Hosts through on away goals|
|Zouma can replace Terry - Mourinho|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Universitario, Libertad notch first wins|
|RB Leipzig´s attack worrying Wolfsburg|
|Jardim backs busy Monaco|
|De Boer: ´I´d only sign for an interesting club´|
|Martinez calls for unity|
|A-League Preview: Phoenix staying grounded|
|Danish FA agree to more pay negotiations|
|Rodgers feared sack before ´radical´ change|
|Chelsea turned Valencia´s head - Allardyce|
|Poyet spat was not a good look - Bruce|
|Gold ´hopeful´ over Reid deal|
|´No problem´ with Bruce, says Poyet|
|Sherwood confident in Villa upturn after derby win|
|Pulis stands by Foster after costly error|
|Boulogne 1 Saint-Etienne 1 (aet, 3-4 on penalties): Minnows´ run ends on penalties|
|Schalke want to buy Nastasic|
|Pardew feeling hard done by after Southampton defeat|
|Football League Review: Boro go top as Derby falter again|
|Koeman pleased with ´crucial´ victory|
|Agbonlahor eyes turnaround as Villa end wait for win|
|Equaliser at Hull hit my arm - Rodwell|
|Reus injury ´only a dead leg´|
|Lyon hope for long Lacazette stay|
|DFB-Pokal Review: Leverkusen shake off old foes Kaiserslautern|
|Aston Villa 2 West Brom 1: Benteke on the spot as Villa win at last|
|Hull City 1 Sunderland 1: Rodwell earns visitors a draw in dramatic encounter|
|Southampton 1 Crystal Palace 0: Mane wins it late on|
|Dynamo Dresden 0 Borussia Dortmund 2: Reus withdrawal overshadows Pokal progression|
|Bruce and Poyet clash in ugly touchline spat|
|Dortmund star Reus in new injury scare|
|Lyon success a source of pride for Gonalons|
|Juventus v Fiorentina: Allegri seeking improvement|
|Edu hails ´phenomenon´ Sanchez|
|´Huge money´ needed to take Cech away - Mourinho|
|Lazio v Napoli: Benitez calls for unity in trophy quest|
|West Ham´s Cole landed with FA charge|
|Leeds fan group want meeting with Hollywood star Crowe|
|Suso prepared to wait for Milan chance|
|Ashley fined £7,500 for influence in Rangers|
|Blanc praises Luiz´s versatility|
|Pochettino: League Cup heartbreak will help Spurs grow|
|Carver understands frustration with Van Gaal|
|AFC Champions League Review: Jeonbuk and Kashiwa win convincingly|
|Guardiola committed to Bayern amid City rumours|
|Hughes: Bruce is defending the indefensible|
|Espanyol v Athletic Bilbao: Stuani eyeing ´momentous´ cup final|
|Everton waiting on Baines fitness|
|I am not under pressure, Pellegrini insists|
|Guardiola demands focus ahead of Braunschweig clash|
|Van Gaal: Di Maria needs a year to settle|
|Luis Enrique vows to attack Villarreal|
|Jedinak hit with four-game ban|
|Mourinho guarantees Terry deal|
|Mowbray lands Coventry job|
|Strootman on schedule for Roma return|
|Mikel out for a month after surgery|
|Palace midfielder Jedinak accepts FA charge|
|Wigan chairman Whelan stands down, hands reins to 23-year-old grandson|
|Jedinak stays quiet on FA charge|
|England winger Johnson released on bail|
|Gareca signs four-year Peru deal|
|Sandro set for QPR return|
|Hull dealt Brady blow|
|Garcia going nowhere, insists Pallotta|
|Allardyce: Chelsea aren´t allowed to be off form|
|Arsenal boosted by Ramsey return|
|No early Barca return for Tello|
|Pirlo inspired stunning Tevez free-kick|
|Brunt vows to heap misery on Villa|
|Barry: Everton needs points on the board to avoid relegation scrap|
|Janmaat hails ´fantastic´ Van Gaal|
|Cahill vows to silence critics|
|Spurs legend Mackay passes away|
|Adrian: I get good results against Mourinho|
|Hoffenheim boss wary of rising expectations|
|Sturridge edging closer to his best - Rodgers|
|Kroos happy with deeper role|
|Terry ´fighting´ for Chelsea contract|
|Townsend: No excuses for Tottenham|
|Garcia applauds Roma´s ´magnificent´ comeback|