Stoke City recovered from a poor start to thrash Aston Villa 4-1 on Sunday and take a decisive step towards securing Premier League safety.
In the build-up to the game at Villa Park, Stoke manager Mark Hughes underlined his side's ambitions to finish as the top team in the Midlands this season, but he must have feared for their chances when Christian Benteke blasted the hosts into a fifth-minute lead following good work by Fabian Delph.
Stoke looked momentarily shell-shocked, but burst into life midway through the first half with two goals in four minutes from Peter Odemwingie and former Villa striker Peter Crouch.
The pair combined on 22 minutes, Odemwingie tucking away his third goal in his last two games after latching on to his striker partner's header, before Crouch added his name to the scoresheet when he side-footed home Erik Pieters' pass.
Steven N'Zonzi completed a remarkable first-half turnaround three minutes before the interval, firing home from 18 yards following Leandro Bacuna's error, and Geoff Cameron added gloss to the scoreline in the final minute.
A first away league victory since the end of August means Stoke climb into the top half above their opponents, 12 points clear of the relegation zone, while for Villa it was a chastening defeat after successive wins over Norwich City and Chelsea.
It all looked to be going to plan for Paul Lambert's Villa side when Benteke gave them a dream start inside five minutes after excellent work by the in-form Delph.
The midfielder, who scored the winner in last weekend's 1-0 victory over Chelsea, turned away from Cameron down the left before finding Benteke, who took a touch and fired high into the net from 10 yards.
Odemwingie went close to levelling in the 20th minute, seeing his effort from the edge of the box deflect on to the roof of the net.
Two minutes later, though, Odemwingie did net the equaliser as he got on the end of Crouch's knock-down before muscling his way through and slotting the ball between the legs of the advancing Brad Guzan.
And Stoke were in front four minutes later, Crouch converting Pieters' low cross after the full-back had got the better of Andreas Weimann on the left-hand side.
All the momentum was with the visitors and they added a third three minutes before the break, N'Zonzi slotting home from the edge of the area after Bacuna's mistake let in Marko Arnautovic.
The second period was less eventful than the first, Odemwingie testing Guzan with a searing drive in the 64th minute.
Stoke kept Villa comfortably at bay before Cameron tucked away Arnautovic's low cross late on after the Austrian had comprehensively beaten the beleaguered Bacuna.
|8||K. El Ahmadi||8'|
|20||C. Benteke||5' 52'|
|Coach: P. Lambert|
for K. El Ahmadi 33'
for A. Weimann 33'
for A. Westwood 73'
|Moyes warns Van Gaal: Champions League failure will be terminal|
|Simpson red made up for penalty pain - Mertesacker|
|La Liga Review: Atletico keep pace with awesome Barcelona|
|Fiorentina 2 Inter 1: Babacar scrambles late winner as three see red|
|Barcelona 6 Celta Vigo 1: Messi, Suarez inspire extraordinary demolition|
|Simeone hopes for renewed Torres belief|
|Guardiola dedicates Bayern win to injured Badstuber|
|Aurier suspended by PSG, misses Chelsea clash|
|Tottenham can beat anyone - Kane|
|Pochettino claims beating City is ´more than just three points´ for Spurs|
|Getafe 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Torres on target in routine win|
|Pellegrini fumes at Clattenburg penalty decision|
|Augsburg 1 Bayern Munich 3: Lewandowski brace stretches Bayern´s lead|
|Manchester City 1 Tottenham 2: Birthday boy Eriksen sends Spurs second|
|Aston Villa thrashing good for the soul - Klopp|
|´Humiliated´ Garde slams Villa for lack of fight|
|Hamburg 3 Borussia Monchengladbach 2: Schubert´s men miss chance to go joint third|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea: Hiddink calls for confidence against Blanc´s indomitable side|
|Benfica v Zenit: Villas-Boas wants tie to be decided in Russia|
|Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 6: Sturridge on target in Villa Park stroll|
|Pogba aims to emulate Messi|
|Mihajlovic expects in-form AC Milan to push for third place|
|Ranieri disagrees with Simpson sending off|
|I almost didn´t pick Welbeck, reveals Wenger|
|Cech hails ´tricky´ win over title rivals Leicester|
|Winning goal was a beautiful feeling - Welbeck|
|Reus: Hannover win not Dortmund´s best performance|
|Arsenal 2 Leicester City 1: Welbeck wins it at the death|
|Moyes: Valencia expectations are through the roof|
|AC Milan 2 Genoa 1: Bacca and Honda continue hosts´ resurgence|
|Champions League and Premier League double realistic for Man City - Toure|
|A-League Review: Phoenix upset Wanderers, more misery for Mariners|
|Moment of truth for Real Madrid - Danilo|
|Van Gaal confident Schweinsteiger will get back to his best|
|Buffon hails Juventus´ defensive strength|
|Neil ready to use Ruddy experience in relegation scrap|
|Koeman explains Mane omission|
|Davies: Kane and Alli are good but so are the rest of us!|
|Klopp pleased with Sturridge progress|
|Arsenal double-winning captain wants Leicester triumph|
|My red card was not fair - Varane|
|Andy Cole opens up on kidney failure|
|Pellegrini insists Manchester City are focussed on the present|
|Kane reveals Class of ´92 inspiration|
|Wenger wants to find the new Vardy|
|Van Gaal: I have not had contact with Mourinho|
|Klopp: Lack of Champions League football will not affect Liverpool´s transfer plans|
|Sarri: Napoli were on par with Juventus|
|La Liga review: Ronaldo leads Madrid the way; Valencia win at last|
|Ligue 1 Review: PSG held, Nantes continue Champions League charge|
|Neville relieved after maiden La Liga victory|
|Allegri urges calm after Juve leapfrog Napoli into top spot|
|Serie A Review: Juventus beat Napoli, Frosinone make history|
|Juventus 1 Napoli 0: Late Zaza strike fires champions top|
|Valencia 2 Espanyol 1: Neville finally tastes victory in La Liga|
|McClaren: Newcastle to blame for Stamford Bridge thumping|
|Bundesliga Review: Hoffenheim draw on Nagelsmann bow|
|Hiddink not hopeful Terry will face PSG|
|Newcastle thrashing best preparation for crunch week - Cahill|
|Hughes fears long injury lay-off for Johnson|
|Tuchel eyes room for Dortmund improvement|
|Blanc refuses to blame Cavani for Lille draw|
|James talks up Zidane impact at Real Madrid|
|Fractured ankle sidelines Badstuber for three months|
|Chelsea 5 Newcastle United 1: Pedro hits double as strugglers are thrashed|
|Gutsy Hammers impress Bilic with late rally|
|Guidolin: I don´t know why Swansea didn´t play well|
|Ronaldo´s wing display delights Zidane|
|Howe laments impressive Imbula strike|
|Watford boss Flores still eyeing survival over Europe|
|Koeman praises work rate of goalscorer Long|
|Chelsea captain Terry doubful for PSG clash|
|Pulis enjoys taking revenge on Everton|
|Neil bemoans Norwich nerves after late collapse|
|Pardew worried by Palace slump|
|Football League Review: Hull win to go top of Championship|
|Martinez upbeat despite frustrating Everton defeat|
|Olsson hails defensive Albion display|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Lille 0: Cavani misses sitter in rare draw|
|Deeney reflects on ´massive´ win for Watford at Palace|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Griffiths and Boyata put leaders Celtic three points clear|
|Allardyce hails Khazri, Kone impact|
|Crystal Palace 1 Watford 2: Deeney double downs Eagles|
|Real Madrid 4 Athletic Bilbao 2: Ronaldo brace helps see off gutsy visitors|
|Norwich City 2 West Ham 2: Canaries surrender two-goal lead to continue poor run|
|Everton 0 West Brom 1: Rondon snatches crucial victory|
|AFC Bournemouth 1 Stoke City 3: Imbula opens account as Potters return to form|
|Swansea City 0 Southampton 1: Long header seals Saints triumph|
|Borussia Dortmund 1 Hannover 0: Mkhitaryan special sees off basement boys|
|Darmian out for ´several weeks´ with dislocated shoulder|
|Van Gaal: Europa League now a priority for Manchester United|
|Lucas: I preferred PSG´s project over Manchester United|
|Rooney concedes top-four hopes are slim after Sunderland loss|
|Sunderland 2 Manchester United 1: De Gea own goal piles pressure back on Van Gaal|
|Simeone praises Torres´ strong influence at Atletico|
|Shearer singled me out with tuxedo criticism - Thauvin|
|Montella demands something different from struggling Sampdoria|
|Ex-West Ham midfielder Collison force to retire|
|Mancini not giving up on Champions League dream|
|Messi available for Barcelona v Celta, confirms Luis Enrique|
|A-League Review: Spoils shared in thrilling Melbourne derby|
|Vardy: Missing out on Premier League title would not be failure|
|Dortmund without Aubameyang for Hannover test|
|Former Bulgaria defender Ivanov dies aged 50|
|Champions League race not over for Milan - Mihajlovic|
|Robinho sets sights on Brazil comeback|
|Cruyff ´feels 2-0 up´ in cancer battle|
|Nainggolan relieved as Dzeko ends long goal drought|
|Rooney: United must win a trophy this season|
|Pellegrini ready to welcome back stars for Spurs showdown|
|Pulis backs up Berahino overweight claims|
|Pochettino hoping Wimmer can solve Aguero woes|
|Suarez: I left Liverpool for Champions League glory|
|Arsenal´s season a ´disaster´ without Premier League title - Ranieri|
|Modric: Ancelotti is my favourite Madrid manager|
|Klopp: Benteke must help himself|
|Hernandez sidelined for Europa League tie|
|Wenger: Arsenal will attack Leicester|
|Mahrez: Pearson deserves credit too|
|Benfica 1 Porto 2: Herrera, Aboubakar crown memorable derby comeback|
|Van Gaal trusts United over Mourinho rumours|