Brighton took advantage of a first-half capitulation by Leeds United at the Amex Stadium to move just two points behind Championship leaders Burnley.
Tomer Hemed opened the scoring with a chipped penalty, the hosts’ first goal of four inside the first 38 minutes.
An unfortunate own goal from Liam Cooper doubled Brighton’s lead, before Hemed slotted in his second and Lewis Dunk headed in from a corner.
The defeat was Leeds’ heaviest since Steve Evans took charge in October.
A slightly improved second-half display, albeit with Brighton goalkeeper David Stockdale rarely called into action, will have done little to cheer the 1,522 travelling fans – many of whom had made a 520-mile round trip to Sussex for the televised fixture.
The two teams appeared evenly matched until Leeds full-back Scott Wootton was adjudged to have fouled Liam Rosenior in the penalty area, and Israel international Hemed cheekily beat goalkeeper Marco Silvestri from 12 yards.
After that setback, Cooper’s deflection took Sam Baldock’s toe-poked effort into the net and the visitors fell apart defensively and were out of the contest by half-time.
Brighton began with an inferior goal difference compared to many of their promotion rivals, but were unable to stretch their lead further in the second period.
Chris Hughton’s side remain fourth in the table despite a second consecutive 4-0 victory, but they are now just a point behind second-placed Hull and have an 11-point cushion to Cardiff in seventh.
- 17GoldsonBooked at 60mins
- 23RoseniorBooked at 7mins
- 7KayalSubstituted forSidwellat 78′minutes
- 10HemedSubstituted forWilsonat 77′minutes
- 9BaldockBooked at 34minsSubstituted forSkalakat 74′minutes
- 4WoottonSubstituted forCarayolat 45′minutes
- 6CooperBooked at 68mins
- 21TaylorBooked at 90mins
- 16DiagouragaSubstituted forMurphyat 84′minutes
- 31CoyleBooked at 57mins
- 10MowattBooked at 33mins
- 11DoukaraSubstituted forErwinat 75′minutes
- Peter Bankes
- Shots on Target
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