Callum Wilson's double helped Newcastle United to a thumping 4-2 win away to Leicester City on Friday which all but secured their Premier League survival and left the hosts looking over their shoulders in the race for a top-four finish.
Third-placed Leicester's night began badly when defender Jonny Evans was injured in the warm-up. It rapidly deteriorated when a mistake by Caglar Soyuncu allowed Joe Willock to put Newcastle in front after 22 minutes with his fourth goal in his last four games.
Martin Dubravka made some crucial saves for Steve Bruce's side before Paul Dummett doubled their lead with a powerful header after 34 minutes.
Leicester, who will play in next weekend's FA Cup final against Chelsea, never really got going and there seemed no way back when Wilson made it 3-0 on the counter-attack in the 64th minute and stabbed home his side's fourth 10 minutes later.
Marc Albrighton and Kelechi Iheanacho scored late goals and Dubravka made a sensational save from Ayoze Perez as Leicester threatened an unlikely comeback.
However, it was too late to prevent an eighth home league defeat to open the door for the teams below them.
Leicester have 63 points with three games remaining, two more than Chelsea and five more than West Ham United.
Newcastle climbed to 13th place with 39 points from 35 games and are 12 points clear of third-from bottom Fulham who have four games left.
"It is going to be tough for teams to catch us now. It is a massive step in the right direction," Dummett said.
Though Leicester are still well-placed to finish in the top four, their last three league games are against Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur and there is the fear that, like last season, they could miss out.
"We made so many mistakes and you can't afford to do that," Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said. "It's a period of the season where you need to be super concentrated but we lacked concentration and when you do that against good players they will punish you and that's what happened."
Losing Evans was inconvenient but should not have resulted in Leicester's defensive meltdown.
Newcastle could have scored three times before they actually did with Kasper Schmeichel making one outstanding save to keep out Allan Saint-Maximin's point blank effort.
Soyuncu then lost possession in a dangerous area and Willock, on loan from Arsenal, raced through to score.
Dubravka denied Iheanacho before Leicester's defence was breached again when Dummett headed in Matt Richie's corner.
Jamie Vardy looked poised to halve the deficit on the stroke of halftime when he went clear but his attempted lob was kept out by a flying Dubravka.
Leicester pushed forward after the interval but were caught out on the break in the 64th minute when Ritchie's pass released Wilson who coolly rounded Schmeichel before sliding home.
Wilson then slotted in a rebound after his initial effort hit the woodwork.
There were some late nerves though for Newcastle and had Dubravka not kept out Perez's effort in stoppage time, it could have got ugly but they held on to secure a third win in five games.
Yilmaz on fire as Lille edge closer to title with Lens win
Lille edged closer to their first Ligue 1 title in 10 years as a Burak Yilmaz double inspired them to a 3-0 win in the derby of the North at 10-man RC Lens on Friday.
Yilmaz struck a penalty and a stunner in the first half with Jonathan David adding another after the break to put Lille on 79 points with two games left, four ahead of champions Paris St Germain who play their game in hand at Stade Rennais on Sunday.
Promoted Lens slipped down to sixth on 56 points, behind Olympique de Marseille, who travel to St Etienne on Sunday, on goal difference.
Lille, last crowned champions in 2011, are looking to become the second club other than PSG to clinch the Ligue 1 title since 2013.
Third-placed Monaco, on 71 points, and fourth-placed Olympique Lyonnais, 70, are now likely to battle it out for no more than a top-three finish for a Champions League spot.
"We knew it would be a tough game because Lens are a very good team but things went our way, especially thanks to that early penalty," coach Christophe Galtier told a news conference.
"I'm convinced that we will need to win our last two games to be champions."
Lille were awarded an early penalty following a VAR review after Jonathan Clauss and Seko Fofana appeared to bring down Jonathan Bamba in the area, with Turkey striker Yilmaz converting to put the visitors ahead on four minutes.
Michelin then picked up two yellow cards in quick succession and was sent off in the 35th minute, leaving his side with a mountain to climb against the best defence in the league.
It took Lille only five minutes to capitalise as Yilmaz fired a 25-metre missile into the top corner to double the advantage.
David added a third on the hour as he sent a half-volley into the net after Jean-Louis Leca had parried Bamba's shot into his path.
Lille, now unbeaten in their last 13 away games, next host St Etienne before ending their season at Angers.
After their trip to Rennes, PSG will host Stade de Reims and travel to Brest.