Despite going one goal down after Rob Hulse opened the scoring, Middlesborough sealed an impressive 4-1 victory over Charlton to leapfrog Leicester City and move into second place. Jonathan Woodgate equalised before Scott McDonald, Emmanuel Ledesma and Richard Smallwood scored second-half goals.
New Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway watched from the stands as the Eagles beat Blackburn Rovers, who had Henning Berg in charge for the first time. Glenn Murray scored either side of half-time to secure a 2-0 win and send the hosts into third place.
Holloway was not the only new boss to taste immediate success, as Mick McCarthy led bottom club Ipswich Town to a vital victory over Birmingham City. DJ Campbell scored an early goal which the Tractor Boys defended to win 1-0. Sean Dyche, too, enjoyed a positive start at Burnley, as strikes from Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin saw the Clarets beat Wolves 2-0.
Leicester, meanwhile, dropped out of the top two after goals from Almen Abdi and Fernando Forestieri sent Watford into a 2-0 lead. David Nugent's goal was too little too late for the Foxes and Zak Whitbread's dismissal only made matters worse.
Derby County took advantage of Blackpool's anguish at losing Holloway by thrashing the Seasiders 4-1. Theo Robinson scored twice and John Brayford and Conor Sammon were also on the scoresheet. Tom Ince replied with a penalty for the visitors.
Nottingham Forest also suffered a 4-1 defeat against Millwall. Billy Sharp cancelled out Liam Trotter's early goal but Darius Henderson, Chris Wood and Andy Keogh scored in the second half.
Peterborough United lost an important match against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday, with Ross Barkley and Miguel Llera scoring in a 2-1 win. George Boyd got the only goal for Posh. Bristol City, however, were unable to capitalise, remaining in 23rd after losing 1-0 to Huddersfield Town, who had Sean Scannell to thank for a first-half goal.
Sone Aluko scored the only goal for Hull City, who climbed to fifth place in the Championship by claiming a 1-0 victory over Barnsley.