(Reuters) - Brighton & Hove Albion beat 10-man Queens Park Rangers 3-0 to move two points clear of Newcastle United at the top of the English Championship (second tier) on Tuesday.
Sam Baldock scored after 11 minutes before Glenn Murray converted a penalty in the 53rd, Massimo Luongo having fouled Dale Stephens. QPR captain Nedum Onuoha was sent off three minutes later and Anthony Knockaert got the third in the 69th.
The win extended Brighton's unbeaten run to 17 games as they moved on to 51 points from 23 games to take over at the top from Newcastle who lost at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Monday.
"It is very satisfying to be top and we have earned the right to be there," said Brighton manager Chris Hughton.
"There is an awful long way to go and we need to try to play with the principles shown in the first half of the season."
It was a sixth successive defeat for QPR who are struggling under new manager Ian Holloway.
Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Louise Ireland