Charlton 1-6 Leeds
Leeds finally shrugged off the malaise that has dogged their season with a blistering display against Charlton that saw Mark Viduka score a hat-trick and Peter Reid underline his case for the manager's job on a permanent basis.
It was Leeds' first Premiership away win since Boxing Day and significantly eased the relegation worries that were threatening to turn their sour season into outright disaster.
Leeds dominated from the opening whistle, Harry Kewell opened the scoring after 12 minutes and the visitors led 3-1 by the break.
Ian Harte and Viduka added to Kewell's goal before the break, while Jason Euell scored for Charlton.
Viduka twice added to his tally after the break, the third a penalty, while Kewell scored a fine individual goal to round off a wonderful afternoon for Leeds.
Reid, who dropped several players from the squad and deployed Dominic Matteo in midfield, can take huge credit for the victory.
The start of the match was delayed by 17 minutes due to crowd congestion.
And Leeds started the match as though they had some catching up to do, soon breaching Charlton's defence.
Kewell picked the ball up on the left and cut inside before passing to Viduka.
The Australian striker picked out Alan Smith, who crossed to the far post, allowing Kewell to finish the move he started.
Leeds almost doubled their advantage after Niclas Jensen inadvertently turned a Kewell corner towards his own goal, but the danger was cleared off the line.
12 mins: Kewell opens the scoring
33 mins: Harte scores from the penalty spot
42 mins: Viduka makes it three for Leeds
44 mins: Euell pulls one back
54 mins: Viduka scores again
56 mins: Viduka completes his hat-trick
76 mins: Kewell completes the demolition
However, Charlton's respite was short lived and Harte made it three from the penalty spot after Richard Rufus fouled Smith his own penalty area.
The home team's aspirations of a win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for a Uefa Cup place were further dented when Viduka hit Smith's knockdown past Kiely.
But the Addicks gave themselves a lifeline when Euell scored the second penalty of the match following Lucas Radebe's foul on Scott Parker.
And, but for a brilliant save from Paul Robinson, Charlton would have reduced the deficit to just one goal early in the second half.
Parker played a neat one-two with Euell and struck the return pass first time, but he was thwarted by the Leeds keeper.
Shortly afterwards Leeds restored their three-goal cushion.
Smith eluded two Charlton defenders before squaring the ball to Viduka, who smashed the ball into the bottom corner for his second of the game.
Viduka then scored from the penalty spot after Smith was again fouled in the penalty area.
And to cap United's finest afternoon of the season, Kewell scored a superb individual goal after picking the ball up on the half-way line.
Charlton: Kiely, Young, Rufus, Fish, Konchesky (El Khalej 67),
Kishishev (Svensson 45), Parker, Euell, Jensen, Johansson,
Lisbie (Powell 45).
Subs not used: Rachubka, Robinson.
Booked: Kiely, Svensson.
Goals: Euell 45 pen.
Leeds: Robinson, Mills, Radebe, Duberry, Harte, Kelly, Matteo,
Bakke (Milner 86), Kewell (Wilcox 80),
Smith (Simon Johnson 78), Viduka.
Subs not used: Martyn, Barmby.
Goals: Kewell 12, Harte 34 pen, Viduka 42, 53, 56 pen,
Referee: E Wolstenholme (Lancashire).