Middlesbrough eased themselves to the brink of the UEFA Cup knockout stages after tearing Dnipro's resistance apart either side of half-time to record a 3-0 victory.
Aiyegbeni Yakubu's seventh goal of the season and a second-half double from Mark Viduka sent Boro to the top of Group D and left them needing just a point from their two remaining games against last season's beaten semi-finalists, AZ Alkmaar, who they meet in Holland later this month, and Bulgarian minnows Liteks Lovetch, to ensure their progression for the second successive season.
Manager Steve McClaren was able to rest Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, George Boateng and the ineligible Fabio Rochemback and withdraw Yakubu, Viduka and the again impressive Gaizka Mendieta long before the final whistle to ensure some fresh legs for Sunday's Barclays Premiership trip to Everton.
The Teessiders eventually won at a canter, although the side which trounced Manchester United at the weekend did not have things all their own way until Yakubu broke the deadlock nine minutes before half-time in front of a crowd of just 12,953.
However, they ripped the the visitors apart in 11 devastating second-half minutes to clinch their third victory in a week and all-but ensure their place in the latter stages of the competition following Liteks' 2-1 win over Grasshoppers.
However, for 35 minutes or so, there was little to choose between the sides as Dnipro, who proved their worth when they hammered former Boro defender Tony Mowbray's Hibernian 5-1 in the qualifying round, gave as good as they got.
McClaren's much-vaunted 3-5-2 system, which paid such handsome dividends at the weekend, was nowhere near as effective against the slick-passing visitors.
With Viduka preferred in attack alongside Yakubu to the in-form Hasselbaink as the Boro boss rotated his strikers, the Australian got his chance to shine, but the home fans were unimpressed with his efforts before the break as he looked badly out of sorts.
After weathering the early exchanges, during which Mendieta twice chanced his arm from distance - and was not too far away - the visitors started to prosper with skipper Dmitri Mikhailenko and Sergey Nazarenko prompting from the middle of the park.
However, just when it looked as though they had begun to gain the upper hand, they were undone by a piece of magic from Yakubu and Mendieta.
There looked to be little on when the Nigerian international picked up possession wide on the left after 36 minutes, but when he cut inside and laid the ball off for the Spaniard, the return pass was inch-perfect for him to blast past the helpless Artem Kusliy and open the scoring.
Kusliy denied the home side a second two minutes later when Mendieta sent a dipping shot in towards his near post, but by then, the balance of the game had swung heavily in the Teessiders' favour.
Boro returned knowing a second goal would effectively end Dnipro's hopes and set about the task of collecting it with some relish. And they did not have long to wait as French referee Bertrand Layec employed the advantage rule to good effect after Mendieta had been upended on the left by Nazarenko.
The ball ran to Viduka, who could barely believe the time and space he was afforded to pick his spot and blast a right-foot shot past Kusliy and into the top corner.
Two became three within five minutes when youngster James Morrison, who had earlier forced a good save from Kusliy, did the same again, but this time the ball fell to Viduka, who needed no second invitation to guide the ball into the empty net with his left foot.
Mikhailenko called Mark Schwarzer into action for the first time with a 58th-minute free-kick, but the Teessiders were threatening to run riot with Viduka missing out on a hat-trick courtesy of a post and Morrison testing Kusliy once again.
Middlesbrough boss Steve McClaren hailed his strikers after the 3-0 UEFA Cup
win against Dnipro at the Riverside.
Aiyegbeni Yakubu's opener and a brace from Mark Viduka ensured a win for the
hosts, putting them within sight of the next stage of the next round.
With Szilard Nemeth, Massimo Maccarone and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink also
competing for a place in attack, McClaren has plenty to choose from as fixtures
begin to pile up.
He told ITV4: 'They know they have to rotate around, the pleasing thing is
that we won the game and got players rested who we wanted to rest.
'We've not conceded a goal in a cup competition this season either, we've got
to carry that forward for Sunday against Everton.'
McClaren retained his 3-5-2 formation which served him well in the win against
Manchester United at the weekend, and he added: 'It is working very well, we
can press, win the ball and play with it.'
McClaren was pleased his side showed urgency after a slow start, adding on ITV4:
'I was a little disappointed with the first half, we allowed them to dictate
the tempo. Foreign teams tend not to like it when you press forward.
'It was important to win, we had that urgency to win in the second half and,
with a point needed from two more games, puts us in the driving seat.'