New Birmingham City manager Steve Cotterill was given a stark demonstration of the task that lies ahead of him as he watched the Blues suffer a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Hull City in the EFL Championship.
In a match featuring considerably less goalmouth action, league leader Cardiff City was held to a goalless draw by Derby County, allowing Wolverhampton Wanderers to gain ground with a 4-0 win at Burton Albion.
Sheffield United fell behind Wolves to sit third thanks to a 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest, while Bristol City claimed an impressive 3-1 win at Ipswich Town and Preston North End drew 2-2 with struggling Sunderland.
While Cotterill does not officially take charge at St Andrew's until next week after replacing the sacked Harry Redknapp, he has a job on his hands to rescue Birmingham in its fight against the drop.
Hull scored three goals in each half to put its visitor to the sword at KCOM Stadium, with caretaker boss Lee Carsley saying his side "folded a bit too easily".
Discussing a post-match changing room talk by Cotterill, Carsley explained: "It was basically that it starts on Monday, the season starts Monday. I only caught the last minute of it, but if I am sat there as a player I want to hear that there's a fresh start.
"Ultimately the season starts and the preparation for the next phase of games starts on Monday."
The result ended a five-match winless run for Hull.
Only Bolton Wanderers, which was beaten 1-0 at Aston Villa on Sunday (AEST), and Sunderland keep Birmingham off the foot of the table.
Neil Warnock's men failed to score in a home match for the first time this season as Derby claimed a point in the Welsh capital, although Cardiff stays top by a point from Wolves.
Leeds United could pull level with Wolves by beating Sheffield Wednesday on Monday (AEST), but Middlesbrough's early promotion push is faltering with a 2-2 draw with Brentford at Riverside Stadium, placing it 11th.
In the day's late kick-off, Norwich City claimed a 2-1 victory at Reading, which is now without a win in five matches and drifting towards the bottom three.
A run of four games without a win meant things were beginning to look bleak for Barnsley, but a first away triumph of the season should do wonders for its confidence.
Tom Bradshaw scored twice in a 3-1 victory for the Tykes at Millwall, a result that lifts them to 18th in the table.