Wayne Rooney struck late on as Manchester United saw off Fulham 1-0 to move 10 points clear atop the Premier League, while Chelsea lost further ground after losing a five-goal thriller at Newcastle.
Both sides had great chances throughout but Rooney showed nerves of steel to calmly finish inside the box on 79 minutes, as the visitors overcame a strong Fulham display and floodlight failure at Craven Cottage.
United struck the decisive blow when Philippe Senderos tried to block Robin Van Persie's run but only succeeded in letting Rooney latch onto a long ball, and the United striker expertly curled the ball around the backtracking Aaron Hughes and into Mark Schwarzer's net.
Van Persie then cleared a Fulham header off the line and Javier Hernandez missed a one-on-one in a pulsating ending as United tightened their grip on the title race.
Moussa Sissoko scored twice as Newcastle United overcame Chelsea 3-2 in a thriller at St James' Park on Saturday.
Jonas Gutierrez flicked a header home to give the hosts the lead before Frank Lampard and Juan Mata turned the clash on its head after the break.
But Sissoko, a January signing from Ligue 1 side Toulouse, struck twice to earn Newcastle a crucial victory.
A goal by striker Lukas Podolski proved the winner as Arsenal closed the gap on the top four.
The first half took some time to gather momentum, but the home side began to dominate and were denied several times by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
It took until the 78th minute for Arsenal to take the lead, with Podolski seeing his free kick deflected home.
Everton scraped a point against Aston Villa in stoppage time in a thrilling encounter at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Villa took an early lead through Christian Benteke, but they were soon pegged back as Everton equalised through Victor Anichebe before Gabriel Agbonlahor scored before half-time.
Benteke added Villa's third in the second half as they looked to be cruising towards the three points, but Marouane Fellaini pulled one back before equalising in the final minutes to rescue a point.
West Ham United came out deserved 1-0 winners against Swansea City at Upton Park on Saturday.
Sam Allardyce's men dominated the affair, but it took a powerful header in the 77th minute from the returning Andy Carroll to settle the encounter.
Reading left it late once again to secure a 2-1 win over Sunderland and lift themselves clear of the drop zone.
Shaun Maloney's late strike denied Southampton a precious win as two relegation battlers fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw.
Queens Park Rangers are still bottom of the table after Adel Taarabt's penalty miss in the 0-0 draw against Norwich.