A second-half strike from Danny Welbeck against Norwich City helped to ease some of the pressure on Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. The England striker found the net in the 59th minute to give Wenger a much-needed win in front of a disgruntled crowd at the Emirates.
A significant proportion of the club's fans staged a protest against the club's manager during the game, holding up signs calling for him to be sacked. But a well-taken goal from substitute Welbeck in a generally drab encounter moved Arsenal up to third in the table and boosted their hopes of Champions League football next season.
Elsewhere, a stoppage-time penalty from Jermain Defoe rescued a dramatic point for Sunderland at Stoke City. The 33-year-old striker scored in the 93rd minute of the match at the Britannia Stadium to cancel out Marko Arnautovic's goal.
The Stoke star earlier found the net in controversial circumstances, after Peter Crouch held off Black Cats defender Younes Kaboul inside the box.
Sam Allardyce's men struggled to fashion clear-cut chances in the game but were given a lifeline in the closing moments, as Geoff Cameron tangled with Defoe. Referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot and Defoe - who already had seven shots at goal - stepped up to fire home.
Despite Defoe's last-gasp goal at the Britannia, the Black Cats find themselves back in the relegation zone following Newcastle United's similarly dramatic 1-0 win against FA Cup finalists Crystal Palace. The Magpies moved out of the relegation zone thanks to Andros Townsend's 20-yard free-kick.
However, the real hero of the afternoon for the Toon Army was goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who saved a second-half penalty from former Newcastle player Yohan Cabaye. The win moves the Magpies one point above their local rivals in the table, but Benitez's men have played one game more.
"We still have to play another two games. We will enjoy this weekend because we won and then we will focus on the next one against Aston Villa, which will be a tough one," the Spaniard told the BBC after the game at St James' Park. "The victory means a lot - it gives us momentum, confidence and a connection with the fans."
At Goodison Park, Everton eased pressure on their under-fire boss Roberto Martinez with a 2-1 win against Bournemouth. The Toffees, who lost their FA semi-final to Manchester Unite last weekend, won courtesy of 64th-minute goal from Leighton Baines.
The fullback's strike ended Everton's run of eight league games without at win, and came after goals from Tom Cleverley and Marc Pugh, both of whom scored inside the opening ten minutes.
Some Everton fans protested against their manager during the match, but the Spaniard subsequently insisted he did not allow the issue to cloud his thinking. "In football you have to concentrate on affecting the game and just winning. The winning feeling allows you to move on. That's what we can take from today," he said to the BBC.
"Those aspects (fans organising banners to be flown over Goodison) are not for me. My concentration is preparing the players and preparing for the game."
Meanwhile, Watford striker Troy Deeney scored two late goals to deny Aston Villa their fourth league win of the season. The Championship-bound Midlands club took the lead at Vicarage Road through Ciaran Clark, while Jordan Ayew's second-half goal meant they led 2-1 going into the dying moments of the game.
But Deeney struck twice in three minutes to seal victory for the Hornets and helped ease their fans' pain of losing their FA Cup semi-final to Crystal Palace last weekend. Villa's misery was compounded by the sending off of Aly Cissokho in the 73rd minute.
And at The Hawthorns, Slaven Bilic's West Ham United side boosted their hopes of European football next season with a one-sided win against West Brom. A brace from Mark Noble and a headed effort from Cheikhou Kouyate saw the Hammers win 3-0 to reclaim fifth place in the Premier League.
West Ham are now unbeaten in 10 league matches and they leapfrog Manchester United, who play Claudio Ranieri's table-topping Leicester City side on Sunday (1 May).