Manchester United's hopes of a top four finish took a telling blow after suffering their seventh Premier League defeat of the season to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Anthony Martial's fine equaliser five minutes before half time cancelled out Wahbi Khazri's opener but a towering header from January signing Lamina Kone came off David de Gea before rolling into the back of the net, eventually going down as an own goal from the Spaniard to seal a home win.
Victory for Sunderland moved them to within a point of safety to boost their survival hopes but United's bleak campaign continues, with Louis van Gaal admitting post-match the Europa League is now the club's best chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League.
Southampton moved to within a point of the faltering Premier League giants with a hard-fought win away at Swansea City. Shane Long's 69th minute winner consigned the Welsh club to their first defeat under new boss Francesco Guidolin with Saints now on a run of six games without conceding a goal.
Chelsea registered their biggest league win of the season against a hapless Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge. Goals form Diego Costa, Pedro and Willian inside 18 minutes set the tone for a miserable evening for Steve McClaren's side, with Pedro adding a second in the second half. Bertrand Traore scored his first league goal for the club to make it five at the near post, before Andros Townsend scored a consolation goal for his side.
Norwich City looked set to climb out of the relegation zone when they took a two-goal lead through Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan at Carrow Road against West Ham. Alex Neil's side were lucky to escape with a point in the end after goals from Dimitri Payet and Mark Noble, with the Hammers almost snatching all three points at the death.
Stoke City ended a run of three consecutive defeats with a brilliant performance at Dean Court. Club record signing Giannelli Imbula scored his first goal for the club with a powerful first-half effort, before Ibrahim Afellay and Joselu scored twice in three minutes to give their side a comfortable lead.
Bournemouth responded minutes later with a fine strike from Matt Richie, but it was not enough to muster another comeback for the Cherries, who stay just four points above the relegation zone.
West Brom took another big step in securing their Premier League status with an impressive defensive performance to clinch a narrow victory over Everton at Goodison Park. The home side struck the woodwork twice following Salomon Rondon's 14th minute goal but were unable to find an equaliser, slipping to 10th as a result of the defeat.
Troy Deeney meanwhile struck twice at Selhurst Park as Watford secured victory over Crystal Palace. Emmanuel Adebayor headed in his first goal for the club on the stroke of half-time but Deeney's second with eight minutes leaves Palace without a win in nine.