Arsenal and City pull clear at the top
Gunners continue to set the pace
Arsenal and Manchester City put the pressure on Chelsea as they secured victories to open up the gap on third place.
Ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Arsenal are sitting five points clear of Chelsea after they saw off Fulham 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium thanks to a Santi Cazorla brace.
After a goalless first half, Cazorla put the hosts ahead when he fired past Maarten Stekelenburg from 12 yards after a neat interchange between Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere.
The points were made safe on 62 minutes when Brede Hangeland's clearance found Cazorla, whose left-foot strike crept into the bottom corner.
Manchester City remain a point behind Arsenal in second after they beat Cardiff City 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium.
Edin Dzeko scored City’s 100th goal of the season to set Manuel Pellegrini’s men on their way in the 14th minute with a scuffed effort that just crept over the line as Cardiff defender Kevin McNaughton tried in vain to keep it out.
Cardiff were briefly level on the half-hour mark when Craig Noone capitalised on some sloppy City defending, but the Welsh side were behind again just four minutes later when an inch-perfect pass from Yaya Toure found Dzeko. The Bosnian’s effort was blocked but the ball fell kindly for Navas, who found the bottom corner with a side-footed finish.
Toure made it three with 15 minutes to go when the Ivorian played a neat one-two with Sergio Aguero before finishing, and Aguero made it four minutes later. Fraizer Campbell reduced the arrears at the death, but the result leaves the Bluebirds at the foot of the table.
Liverpool needed a second-half Steven Gerrard penalty to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa at Anfield in Saturday's late match.
Villa were by far the better side in the first half, and thoroughly deserved their two-goal lead when Gabby Agbonlahor set up both Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke.
However, Daniel Sturridge halved the deficit in first-half injury time when he smashed home after being put through by a neat Jordan Henderson flick, and the comeback was complete when Brad Guzan brought down Luis Suarez in the box and Gerrard calmly dispatched from the spot.
The result was Liverpool's first draw at Anfield in the Premier League this season.
Sunderland battled back from the loss of two early goals to claim a 2-2 draw with Southampton at the Stadium of Light.
The visitors were ahead after just four minutes courtesy of Jay Rodriguez, and a fine Dejan Lovren volley doubled their advantage just after the half hour.
However, Sunderland hit back instantly through Fabio Borini and, though the Italian saw a strike ruled out for offside on 64 minutes, Adam Johnson curled home soon afterwards to claim a share of the spoils.
Newcastle United arrested a run of four straight defeats in all competitions as they heaped the pressure on West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce with a 3-1 win at Upton Park.
Newcastle took the lead after 16 minutes when Yoan Gouffran found Yohan Cabaye, whose first touch took him away from Razvan Rat before beating Adrian. Loic Remy made it two on 33 minutes when he expertly controlled Moussa Sissoko’s deep cross before prodding in to an empty net.
West Ham were given a lifeline in first-half injury time when an own goal from Michael Williamson halved the deficit, but Alan Pardew’s side had the last word as Cabaye scored a free-kick deep into injury time - his seventh Premier League goal of the campaign.
Jason Puncheon bounced back from his penalty woe from last week to notch the winner and give Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis a 1-0 win over his former club Stoke City, lifting the Eagles up to 16th.
Elsewhere, a late Ryan Bennett goal was enough for Norwich City to see off Hull City 1-0 at Carrow Road. The Tigers had Tom Huddlestone sent off for two yellow cards.