League leaders forced to come from behind to keep the chasing pack five points adrift
Manchester City were made to work hard for a 3-2 win at Queens Park Rangers, who led at one stage, as they retained their cushion at the top of the Premier League.
Jay Bothroyd opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark with a fine header from a Joey Barton free-kick.
An excellent individual effort from Edin Dzeko levelled things just before the break, the Bosnian received the ball from James Milner, advanced down the left before cutting inside and driving low into the net.
Just after the interval David Silva put City in front, expertly controlling a Dzeko cross before driving past Paddy Kenny.
QPR were not done though and hit back when Bothroyd's header deflected in of the back of Heidar Helguson 20 minutes from time.
City won it five minutes later thanks to a powerful Yaya Toure header from Aleksandar Kolarov's cross.
Rivals Manchester United didn't have it all their own way either, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated 25 years in charge with a 1-0 win over Sunderland.
The only goal came in first half stoppage time when Nani's corner was glanced on by Danny Welbeck before going in off the unsuspecting Wes Brown.
Welbeck's header did not change the direction of Nani's corner and so a double assist was awarded.
Newcastle continued to be the surprise package of the season and they remained unbeaten with a 2-1 victory over Everton in the early kick-off on Saturday.
Johnny Heitinga inadvertently put the home side in front when he turned Danny Simpson's low cross past his own goalkeeper.
Ryan Taylor doubled the lead with a stunning volley midway through the half, capitalising on a defensive header which fell kindly for him.
Jack Rodwell pulled a goal back for Everton right on half time, when he nodded in Royston Drenthe's corner, but they could not force an equaliser.
Chelsea were another of the top sides who were not at their best, but they still ran out 1-0 winners over struggling Blackburn.
Frank Lampard scored the only goal of the game, stooping to head in a superb Branislav Ivanovic cross.
Tottenham's 3-1 win at Fulham on Sunday did not tell the whole story as the home side will count themselves very unlucky to have come up against Brad Friedel in fine form.
Gareth Bale drove the visitor's in front after Aaron Lennon's cross-shot had been parried by Mark Schwarzer.
Bale then returned the favour just before the break with a neat pass which set Lennon free and he cut inside and drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Fulham were the better side after the break and deserved their goal, albeit with a large slice of help from Spurs as Ledley King headed the ball against team-mate Younes Kaboul and it bounced in.
Fulham couldn't level though and Spurs forced a throw deep into injury time, which Emmanuel Adebayor turned into the danger area and substitute Jermaine Defoe arrived to smash in a shot which sealed the points.
Earlier on Sunday, Bolton had moved off the bottom of the table with an emphatic 5-0 win over Stoke.
The home side had the lead inside two minutes when Ivan Klasnic took the ball out of Asmir Begovic's hands, took a quick free-kick and passed to Kevin Davies who slotted into an empty net.
Begovic was at fault for the second too, as his mis-cued clearance went straight to the feet of Chris Eagles, who drove a shot back into the open goal.
Klasnic extended the lead on the hour mark with a first-time shot from the edge of the penalty area after a pass from Paul Robinson.
Eagles got his second of the game 15 minutes from time, running onto a pass from Klasnic and clipping the ball over Begovic.
The impressive Klasnic completed the scoring six minutes later, turning in David Wheater's header from close range.
Wolves also picked up a vital win on Sunday, overcoming fellow strugglers Wigan by three goals to one.
Jamie O'Hara opened the scoring after half an hour, side-footing in Kevin Doyle's low cross.
Doyle's cross took a slight deflection off a Wigan defender, but it was not significant enough to change the direction of the ball and so the assist stood.
Ben Watson levelled for Wigan from the penalty spot, at the second attempt, after his initial effort was parried following a foul on Emmerson Boyce in the box.
David Edwards restored the Wolves lead, driving home after O'Hara's effort had been brilliantly saved by Ali Al Habsi.
O'Hara was denied again by the unfortunate Al Habsi 10 minutes later, and this time Stephen Ward followed up to slot in the loose ball.
Arsenal continued their revival with a 3-0 win over a poor West Bromwich Albion side.
Robin van Persie opened the scoring; sliding the ball home after Theo Walcott's effort had been parried.
Thomas Vermaelen smashed in the second after the ball fell kindly to him when Gervinho's effort from Robin van Persie's cross deflected off a defender.
Gervinho strikes the ball towards goal and almost instantly the ball rebounds off the back of the West Brom defender's leg and back for Vermaelen. From most views it doesn't look like an awful lot happens as Van Persie's pass IS heading towards Vermaelen, but there are actually two significant touches in opposite directions, one from Gervinho towards goal and then one from the defender back away from goal. So as per the rules van Persie can't get an assist because of the complete change of direction on the touches by Gervinho and the defender, while Gervinho can't get the assist because of the complete change of direction off the defender.
Mikel Arteta sealed the win, striking the ball into the back of the net after a cut-back from van Persie.
Aston Villa got back to winning ways with a 3-2 victory over Norwich in an entertaining game at Villa Park.
Anthony Pilkington opened the scoring with a fine free-kick, before Darren Bent levelled for Villa when he turned in Gabriel Agbonlahor's cross from close-range.
Three minutes into the second half Agbonlahor put Villa in front, capitalising on a under-hit back-pass to slot into an empty net.
The pacy forward then created another goal for Bent with a cross for the England man to turn home as Villa increased their lead.
Norwich pulled a goal back with 15 minutes remaining, Steve Morison heading in Grant Holt's deep cross, but they could not equalise.
Finally, Swansea earned a 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.