Roberto Di Matteo continued his 100 per cent start as Chelsea manager as they recorded a narrow 1-0 win against ten-man Stoke.
And their numerical disadvantage eventually cost them as Didier Drogba’s 68th minute goal claimed all three points for the Blues.
There was some bad news for Chelsea though as Arsenal managed to remain in the top four and above them on goal difference.
Liverpool’s season continued to peter out with a whimper as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat against Sunderland.
The Black Cats move up to eighth, just two points behind Liverpool after that important win.
Andreas Weimann grabbed a late, late winner for Aston Villa as they beat Fulham 1-0 to end a run of six games without a win.
Rovers now move to 16th, three points clear of the bottom three while Wolves remain 19th and they can go bottom if Wigan beat Norwich on Sunday.