Ricardo Carvalho scored the lone goal on Saturday in Chelsea's 1-0 win over Tottenham, keeping the two-time defending champions near the top of the Premier League.
Carvalho scored from a 25-meter (yard) shot in the 52nd minute after a pass from John Obi Mikel.
The win puts pressure on Manchester United, which plays at Portsmouth later on Saturday. United leads the league with 78 points, and Chelsea now has 75.
Arsenal lost its first league game at Emirates Stadium, falling 1-0 to relegation-threatened West Ham. Liverpool beat Reading 2-1 to further secure third place.
Liverpool has 60 points, followed by Arsenal with 55, Bolton with 53 and Everton, which beat Fulham 4-1 on Friday, with 50. Also Saturday, it was: Blackburn 1, Aston Villa 2; Middlesbrough 4, Watford 1; Sheffield United 1, Newcastle 2; and Wigan 1, Bolton 3.
Chelsea had been frustrated by a stubborn Tottenham defense during the first half. Midfielder Frank Lampard had a shot blocked by Michael Dawson in the 39th and Carvalho forced Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson to save his header in the 22nd. Earlier, Salomon Kalou, who scored Chelsea's last-minute goal against Watford last Saturday, had a shot that went over the bar. Tottenham, playing in its second game in less than 48 hours, failed to test Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech in the first half. But Spurs improved its attacking play in the second half, and Cech pushed a shot from Mido over the crossbar in the 50th.
Robinson stopped a shot from Kalou with his feet and a drive from Didier Drogba as Chelsea sought to double its lead. Cech stopped a shot from Jermaine Defoe and then another from Adel Taarabt. Tottenham lost at Sevilla 2-1 in the first leg of the UEFA Cup quarterfinals on Thursday, and Chelsea drew 1-1 with Valencia in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday. Chelsea has the return leg at Valencia on Tuesday, then faces Blackburn on Sunday in the FA Cup semifinals. Tottenham hosts Sevilla on Thursday.
Man United has a similar schedule. It hosts AS Roma on Wednesday, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, and plays Watford on Saturday in the FA Cup semifinals.
The Red Devils are seeking their first Premier League trophy since 2003, and a repeat of 1999 when it won the league, FA Cup and Champions League.
Liverpool is also in Champions League action on Wednesday, but it has a 3-0 lead going into its second leg against PSV Eindhoven. On Saturday, Liverpool scrambled for a late result, with Dirk Kuyt heading in the winning goal in the 86th minute.
Liverpool had taken the lead in the 15th when defender Alvaro Arbeloa exchanged passes with Peter Crouch before curling the ball inside the far post. Brynjar Gunnarsson scored with a low drive in the 47th to equalize for Reading.
Arsenal went behind to a long-range shot from Bobby Zamora in the 45th.
In the second half West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green saved a low shot from Gilberto and also pushed away a chance from Emmanuel Adebayor, while Cesc Fabregas had an attempt come back off the underside of the crossbar.
After three straight league victories, West Ham is in 19th place with 29 points, flanked either side by Sheffield United (31) and Watford (20), who both lost Saturday.
Sheffield United lost to an 80th-minute goal from Newcastle defender Steven Taylor. The Blades had leveled in the 74th minute with a goal from Christian Nade. Obafemi Martins scored Newcastle's other goal.
Watford lost 4-1 to Middlesbrough in its 18th league defeat this season. Two goals from Mark Viduka and one each from George Boateng and Fabio Rochemback combined with West Ham's win means relegation is virtually sealed for Watford. Damien Francis scored for Watford.
Wigan and Charlton will also be worried. Charlton drew 0-0 with Manchester City on Friday and is 17th one spot above the relegation zone with 31 points. Wigan is 16th with 33 points. Despite scoring first through Emile Heskey, Wigan lost 3-1 to Bolton.
Andranik Teymourian scored twice in five minutes in the second half, after Nicolas Anelka leveled in the 44th.
Aston Villa defeated Blackburn 2-1 with goals in each half from Patrik Berger and Gabriel Agbonlahor.