Didier Drogba scored his 100th Premier League goal as Chelsea maintained the pressure on Arsenal in the race for fourth place with a 1-0 win over 10-man Stoke City on Saturday.
Drogba bagged his eighth goal of the season after 68 minutes of a tense encounter at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea notched their second victory since last week's sacking of manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The win saw interim manager Roberto Di Matteo's side go level on points with fourth-placed Arsenal, who can restore their three-point lead with victory over Newcastle United on Monday.
Stoke, who were reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Ricardo Fuller for a stamp on Branislav Ivanovic, slipped to 10th.
With league leaders Manchester City and second-placed Manchester United playing on Sunday, Saturday saw a reduced fixture schedule.
Liverpool's faint hopes of qualification for next season's Champions League suffered another blow as the Merseysiders crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland.
Nicklas Bendtner scored the winner for the Black Cats on 56 minutes as Liverpool slumped to a second consecutive loss following their defeat against Arsenal at Anfield last weekend. At the other end of the table, the problems mounted for struggling Queens Park Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who both suffered defeats that left the two clubs in the relegation zone.