The top four failed to muster a goal on Saturday as Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United drew 0-0 while Arsenal went down 3-0 at Manchester City.
Premier League leaders Chelsea could find no way through Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool had the same problem at home to Fulham and third-placed Manchester United were held 0-0 in a lively game at Aston Villa.
Troubled Arsenal's season went from bad to worse as they slid to fifth. With captain William Gallas dropped for questioning the fighting spirit of his team mates, injury-hit Arsenal capitulated with Stephen Ireland, Robinho and Daniel Sturridge on target for City.
Arsenal are 10 points behind Chelsea and Liverpool who are locked together on 33 points from 14 matches although Chelsea have a superior goal difference. United are eight points behind with a game in hand while Villa rose to fourth.
Hull City twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers won 3-1 at Middlesbrough while West Bromwich Albion lost 1-0 at Stoke City.
Chelsea were frustrated by a gritty Newcastle performance. The leaders have now drawn three times at Stamford Bridge this season and also lost at home to Liverpool. Shay Given was Newcastle's hero, making a superb save to deny Frank Lampard while Joe Cole had a goal disallowed.
Real squeeze past Recre
Madrid: Wesley Sneijder earned champions Real Madrid a 1-0 home win over Recreativo Huelva on Saturday. The win took Real second above Villarreal whose 17-match unbeaten run in the Primera Liga ended with a surprise 3-0 home defeat by Valladolid.
Inter beat Juventus
Milan: Sulley Muntari scored a second-half goal on Saturday to give Inter Milan a 1-0 win over Juventus to stay top of the Serie A. Muntari tapped in a pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 72nd minute for his first goal of the year. Agencies