Late goals from William Gallas and Tomas Rosicky gave Premier League leaders Arsenal a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic on Saturday as champions Manchester United slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers.
Steven Gerrard inspired fifth-placed Liverpool to a 3-0 victory at Newcastle United while Manchester City's remarkable home record was maintained when they struck late to beat Reading 2-1 and move just one point behind United in third spot.
Chelsea stayed fourth after a 2-0 victory at bottom club Derby County. Salomon Kalou and Shaun Wright-Phillips were both on target for Chelsea who had Michael Essien sent off late on for striking Kenny Miller in the face.
Portsmouth's fine campaign shows no sign of petering out after they beat manager-less Birmingham City 2-0, their fifth away victory of the season to stay sixth.
Everton enjoyed their biggest league win for 11 years, thrashing Sunderland 7-1 at Goodison Park to leave Roy Keane's side in the bottom three. Middlesbrough are hovering just above the drop zone after a 3-0 home defeat by Aston Villa.
Second-bottom Wigan held on doggedly for 83 minutes at a subdued Emirates Stadium before Gallas headed in a Bacary Sagna cross, then Rosicky added a little gloss after being set up by substitute Nicklas Bendtner.
A mostly frustrating afternoon for Arsenal was marred by an injury to Theo Walcott in a tackle by Emile Heskey, though manager Arsene Wenger told reporters later: "He has had an x-ray and does not look too bad."
Wenger added: "Wigan produced that extra 10 percent that teams do when there is a new manager. Their defence was absolutely amazing... We kept our patience and once again we found the resources in the final 15 minutes."
Wigan, for whom Steve Bruce will take over as manager on Monday, have now lost eight matches in a row while rampant Arsenal are still unbeaten and now three points clear of United with a game in hand.
United had not lost a league game at Bolton since 1978 but they came up against a side who have begun to show signs of life under new manager Gary Megson.
The champions were stung after 11 minutes at the Reebok Stadium when Nicolas Anelka turned sharply to score his seventh league goal of the season.
Despite lots of possession United struggled to break down a defiant Bolton side, Carlos Tevez wasting their best chance when he sliced wide from close range.
"We should use our intelligence to beat teams like that. It was a battle but we can't say we deserved to win because we didn't create enough chances," United boss Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports.
"(Bolton) set an aggressive tone and we were looking for a bit more protection from the referee, which we didn't get," added Ferguson, who was sent to the stands in the second half by the match official for complaining.
The day's action began at St James' Park where Steven Gerrard was booed by a section of the Newcastle fans in the wake of England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.
The midfielder silenced the hecklers, however, thumping in an unstoppable shot after 28 minutes from a tapped free kick by Brazilian midfielder Lucas.
Liverpool stretched their lead straight after the interval when Dirk Kuyt bundled in a Gerrard corner and Gerrard was involved again when he squared for Ryan Babel to slot home the third after 66 minutes.