Queens Park Rangers ended a run of five Premier League matches without a win to defeat Southampton for just their third league victory this season.
Jay Bothroyd gave the Rs a priceless three points as Harry Redknapp returned to St Mary's for the first time since he oversaw the Saints' relegation in 2005.
Manchester United widened the gap at the top of the table to 15 points with a flattering 4-0 win over Norwich, as Shinji Kagawa hit a classy hat-trick and Wayne Rooney curled in a cracker past Mark Bunn.
More banners were out in force from Chelsea fans venting their antipathy with Rafael Benítez, but the Blues took three points against West Brom thanks to Demba Ba's first-half effort for a comfortable 1-0 success.
Jack Collison hit the winner as West Ham recorded just their second victory in eight games with a 1-0 win at Stoke, who are still yet to register their second Premier League triumph this calendar year.
Everton meanwhile ended a poor league run to beat Reading 3-1 with Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas among the goals with Hal Robson-Kanu replying for the Royals. Luke Moore scored his first league goal in nearly a year as League Cup winners Swansea defeated Newcastle late on, and Sunderland came from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw against Fulham, who have still managed only two wins on the road this season.