Manchester City’s title defence suffered a huge blow on the south coast as they gifted Southampton a 3-1 victory with a series of glaring errors at the back.
Gareth Barry gave the ball away for Saints’ first goal, with Jason Puncheon following up to slot home after Jay Rodriguez’s shot was saved. Steven Davis made it 2-0 after Joe Hart made a hash of Rickie Lambert’s shot.
Edin Dzeko replied on the break but City’s misery was complete when Barry inexplicably passed into his own net.
Frank Lampard issued another timely contract reminder to Roman Abramovich as Chelsea eased the pressure on boss Rafael Benitez with a 4-1 win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard’s 198th career goal for the Blues in the 86th minute settled his side’s nerves. Ramires put Chelsea in front in the 23rd minute and Eden Hazard increased the lead after 56 minutes. But Wigan reduced the deficit through Shaun Maloney, before Lampard’s goal. Marko Marin headed the fourth in injury time.
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny produced some late heroics as the ten-man visitors were forced to cling on for a 1-0 win over Sunderland. Arsene Wenger’s men played the last half-hour a man short following Carl Jenkinson’s sending-off for a second yellow. Santi Cazorla made the breakthrough in the 35th minute.
Rock-bottom QPR suffered a dismal 4-1 defeat at Swansea. Michu in eight minutes and Angel Rangel in the 18th set the Swans on their way.
Despite substitute Bobby Zamora reducing the deficit, Pablo Hernandez and Michu completed the scoring.
Robert Huth headed his first goal since April to send Stoke on their way to a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Reading at the Britannia Stadium.
Huth nodded the opener in off the bar in the 67th minute and Cameron Jerome smashed home the Potters’ second on 81 minutes. Adrian Mariappa grabbed a late consolation for the Royals.
Norwich stretched their winless streak to nine games after a low-key goalless draw with Fulham. The result also means Martin Jol’s Cottagers have won just two from their last ten.
Gareth Bale shone in Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Newcastle. Bale’s free-kick put Spurs in front before Yoan Gouffran, pictured, equalised for the Magpies on 24 minutes, only to later suffer a suspected broken leg. Newcastle’s misery was completed by Bale ten minutes from time.