Arsenal remain untouchable at the top of the league, taking their winning sequence to 11 with a 2-0 home defeat of Bolton Wanderers, who slipped to the bottom.
Second-half goals by Kolo Toure (68') and Tomas Rosicky (80') saw Arsenal clinch another convincing victory.
Didier Drogba's future at Chelsea has been a source of speculation this week but he was on target for the Blues as they continued their improvement with a 2-0 cruise at Middlesbrough.
Earlier, Dirk Kuyt converted two penalties as Liverpool won the Merseyside derby 2-1 against Everton at Goodison Park.
Manchester City moved into second, three points behind Arsenal, with a 1-0 home defeat of Birmingham City, although champions Manchester United can reclaim that position with a victory at Aston Villa in a late kickoff.
Elsewhere, Portsmouth stayed fifth with a 2-0 win at Wigan Athletic while Blackburn Rovers consolidated sixth spot with a 4-2 defeat of Reading.
Derby County moved off the bottom with a 0-0 draw at 10-man Fulham although they are still looking for their first away goal.
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