Paolo Di Canio's debut match as Sunderland boss ended in a 2-1 defeat as Chelsea returned to the top four of the Barclays Premier League with a third successive win at Stamford Bridge. The Black Cats remain fourth from bottom, level on points with Wigan who scored an injury-time equaliser at QPR.
Chelsea trailed at half-time to Cesar Azpilicueta's own goal, but Matt Kilgallon deflected into his own net following a surging run by substitute Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic directed a David Luiz shot into the Sunderland goal to put the Blues in front after 55 minutes.
It proved to be the winner as Chelsea returned above Tottenham on goal difference and into third place.
Wigan forward Shaun Maloney struck a free-kick four minutes into injury time to nudge QPR closer to relegation. Loic Remy appeared to have given Rangers renewed hope in their survival quest with a stunning 85th-minute strike, only for Maloney to drive home a ferocious equaliser from 20 yards just seconds from the final whistle.
It was a spectacular twist to the match and agonising for QPR who had played all but 20 minutes with ten men after Bobby Zamora was sent off for a moment of madness. It leaves QPR seven points from safety.
Gylfi grabs point for Spurs
Gylfi Sigurdsson's late strike prevented Tottenham from slipping to another defeat, but Spurs' reliance on Gareth Bale was laid bare as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Everton at White Hart Lane.
The north London side are now just two points clear of rivals Arsenal - who have a game in hand. The Toffees looked like taking all three points after Phil Jagielka and Kevin Mirallas scored following Emmanuel Adebayor's 35-second opener.
But Sigurdsson, charged with the task of playing in the hole where Bale has been so effective this season, salvaged a point for the hosts by scoring a crucial goal three minutes from time.
Liverpool's top-six hopes suffered another crushing blow as they failed to break down West Ham's stubborn defences in a goalless draw at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers' side once again failed to spark, skipper Steven Gerrard coming closest to a winner when his effort was cleared off the line by the outstanding James Tomkins.
But the Hammers, for whom James Collins was equally impressive, also had a claim on the spoils, with Lucas Leiva denying them a first Anfield win in 50 years when he turned away Jack Collison's header five minutes from time.
Papiss Cisse eased Newcastle's relegation fears with an injury-time winner against Fulham on a day when it appeared as if luck had deserted the United striker. Alan Pardew's side - and Cisse especially - had previously spurned a catalogue of chances at St James' Park against a Fulham side who suffered their first defeat in six games.
But with frustration and anxiety growing, the Senegal forward finally beat Mark Schwarzer in the third minute of added-on time for his 11th goal of the season.
The Magpies are now 13th, five points above the relegation zone.