Chelsea go clear, Man United cruise
Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points thanks to a 4-0 win against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
But it wasn’t made easy for Jose Mourinho’s side by an organised Spurs outfit that started with two right-backs, Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker, in the starting line-up in order to combat the threat of Eden Hazard.
It was a mistake by Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen, though, rather than any creativity by his countryman Hazard which handed Samuel Eto’o the chance to open the scoring in the 56th minute, and the Cameroon international obliged, finishing coolly through Hugo Lloris’ legs.
Minutes later, Eto’o was at the centre of the action again as he went down under a challenge from Younes Kaboul to win Chelsea a penalty, which Hazard converted, and Kaboul a red card.
That broke Tottenham and by the time Demba Ba scored two goals in the space of a minute at the death, capitalising on more defensive errors from Tim Sherwood's side, the game was long over as a contest.
Elsewhere, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck added to Phil Jones' first-half goal as Manchester United turned back the years to cruise to a deserved 3-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion.
Under-fire manager David Moyes wrote to United supporters earlier this week thanking them for their patience during what he admitted was a far worse debut season than he ever expected.
The 2-0 defeat at Olympiakos had deflated the confidence of the most optimistic United fans, but on Saturday morale was raised at The Hawthorns following this encouraging display.
Phil Jones headed United ahead before Wayne Rooney scored his 13th of season after the break.
United rarely looked in trouble and substitute Danny Welbeck rounded off the win which moved Moyes' team up to sixth in the Premier League, with Moyes former team Everton in FA Cup action at Arsenal.
Two goals from Steven Caulker gave Cardiff City a vital victory 3-1 win over Fulham as the battle against Premier League relegation intensified.
Caulker got his first of the afternoon in first-half stoppage time, as Craig Noone's low cross was deflected into his path and gave him the simple task of finishing from two yards out.
Fulham equalised on 59 minutes as Lewis Holtby scored his first goal for the club and his second Premier League goal of the season -- his first had come against Fulham for Tottenham before joining the Cottagers on loan. A corner from Giorgos Karagounis was flicked on by John Heitinga and Holtby tapped in.
However, Cardiff sealed just their fifth home win of the campaign with two goals in the space of six minutes. First Caulker doubled his tally for the afternoon with an unmarked header at a corner, before Sascha Reither put through his own net after a Noone cross caused a goalmouth scramble.
Fulham did have the ball in the net late on but the offside flag was up against Steve Sidwell and the defeat leaves Felix Magath's side three points adrift at the foot of the table, and five points from safety.
Norwich and Crystal Palace were frustrated in their efforts to put distance between themselves and the bottom three, as Norwich surrendered a lead against Stoke City to draw 1-1 while Crystal Palace lost 1-0 at home to Southampton.
After a goalless first half at Carrow Road, it was Norwich who took the lead on 59 minutes when Robert Snodgrass picked out Bradley Johnson with a free kick that Johnson headed home from six yards.
However, the lead lasted until the 73rd minute when Sebastien Bassong bundled over John Guidetti in the box, and Jonathan Walters converted the penalty. Just four minutes later, Walters' afternoon was over as he was shown a red card for a studs-first challenge on Alexander Tettey.
The only goal of the game at Selhurst Park came in bizarre fashion. A counter-attack saw Jay Rodriguez beat Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni to the ball in a 50-50 challenge, and the Southampton man managed to stab the ball goalwards from a seated position from fully 30 yards.
The results mean just six points separate Cardiff in the third of the relegation spots from West Ham, who sit 10th in the Premier League table.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.