Tottenham scored a late equaliser to deny Everton a huge win in the race for Champions League football on Sunday, meaning Chelsea were the day's big winners as they moved up to third with victory over Sunderland.
QPR were denied a much-needed victory by Wigan, while Liverpool all but kissed goodbye to their European ambitions after they were held by West Ham and Newcastle edged closer to safety with a win against Fulham.
Chelsea returned to third place as they came from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
In Paolo Di Canio's first game in charge, relegation-threatened Sunderland led at half-time through Cesar Azpilicueta's own goal. John O'Shea had helped on Adam Johnson's corner just before the break, and Azpilicueta sliced his clearance into the back of his own net
However, within two minutes of the restart, Chelsea were level when Simon Mignolet's save from Oscar hit Matthew Kilgallon and rolled over the line.
The Blues capitalised on their momentum and scored another fortunate goal moments later, Ivanovic diverting the ball beyond a helpless Mignolet after David Luiz had shot goalwards. That proved the winner, with Chelsea able to dominate possession to see out the victory.
Tottenham needed a late equaliser from Gylfi Sigurdsson as they drew 2-2 with Everton at White Hart Lane.
Spurs had taken the lead after 35 seconds - Jan Vertonghen finding Emmanuel Adebayor to stab home - but they were level on 15 minutes when Phil Jagielka climbed above Vertonghen to head past the poorly positioned Hugo Lloris.
It was Kevin Mirallas who conjured up Everton's second, adding to his recent solo strike against Stoke. Receiving the ball outside the Spurs box in the inside-right channel, he first drove inwards before checking back onto his right foot to calmly slot across Lloris into the far corner.
Spurs looked beaten but, when the ball rebounded off a post, Sigurdsson was on hand to poke home an 87th-minute equaliser and ensure the spoils were shared.
Shaun Maloney scored an injury-time equaliser as Wigan Athletic salvaged a 1-1 draw against ten-man Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
QPR, in desperate need of a victory to boost their relegation fight, had seen striker Bobby Zamora sent off on 21 minutes for a dangerous challenge on Jordi Gomez, but Harry Redknapp's men looked to have secured a potentially priceless victory when Loic Remy raced clear on the counter to fire home a marvellous goal in the 85th minute.
However, Wigan claimed a share of the spoils when Maloney brilliantly curled home a free-kick, with Adel Taarabt failing to stand tall in the QPR wall.
Liverpool had to settle for a 0-0 draw at home to West Ham at Anfield.
A poor display from Luis Suarez epitomised the Reds in a defeat that leaves them below neighbours Everton as they target a top-five spot.
Liverpool did plenty of pressing and carved out numerous half-chances, but as the interval arrived it was the visitors who had come closest to scoring.
Steven Gerrard tried to change that fact after the break, but his shot was cleared off the line by James Tomkins, while Suarez fired another attempt right across the line from an impossible angle. Sturridge then diverted a Jordan Henderson shot into the net but was marginally offside.
Gerrard felt he had been denied a penalty when challenged by Tomkins, while at the other end Lucas cleared off the line to deny Jack Collison in the 85th minute.
Newcastle United left it late to add three points to their survival bid, recovering from their Europa League defeat at Benfica to beat Fulham 1-0 at St James' Park.
The Magpies hit the woodwork on several occasions but looked to be heading for a draw until Papiss Cisse showed great control to score deep into injury-time.