Portsmouth seized back the initiative in the battle to stay in the Premiership as Matthew Taylor's late penalty secured a 2-1 victory at home to Sunderland.
Harry Redknapp's team are now two points above Birmingham in 17th place after City drew goalless at Everton, while West Brom's 3-0 defeat at Newcastle leaves them six points adrift of safety with just six points left to play for.
Sunderland's own chances of survival had long gone but they seemed determined to influence who else would join them in the Championship.
The Black Cats grabbed the lead at Fratton Park when Julio Arca kept his composure to square across the six-yard box for Tommy Miller to tap home in the 70th minute. However, Svetoslav Todorov quickly restored parity as he was allowed too much room in the box and fired an angled shot past Kelvin Davis.
The lucky break Pompey needed came in the 88th minute when Kevin Kyle needlessly handled the ball in his own box and Taylor made no mistake from the spot.
Birmingham were held goalless at Goodison Park, and it could have been worse had James Beattie's goal not been ruled out for offside.
West Brom are well and truly up against it after they were sunk by Newcastle, playing their first match in the post-Alan Shearer era.
Nolberto Solano scored the Magpies' first from close range after Michael Chopra's shot deflected into his path.
Shola Ameobi added a second from the penalty spot in the 40th minute when Chopra was fouled by Neil Clement, but the challenge appeared to be outside the box.
Ameobi added a third late on to secure the win.
At the top, Tottenham still have the edge on local rivals Arsenal in the race for the fourth Champions League qualifying spot after a typically controversial north London derby.
The game ended 1-1, Robbie Keane turning in Edgar Davids' cross to put Spurs 1-0 up but Arsenal were furious that the visitors had played on despite Emmanuel Eboue being down injured.
The Gunners snatched a point when Emmanuel Adebayor cut in from the left and fed substitute Thierry Henry, who did brilliantly to control his pass and find the net under pressure from Michael Dawson.
The result leaves Tottenham four points above Arsenal, though the Gunners have a game in hand and could also snatch Spurs' place away if they win this season's Champions League.
Bolton's flagging bid for a UEFA Cup place was boosted as they led 3-0 against Charlton at the break.
Hidetoshi Nakata swung in a cross from the right and Ricardo Vaz Te climbed above team-mate Jared Borgetti to head home in the 14th minute.
Wanderers added a second seven minutes later when Ivan Campo played a free-kick into the box, Borgetti's header hit the base of the post and as the Mexican scrambled to the loose ball with Addicks goalkeeper Thomas Myhre, Kevin Davies was on hand to steer a shot in.
Borgetti added a third after half an hour to put Sam Allardyce's side in control at the Reebok Stadium.
Darren Bent pulled one back with a 76th-minute penalty after Jussi Jaaskelainen punched Jay Bothroyd in the head as he came to clear a ball into the box. But Davies added his second and Bolton`s fourth in the 89th minute.