Liverpool climbed up to third in the Premier League with a 3-0 win at Charlton Athletic while rivals Arsenal could only draw 2-2 with Portsmouth.
An early penalty from Xabi Alonso and late goals by Craig Bellamy and captain Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool an easy victory over a Charlton side stuck in the relegation zone.
Liverpool are now on 31 points, just ahead of Arsenal (30) and Bolton Wanderers (30), who beat Aston Villa 1-0 away with a Gary Speed penalty in his 100th game for the club.
Charlton went behind after just two minutes when Spanish midfielder Alonso converted a penalty. Former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore had swung his boot into the face of Jermaine Pennant as he tried to intercept a cross from the left wing and the referee pointed to the spot.
The fans had to wait 80 minutes until the next goal when Bellamy volleyed past keeper Thomas Myhre after running on to a neat through-ball.
Gerrard added the third in the 88th minute, guiding the ball home after a knockdown by substitute Peter Crouch.
"We created a lot of chances, we scored three goals but we could have scored two or three more," Rafael Benitez, the Liverpool manager, told Sky Sports.
Charlton's Les Reed said: "We had a couple of chances, we didn't take them and then got punished for some bad defending. "That made it 2-0 and put it out of our grasp...we did lack confidence today."
Charlton are second from bottom with just 12 points.
Gunners fight back
Portsmouth, who had two former Arsenal favourites in striker Nwankwo Kanu and defender Sol Campbell, scored either side of the break
through French defender Noe Pamarot and Matthew Taylor leaving the Gunners facing their first league defeat in the Emirates Stadium.
|Gilberto rescued a point for Arsenal|
But five minutes in the second half gave Arsenal a share of the points.
Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the 58th minute, just three minutes after replacing Jeremy Aliadiere, when he sidefooted in a good ball from teenager Theo Walcott.
Then, two minutes later, Brazilian midfielder Gilberto steered home another ball into the area from Walcott.
Despite Arsenal's fight back Pompey manager Harry Redknapp was in stoical mood, saying: "In the end, to come here and pick up a point is a fantastic result for us."
Manager Arsene Wenger, who was banished to the stand at half-time for protesting over the free-kick that led to Portsmouth's opener, said: "I give them a lot of credit, even if we're disappointed not to have won the game, they showed exceptional quality."
Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was the hero of Bolton's 1-0 victory. The Finn produced three super second-half saves to frustrate Villa before
his side snatched an unlikely win courtesy of Gary Speed's penalty with quarter of an hour left.
Newcastle shrugged off a midweek defeat at Chelsea with another win courtesy of Obafemi Martins who scored both of Newcastle United's goals in a 2-1 home win over bottom club Watford. The Nigerian struck twice in the second half, either side of an equaliser from Watford's French striker Hameur Bouazza.
David Bentley got a late goal as Blackburn Rovers won 2-1 at Reading and Sheffield United beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 away to go seven points clear of the drop.