Chelsea and Manchester City tightened their stranglehold on the Premier League title race, recording victories over struggling clubs to stretch further clear of their increasingly forlorn pursuers.
Normal service was resumed at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea maintained their three-point lead over City at the top with goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa sinking Hull City, who had Tom Huddlestone sent off, 2-0.
Champions City maintained their ever more convincing chase, sealing their fifth successive league win at bottom club Leicester City 1-0 courtesy a 40th-minute goal from the evergreen Frank Lampard.
City’s delight, though, was tempered by another injury setback with captain Vincent Kompany, back after being sidelined, limping off with hamstring trouble.
Two goals each from Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla helped Arsenal seal an emphatic 4-1 win over Newcastle.
Fourth-placed West Ham’s progress was checked by a 1-1 draw at Sunderland and Southampton lost 1-0 to an Ashley Barnes goal at Burnley.
Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle
Burnley 1-0 Southampton
Chelsea 2-0 Hull
Crystal Palace 1-1 Stoke
Leicester 0-1 Man City
Sunderland 1-1 West Ham
West Brom 1-0 Aston Villa