Chelsea and Arsenal are level at the top of the Premier League table after victories on Saturday, while there were key wins for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers in the relegation battle.
Chelsea beat West Ham 4-1 and Arsenal scored in injury-time to beat at Hull City 2-1.
They are both a point clear of Manchester United, who face Fulham on Sunday.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was delighted to get back to winning ways after defeat to Manchester City in their last league game.
“It was important to have a good reaction,” said Ancelotti. “We had a good reaction against Stoke and we improved again today.
“We had a bad day against Manchester City but we came back the right way. It was a very good performance.” Alex, only playing because of Ricardo Carvalho’s absence through injury, headed in Florent Malouda’s cross to open the scoring after 16 minutes.
Scott Parker thumped in a 30-yard drive, his first goal in 13 months, to level on the half hour.
But Didier Drogba converted another Malouda cross on 56 minutes, Malouda added a third himself and then Drogba got his second to give Chelsea the points.
West Ham are just three points clear of the drop zone.
Arsenal, who have played a game more than Chelsea, left it late to beat Hull, despite the Tigers having George Boateng sent off just before half-time.
Andriy Arshavin darted between two defenders to give Arsenal the lead after 13 minutes, but Jimmy Bullard levelled from the spot on the half hour.
Arsenal were furious with the decision, though, with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink looking offside when he was fouled by Sol Campbell.
Arsene Wenger’s side missed chance after chance, but four minutes into injury-time, Nicklas Bendtner tucked in the rebound after Boaz Myhill had parried Denilson’s shot.
Hull remain in the relegation zone, three points from safety.
Burnley are three points adrift after a largely self-inflicted 2-1 home defeat to Wolves.
First a weak back header from Tyrone Mears let in Matt Jarvis to put Wolves ahead after 26 minutes, then Clarke Carlisle deflected an Adlene Guedioura shot into his own net to make it 2-0 on 47 minutes.
Steve Thompson headed one back for Burnley from Graham Alexander’s volley with 17 minutes remaining.
“It’s tightened it up again with West Ham and Wigan losing and it gives us more of a fighting chance, a bit of confidence,” said Wolves manager Mick McCarthy.
“We’ve been playing well and I said if we keep playing that way our luck will change. I knew we would get a slice of good fortune by playing that way.” Bolton eased their relegation fears, pulling eight points clear of the bottom three with a 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic.
Johan Elmander put the home side ahead on 10 minutes, capitalising from a scramble that resulted after Charles N’Zogbia had lost possession.
Kevin Davies added the second from the penalty spot three minutes after half-time after Tamir Cohen had been tripped by Steven Caldwell.
Five minutes later, Fabrice Muamba lashed a third, his first goal for the club on his sixtieth start.
Matt Taylor notched the fourth with his first touch after coming off the bench.
“When I took the job I believed I could keep Bolton in the league,” said manager Owen Coyle.
“The short-term aim was to do that. We have taken a step along that road.
“It was all about getting the three points. To get it on the back of an accomplished performance was terrific.
“I thought the players’ desire and their hunger to get about the game, the quality they showed at times was very pleasing.” Aston Villa’s challenge for fourth faltered further as they could only draw 0-0 at Stoke City.
Birmingham City came from 2-0 down to draw with Everton.
A screamer from Victor Anichebe had Everton ahead on 19 minutes, Yakubu headed in Steven Pienaar’s cross to double that advantage three minutes later.
Cameron Jerome touched in a Keith Fahey cross four minutes after that, and then flicked on for Gardner to hit the equaliser seven minutes into the second half.
Tottenham Hotspur moved three points clear of Manchester City in the race for fourth as they beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1.
City, who face Sunderland on Sunday, have two games in hand.
Jermain Defoe put Spurs ahead from close range in first-half injury-time, and two goals from Roman Pavlyuchenko, taking his recent run to eight in his last games, sealed the win, despite Christopher Samba briefly reducing the deficit to 2-1.
“Every match is a crucial match, it’s very tight up there for fourth spot and every win is vital for us,” said man of the match Gareth Bale.