Chelsea left it late against Wigan, Liverpool were held at home, while struggling duo Bolton and Blackburn both lost.
Juan Mata's last-gasp goal earned Chelsea a hard-fought 2-1 win over Wigan, while Liverpool's faltering form continued after being held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa at Anfield.
Tottenham missed the chance to go clear in the race to claim a Champions League spot after being held to a dour draw by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Norwich twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Everton in an entertaining encounter at Carrow Road.
Fulham picked up a rare away win with a 3-0 victory over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
Wolves took another step closer to relegation after going down 2-1 to Stoke.
Chelsea boosted their top-four hopes with a late win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea broke the deadlock just past the hour mark, but Branislav Ivanovic's goal was shrouded in controversy with the defender clearly offside when he put the ball in the net.
Raul Meireles lofted the ball into the box for Ivanovic to volley home from close range, but the Serbian looked at least two yards offside.
The Wigan players surrounded referee Mike Jones who consulted with his assistant but he waved away the visitors' appeals as he allowed the goal to stand.
Wigan stunned the home fans eight minutes from time as Ryan Bertrand stood off Mohamed Diame and he fired home a superb shot past Petr Cech from the edge of the area.
It looked like Wigan would hold on for a point, but in stoppage time Mata bundled the ball home from close-range after Fernando Torres' shot had come back off the post to help Chelsea reclaim fifth spot ahead of Newcastle.
Liverpool ended a run of three straight defeats after coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Aston Villa.
Villa broke the deadlock after ten minutes with Chris Herd netting his first goal for the club after a mistake by debutant Alexander Doni.
Doni flapped at a cross from Stephen Warnock and Barry Bannan teed up Herd inside the box to curl a superb shot into the top corner.
Dirk Kuyt really should have drawn Liverpool level just before the break but from Steven Gerrard's cross he somehow scooped the ball over the top from two yards.
After dominating the second half Liverpool finally drew level eight minutes from time as substitute Daniel Agger's header from Gerrard's inviting cross came back off the crossbar and Luis Suarez reacted quickest to nod the ball into the net.
Liverpool piled forward in search of a winner, but Villa defended well to earn a priceless point.
Tottenham moved back into third spot with a hard-fought goalless draw at Sunderland.
Chances were few and far between as both sides cancelled each other out on Wearside.
Rafael van der Vaart saw two goal-bound shots blocked, while Gareth Bale headed Tottenham's best chance onto the roof of the net.
Fulham dented Bolton's survival hopes with Clint Dempsey netting twice in their 3-0 success.
Dempsey, who had earlier had a goal ruled out for offside, made the breakthrough on the half-hour mark when he curled a superb free-kick from 25 yards over the wall and into the top corner past Adam Bogdan.
The American doubled Fulham's lead on the stroke of half-time when he headed home Damien Duff's inviting cross from the right for his 15th Premier League goal of the season.
Fulham made the game safe ten minutes from time when John Arne Riise broke down the left and crossed for Mahamadou Diarra to slide home from close range for his first goal for the club.
Nikica Jelavic scored twice for Everton, but it was not enough as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Norwich.
Everton hit the front on 22 minutes when Leighton Baines slipped in Phil Jagielka inside the box and he crossed for Jelavic to steer the ball home with the outside of his foot.
Norwich drew level on 39 minutes when Wes Hoolahan rolled the ball across the six-yard box for Jonny Howson to slot the ball into the empty net.
Jelavic restored Everton's lead just past the hour mark as the Norwich players complained for a free-kick, Baines played Steven Pienaar in down the left and he picked out Jelavic to sweep the ball home from inside the six-yard box.
Norwich drew level again for a second time 14 minutes from time as Aaron Wilbraham broke through the middle only to see his shot saved by Tim Howard, but the striker reacted quickly to pick out the unmarked Grant Holt in space inside the six-yard box to fire home.
Blackburn remain rooted in the bottom three after going down 3-0 to West Brom at The Hawthorns
Blackburn got off to the worst possible start when Martin Olsson volleyed Gareth McAuley's header into his own net from Chris Brunt's corner after just seven minutes.
West Brom made it 2-0 on 69 minutes when Brunt robbed Yakubu of possession and swung over a cross which fell at the feet of Marc-Antoine Fortune who drilled his shot home from close-range.
The home side wrapped the game up five minutes from time when Graham Dorrans whipped in a free-kick and Liam Ridgewell got ahead of his marker to flick his header into the net.
Blackburn's miserable afternoon was compounded when substitute Anthony Modeste was sent off late on for violent conduct.
Stoke condemned basement boys Wolves to their sixth straight defeats as they came from behind to secure a 2-1 win at the Britannia Stadium.
Michael Kightly gave Wolves a shock lead on 26 minutes when his lofted pass deceived Asmir Begovic and went straight into the net.
Stoke levelled matters eight minutes before the break when Robert Huth drilled home from inside the box after being teed up by Ryan Shawcross.
The home side grabbed the winner just before past the hour mark when Peter Crouch rose highest to superbly head home Jermaine Pennant's free-kick.