Manchester United beat Sunderland 4-0 for its fifth straight win in the Premier League on Wednesday, and Aston Villa scored a late equalizer to draw 4-4 at Chelsea in a game that saw three players sent off.
Louis Saha scored twice, with Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo adding one each against Sunderland, which is coached by former Red Devil Roy Keane.
Aston Villa saved a point in injury time through a penalty kick from Gareth Barry, after Ashley Cole was sent off for a handball, joining Villa's Zat Knight and Chelsea's Ricardo Carvalho in being ejected.
Red cards also featured several other matches.
Ten-man Reading rallied to a 1-1 draw at West Ham and Tottenham beat Fulham 5-1 with two goals each from Robbie Keane and Tom Huddlestone. Fulham's Moritz Volz was sent off in the 87th for a second yellow card.
Also Wednesday, it was: Derby 1, Liverpool 2; Birmingham 3, Middlesbrough 0; Everton 2, Bolton 0; and Wigan 1, Newcastle 0.
Later, Arsenal is at Portsmouth and needs to win to keep its lead in the standings.
Manchester City hosts Blackburn on Thursday.
Rooney put United ahead in the 20th with a goal from 18 meters (yards), then set up Saha to extend the lead with a volley in the 30th. Ronaldo scored on a free kick to make it 3-0 in the 45th, before Saha added his second with a penalty kick in the 86th.
Chelsea extended its unbeaten streak in the Premier League at its Stamford Bridge home to 72 matches as Villa failed to repeat its 2-0 home win over the Blues in the league earlier this season.
Shaun Maloney put Villa ahead in the 14th minute, taking a header from John Carew to score past goalkeeper Petr Cech, who started despite bruising his side and hip in Sunday's 1-0 win over Blackburn.
Maloney doubled Villa's lead in the 44th after Cech fumbled his shot.
Andriy Shevchenko pulled one back with a penalty kick in the 45th after Knight was sent off for a challenge on Michael Ballack, and then equalized with a powerful shot from 20 meters (yards) in the 50th.
Alex took a pass from Shevchenko to score in the 66th, before Martin Laursen leveled in the 72nd with a volley from a free kick from Ashley Young.
Carvalho was sent off in the 80th for a lunge on Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Ballack, who came on when Frank Lampard limped off with a leg injury in the first half, thought he'd scored the winner with a free kick in the 88th only for Villa to level again with the spot kick.
"We deserved nothing less than a draw," Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill said. "We were terrific. We never gave up and came back from the dead twice."
Chelsea said in a statement it would appeal Cole's red card.
Tottenham registered its biggest league win of the season. Keane scored in the 27th on a rebound after Steed Malbranque's shot hit the post and then took a header from Dimitar Berbatov in the 62nd to score his 100th Premier League goal.
Huddlestone had goals in the 45th and 71st, with Jermain Defoe rounding off the win in the 90th.
Clint Dempsey scored off his own rebound to pull a goal back in the 60th for Fulham, which is playing under caretaker manager Ray Lewington after Lawrie Sanchez was fired on Friday.
Tottenham manager Juande Ramos, who took over on Oct. 27, said his new fitness regime was paying dividends.
"We are happy that the team has players that have slimmed down _ they are obviously a lot lighter now," Ramos said, referring to Huddlestone in particular. "The team appreciates this because we needed this to happen."
Liverpool needed an injury-time goal from Steven Gerrard to beat a stubborn Derby 2-1.
Fernando Torres put Liverpool ahead in the 12th minute, curling a shot past Derby goalkeeper Lewis Price, who was making his first league appearance of the season because of an injury to Stephen Bywater.
But Jay McEveley leveled for Derby in the 67th after taking a free kick from Eddie Lewis, prompting a frantic press from Liverpool at the end of the game.
Liverpool had beaten Derby 6-0 earlier in the season.
West Ham took the lead against Reading in the 42nd through Nolberto Solano and Dave Kitson leveled for the visitors in the 60th, taking Nicky Shorey's pass to score.
Reading had been reduced to 10 men in the 29th minute when Brynjar Gunnarsson made a two-footed challenge on West Ham midfielder Hayden Mullins.
Everton captain Phil Neville scored in the 51st minute with a cross that eluded everyone on its way into the net. Tim Cahill doubled the lead in the 70th.
Birmingham went ahead when Stewart Downing scored an own-goal in the 22nd and Mikael Forssell made it 2-0 in the 45th.
Wigan moved out of the relegation zone through Ryan Taylor's 65th-minute goal from a free kick.