Chelsea surged to the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 home win over Stoke City thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Frank Lampard and Willian at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
A 32nd minute strike by Salah, making his first start since joining Chelsea in January, and second-half efforts from Lampard, whose initial penalty was saved by Asmir Begovic, and Brazilian Willian saw the Blues move on to 72 points.
They are one point ahead of Liverpool, who can return to the summit by avoiding defeat at West Ham United on Sunday, and two ahead of Manchester City, who beat Southampton 4-1 in Saturday's early match and have two games in hand on the leaders.
Chelsea's win brought some cheer back to west London after a tough seven days which saw Jose Mourinho's side lose 1-0 at Crystal Palace last weekend and 3-1 at Paris St Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.
Manchester United moved up to sixth with an emphatic 4-0 win at Newcastle United, Juan Mata scoring twice and Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj adding one each. Fulham moved off the foot of the table with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
Kieran Richardson's stunning goal was cancelled out by Grant Holt, before Hugo Rodallega snatched a vital three points which allowed Fulham to take advantage of Cardiff's 3-0 home loss to Crystal Palace.
West Bromwich Albion, who finally appear to have hit form under Pepe Mel, beat Norwich City 1-0 and George Boyd's goal gave Hull City a 1-0 victory over Swansea City.
Image: Frank Lampard celebrates after scoring for Chelsea
Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters