Andy Johnson struck in injury time to give Everton a 1-0 win over Arsenal that hauled them into the top six of the Premier League on Sunday.
It was another disappointing day for Arsenal, who lost in three cup competitions in the last three weeks, and it allowed Liverpool to close to within a point in the battle for third after they drew 0-0 at Aston Villa.
At Goodison Park Everton hit the post twice - through Lee Carsley after 26 minutes and Leon Osman after 73 - but in between Arsenal forced several half-chances.
Substitute Tomas Rosicky set up Jeremie Aliadiere for the best of them but the stand-in striker fired over the bar.
The game seemed to be heading for stalemate until Johnson showed his striker's instinct in added time to fire home from 12 metres following a corner and boost Everton's hopes of a UEFA Cup spot.
Therewas precious little goalmouth action at Villa Park, where the home side would have been happy with a point to edge them further from the relegation zone.
Manchester United, 4-1 winners over Bolton Wanderers, lead the way on 75 points, six clear of Chelsea, who beat Sheffield United 3-0.
Arsenal remain third on 55points, one ahead of Liverpool, who have played a game more.
Everton climb to sixth on 46 while Villa are now seven points clear of the drop zone on 34.
In Sunday's other game Charlton Athletic moved within four points of safety thanks to a well-deserved 2-0home victory over Newcastle United.
On-loan China captain Zheng Zhi headed his first goal for the Londoners after 53minutes when a Darren Bent free kick came back off the bar and Jerome Thomas added a late penalty after Zheng was brought down.