Woe for Walters; Reading show spirit; Villa fall into relegation zone
Chelsea dismantled Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, Reading hit back from 2-0 down to snatch three precious points at home to West Brom and Aston Villa tumbled into the bottom three after a costly home defeat to Southampton.
QPR remain bottom of the pile despite taking a point against Tottenham at Loftus Road as Sunderland went goal-crazy, by their standards, at home to West Ham.
Fulham drew 1-1 with Wigan at Craven Cottage, Everton and Swansea finished goalless at Goodison Park, while Norwich and Newcastle played out a drab goalless draw at Carrow Road.
Jon Walters scored two own goals and missed a penalty as Chelsea got back to winning ways with a 4-0 victory to comprehensively end Stoke's proud unbeaten home record.
Chelsea took the lead just before the interval as Eden Hazard played in Cesar Azpilicueta on the right of the area with the full-back's cross powerfully headed beyond Asmir Begovic by Walters. The unfortunate Stoke forward was culpable yet again in the 62nd minute, nodding beyond Begovic under pressure from Lampard after a corner from the right.
The Blues skipper, whose time at Stamford Bridge is coming to an end, then stepped up to fire home from 12 yards moments later after Juan Mata had cheaply gone to ground with Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross in attendance, but with neither player making contact.
Eden Hazard then scored the goal of the game in the 73rd minute, picking up possession from outside the box before weighing up his options and unleashing a shot which curled away from Begovic and into the top corner.
John Terry returned to action as a second-half substitute and conceded a late penalty, only for Walters to complete arguably his most miserable afternoon in professional football by firing the resulting spot-kick over the bar.
Reading produced a stirring comeback with three goals in the last eight minutes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion.
Two goals from on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku looked to have put the Baggies on course for a victory which would have dumped the Royals to the bottom of the table, but Brian McDermott's men had other ideas.
Jimmy Kebe gave them hope with a far-post header with eight minutes to go, Adam Le Fondre demonstrated nerves of steel to fire home in the 88th minute, before Pavel Pogrebnyak poked home in added time to send the Madejski Stadium into raptures.
Aston Villa's miserable week, which started with a Capital One Cup defeat at the hands of Bradford, went from bad to worse as a 1-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton saw them slide into the relegation zone.
Nigel Adkins' men took the lead when Mark Halsey pointed to the spot after Enda Stevens' challenge on Jay Rodriguez, with Rickie Lambert stepping up to convert his 29th successive penalty for the Saints, sending Brad Guzan the wrong way with a shot just inside the post.
The London derby between QPR and Tottenham at Loftus Road ended in a drab 0-0 draw with Harry Redknapp grateful for several crucial saves from goalkeeper Julio Cesar as the Rs boss came up against the side which sacked him in the summer for the first time.
Sunderland discovered their scoring touch as Sebastian Larsson, Adam Johnson and James McClean found the net in a comfortable 3-0 home success over sorry West Ham.
Larsson's stunning goal gave Sunderland the lead in the 12th minute with the midfielder firing home from outside the box with a powerful, swerving effort which gave Jussi Jaaskelainen absolutely no chance.
And it was 2-0 early in the second half after Jaaskelainen kept out James McClean's powerful shot, but youngster Dan Potts attempted to shepherd the ball back to his 'keeper, allowing Adam Johnson to sneak in and score, before McClean (74) got in on the act as he struck from a tight angle.
Fulham and Wigan had to settle for a share of the spoils at Craven Cottage with Giorgos Karagounis and Franco Di Santo lighting up the match with special strikes.
Karagounis fired Fulham ahead in the 22nd minute with an outstanding finish from outside the box which arrowed beyond Ali Al-Habsi and into the net via the inside of the upright, before Wigan were back on terms in the 71st minute as Di Santo cut in from the left and powered home beyond Mark Schwarzer.
Everton and Swansea could not be separated in a goalless draw at Goodison Park, where Michu hit the bar for the visitors, while Norwich and Newcastle offered precious little in the way of entertainment in their 0-0 draw at Carrow Road.