Late heartache for Chelsea, Villa and Southampton
There were late goals galore in the Premier League as Newcastle beat Chelsea, Everton rescued a draw with Aston Villa and Wigan drew with Southampton.
Arsenal boosted their top four hopes with victory over Stoke, while Reading left it late again as they overcame Sunderland 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium thanks to two goals from Jimmy Kebe and Manchester United opened up a 10-point lead at the top of the table.
Shaun Maloney's last-gasp goal rescued Wigan a 2-2 draw with Southampton at the DW Stadium.
Moussa Sissoko's late goal earned Newcastle a thrilling 3-2 win over Chelsea to climb further clear of trouble at the wrong end of the table and pile the misery on Rafa Benitez.
Demba Ba endured a painful return to St James' Park when he took a boot in the face from former team-mate Fabricio Coloccini and, after lengthy treatment, was forced off before half-time.
Newcastle broke the deadlock four minutes before the break when Davide Santon sent over a superb cross from the left and Jonas Gutierrez ghosted into the box unmarked to flash his header into the bottom corner past Petr Cech.
Chelsea equalised ten minutes into the second half when Ashley Cole picked out Frank Lampard 25 yards from goal and the midfielder smashed a swerving shot past Tim Krul to hit double figures in the Premier League for a tenth consecutive season.
The visitors turned the game on its head just past the hour mark when Fernando Torres teed up Juan Mata inside the box and he curled a superb shot into the far corner past a stranded Krul.
Newcastle refused to lie down and they drew level on 68 minutes with Sissoko scoring his first goal for the club. Papiss Cisse sent Yoan Gouffran through on goal and he saw his effort palmed out by Cech, but Sissoko was on hand to fire home the rebound.
Just when it seemed like it would end all-square Sissoko popped up with his second goal of the game in the closing seconds to give Newcastle back-to-back wins.
Wayne Rooney's second-half goal earned Manchester United a second win over Fulham in a week following a 1-0 success at Craven Cottage.
The Premier League leaders struck the woodwork three times in a first half which was temporarily halted when the floodlights went out.
An end-to-end game was decided by Rooney's composed finish 11 minutes from time, with Fulham twice seeing attempts cleared off the line.
Arsenal closed the gap on Tottenham and Chelsea with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Stoke at the Emirates.
After being denied on several occasions by Asmir Begovic, Arsenal finally made the breakthrough 12 minutes from time with a controversial goal from Lukas Podolski.
Podolski's low-free-kick took a wicked deflection off Geoff Cameron to wrongfoot Begovic, but it looked like referee Chris Foy was preparing to disallow the goal before awarding the strike after consulting his assistant.
Everton came from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw with Aston Villa at Goodison Park to deny Paul Lambert's side a much-needed win.
Villa made the perfect start with Christian Benteke firing the visitors in front after just two minutes to stun the home fans.
Benteke easily beat Johnny Heitinga as he powered past the Everton defender before firing low past Tim Howard.
Everton drew level on 21 minutes when Victor Anichebe held off Ciaran Clark and rolled the defender before hitting his shot low past Brad Guzan.
Parity proved short-lived as three minutes later Villa restored their lead when Gabriel Agbonlahor rose above Heitinga to arrow his header from Matt Lowton's cross into the bottom corner.
Villa made it 3-1 just past the hour mark when Benteke got ahead of Heitinga to head home Lowton's inviting cross from close range.
Everton pulled a goal back on 69 minutes when Marouane Fellaini played a one-two with Anichebe before firing low past Guzan.
The home side threw everything at Villa and in injury-time Fellaini rose highest to head home Leighton Baines' corner to break the visitors' resistance and earn Everton an unlikely point.
Reading continued their recent improvement with a 2-1 win over Sunderland.
Reading got off to a flying start by going in front after just seven minutes when Jobi McAnuff picked out Jimmy Kebe inside the box and he controlled superbly before smashing his shot high into the net past Simon Mignolet.
Sunderland drew level just before the half-hour mark when Pavel Pogrebnyak fouled John O'Shea inside the box to concede a penalty and Craig Gardner drilled his spot-kick past Adam Federici.
Reading grabbed the winner five minutes from time when Kebe got on the end of Ian Harte's cross at the far post to head in off the underside of the crossbar.
Andy Carroll's second goal for West Ham earned Sam Allardyce's side a much-needed win over Swansea at Upton Park.
Carroll netted the only goal of the game 13 minutes from time when he headed home past Gerhard Tremmel.
Mark Bunn saved Adel Taarabt's second-half penalty as Norwich earned a goalless draw with basement boys Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
Bunn conceded the penalty when he brought down Jamie Mackie inside the box, but the Norwich keeper made amends for his mistake with a superb save to keep out Taarabt's spot-kick and deny QPR all three points.
Wigan picked up a precious point after a late 2-2 draw with fellow strugglers Southampton to deny Mauricio Pochettino his first win as manager.
Wigan made the breakthrough on 25 minutes when Gary Caldwell headed Jean Beausejour's corner powerfully past Artur Boruc.
Southampton deservedly drew level on 64 minutes when Rickie Lambert bravely headed home past Ali Al Habsi.
Southampton hit the front five minutes from time with Morgan Schneiderlin finishing off a flowing move from the visitors with a close-range finish from Jay Rodriguez's cross.
Wigan hit back to level matters in the final minute when Maloney got on the end of Paul Scharner's header to score from close range.