Frank Lampard scored twice as Chelsea rallied from conceding an early goal to beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park.
Steven Pienaar fired the home side into the lead inside two minutes as he fired a rebound home after Victor Anichebe had headed against the post.
The Toffees nearly doubled their lead shortly afterwards when Nikica Jelavic curled a free-kick against the post as David Moyes' side continued to press.
But Lampard levelled matters for the visitors three minutes before the break as he headed into the bottom corner from a right-wing Ramires cross.
Jelavic struck the crossbar in the second half with a header but Rafael Benitez's side showed plenty of resolve and took the lead on 72 as Lampard shovelled home from close range after Tim Howard foiled Juan Mata.
Everton threw everything at Chelsea in the latter stages in a desperate attempt to force an equaliser and maintain their unbeaten home record but the visitors defended brilliantly to see out the win and go third in the table.
QPR's survival hopes were dealt a major blow as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a comprehensive 3-0 victory despite the absence of manager Brendan Rodgers.
It was a dreadful end to a rollercoaster 2012 for the west Londoners in which there have been plenty more troughs than peaks.
Liverpool dominated from the outset and coasted to victory even without Rodgers, who was unwell and too sick to be on the touchline.
Assistant manager Colin Pascoe and coach Mike Marsh deputised at Loftus Road, which witnessed two Suarez goals inside the opening 16 minutes.
Daniel Agger nodded the visitors further ahead in the 28th minute and, despite an improved second-half performance from the hosts, Liverpool were never in any real danger of losing grip of proceedings.
The defeat leaves QPR bottom and eight points adrift of safety heading into a tough January, which starts with a trip to rivals Chelsea.