Chelsea started reasonably brightly as they usually do, and took the lead midway through the first half when Willian's fierce effort struck the post, with Fernando Torres at hand to convert before Julian Speroni could recover. Joel Ward then put in a fine cross for Marouane Chamakh, and the in-form Moroccan surprisingly put Palace level with a close-range volley to stun Stamford Bridge. Chelsea weren't behind for long, however — fine work from Eden Hazard got the ball to Ramires, and the Brazilian lived up to the assist with a brilliant finish from the edge of the area about which Speroni could do nothing but watch.
That was about as good as it got for Chelsea, however — in the second half, they simply could not put Palace away, and as the game drew later, the visitors began to exert themselves more and more on the game, creating a string of chances, the most notable of which came through Stuart O'Keefe as he almost prodded home in a mini-goalmouth scramble.
Chelsea had a string of clear chances suddenly as injury-time loomed, but Ramires was first denied a one-on-one by Speroni before the Argentinian pulled off some incredible heroics with a double-save to deny the Blues two clear chances before Ramires shanked it wide. Yet for all their effort, Palace could not find an equaliser and were forced to go home empty-handed.
Cardiff 1-0 West Brom
Cardiff put their recent poor form behind them to create a flurry of chances in the opening minutes against West Brom, but the game fizzled out in the first half thereafter with defences very much on top. Gareth McAuley came close in the second half to scoring well against the run of play, but Gary Medel was there to clear off the line, before Cardiff struck back themselves, Craig Noone's cross finding Peter Whittingham to stab home and give the Bluebirds an invaluable lead.
West Brom weren't picked up after the goal, generally continuing to be blunt in attack, until a late header from Shane Long threatened to undo Cardiff's good work until David Marshall made a magnificent save to preserve all three points for Malky Mackay's men.
Newcastle 1-1 Southampton
Newcastle looked the far brighter of the two sides in the opening period of the game, with Mathieu Debuchy going close and Loic Remy seeing a shot cleared off the line by youngster Callum Chambers. The hosts soon found their opener after Yoan Gouffran latched onto a bad mistake from Jos Hooiveld to round Paulo Gazzaniga and fire home.
Southampton were vastly improved after the break, however, and Steven Davis struck the post before the former Rangers man then teed up Jay Rodriguez for the equaliser. Newcastle should have equalised after a terrible miskick from Gazzaniga, but Remy managed one of the worst misses of the season to squander the chance.
A bizarre incident then followed as Papiss Demba Cisse accidentally floored referee Mike Jones while making a gesture to a Southampton player, which seemed to spark off a brawl between the two opposing dugouts, but no more came of it, and neither team could find a winner.
Everton came flying out of the traps against Fulham and dominated the early part of the game, heading into an early lead when Steven Pienaar teed up Leon Osman to put in a fine finish. Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku both went close thereafter as the visitors looked outmatched, but Everton could not find another goal.
They were almost made to pay when Alexander Kacaniklic blazed over with the goal gaping, but Fulham improved, Kacaniklic earning a penalty which Dimitar Berbatov coolly dispatched. Everton didn't take long to retake the lead, however, after Maarten Stekelenburg shovelled out a cross into the danger zone, and Seamus Coleman pounced to drill home a second for the hosts.
Fulham couldn't get themselves back into it, and the hosts wrapped things up with a scrappy third after Sylvain Distin's header was pushed into Gareth Barry for the former Manchester City midfielder to head over the line from all of a yard. Kevin Mirallas then wrapped up the win and completed a day to forget for Stekelenburg by hitting a fierce effort that the Dutchman couldn't hold onto as it slipped through his fingers and into the net.
West Ham 0-0 Sunderland
A game between two out-of-form sides at Upton Park led to Gus Poyet's Sunderland starting the brighter of the two, but Ki Sung-Yeung saw his shot saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen before Jozy Altidore was guilty of a bad miss. West Ham then had the ball in the net through a Guy Demel volley, but saw it ruled out for an earlier foul.
The game was not a great one by any stretch of the imagination, and both sides were looking bereft of ideas. Ki and Altidore would again have chances in the second half, but Jaaskelainen was equal to both of their efforts.