Tottenham Hotspur edged closer to a possible Champions League place after a 2-1 victory at Stoke City kept them clear of the pack in the race for fourth place in the Premier League on Saturday.
Goals from substitute Eidur Gudjohnsen and Niko Kranjcar earned Spurs the win against a Stoke side reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Dean Whitehead was dismissed.
Gudjohnsen scored his first goal for Tottenham when he lashed the ball into the roof of the net after 46 minutes but although Whitehead became Stoke's fourth player to be sent off in their last six league games they equalised 14 minutes later.
Stoke winger Matthew Etherington scored against his former club with a 64th minute penalty before Kranjcar scored the winner 13 minutes from time.
Victory took Spurs on to 55 points from 30 matches, four points ahead of Liverpool, who face leaders Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Aston Villa, also in the race for fourth, stumbled in their lunchtime kickoff when they were held to a 2-2 draw by their relegation-threatened local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Villa remained in seventh place on 50 points, the same number of points as Manchester City, who play the first of their two matches in hand over Spurs at Fulham on Sunday.
Villa striker John Carew scored both the home side's goals, the first to put them ahead after 16 minutes and the second to salvage the draw eight minutes from time.
Wolves had equalised when Jody Craddock struck from close range after 23 minutes and they went ahead when James Milner put through his own net seven minutes before the break.
While the race for the title and fourth place are both tight, so is the battle to avoid the drop.
With Portsmouth, docked nine points this week for going into administration, all but relegated, the six clubs above them are all threatened, a group which includes their visitors Hull City.
Hull, playing their first game under new coach Iain Dowie following Phil Brown's dismissal, led 2-1 with two minutes to play following two Caleb Folan goals.
But Portsmoputh struck back with two in the last two minutes from Jamie O'Hara and Nwankwo Kanu a minute later. The result lifted Pompey to 13 points, with Hull remaining on 24.
Burnley also stayed on 24 points after losing 1-0 at Wigan Athletic were Hugo Rodallega scored a stoppage time winner.
In the other afternoon matches, Everton defeated Bolton Wanderers 2-0 and Sunderland beat Birmingham City 3-1 with Darren Bent scoring twice to take his season's tally in the league to 20.