LONDON: Chelsea failed to win for only the third time in the Premier League season as Sunderland held Jose Mourinho’s men to a 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light.
The draw left Chelsea seven points clear at the top of the table ahead of Southampton, who play third-placed Manchester City on Sunday.
It was a spirited performance by Sunderland under old Chelsea favourite Gus Poyet. They even came close to snatching victory late on only for Adam Johnson to waste the chance.
Earlier, Manchester United made it three wins in a row for the first time in almost a year as Louis Van Gaal’s men put Hull to the sword with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford.
Chris Smalling scrambled the ball home to give United a 16th-minute lead before Wayne Rooney made it 2-0 three minutes before the break.
Robin Van Persie fired into the top corner for only his fourth goal in 12 games but there was some bad injury news for Van Gaal as record signing Angel Di Maria limped off early on.
The win saw United maintain their fourth place which had been under threat when Danny Welbeck’s thumping header saw Arsenal take all three points in the lunchtime kick-off at West Brom.
The Gunners dominated but only managed a 1-0 win, thanks to Welbeck’s fourth Premier League goal of the season in the 60th minute, while Saido Berahino came closest for the Baggies but his header struck the bar.
Newcastle’s hopes of winning seven league matches in a row for the first time since Kevin Keegan was in charge came unstuck against one of their former managers.
Sam Allardyce’s West Ham took the honours winning 1-0 thanks to Aaron Creswell’s 55th-minute shot, with the Magpies’ task not being helped by Moussa Sissoko being sent off for a second bookable offence.
Liverpool were also celebrating after a 1-0 win at home to Stoke where Glen Johnson’s brave header five minutes from time brought some welcome relief to manager Brendan Rodgers, after an otherwise lethargic display at Anfield.
Burnley’s decent form continued with a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa but the Clarets were grateful to an 87th-minute penalty from Danny Ings after Lukas Jutkiewicz had been fouled.
Villa had gone ahead in the 39th minute thanks to Joe Cole, who marked his first Premier start since December 2013 with the opening goal.
QPR lifted themselves off the bottom of the table after emerging 3-2 victors over fellow strugglers Leicester.
Esteban Cambiasso gave the visitors the lead in the eighth minute, before a Wes Morgan own goal saw QPR draw level. Leroy Fer grabbed the lead for the hosts just before the break only for Jeffrey Schlupp to equalise in the 67th minute.
Charlie Austin, with his fifth goal in five games, snatched the points for Harry Redknapp’s side with a close-range header.
Swansea and Crystal Palace finished all-square in Wales where Wilfried Bony’s sixth of season saw the Swans take the lead but Neil Warnock’s visitors battled back to secure a 1-1 draw.
Palace’s Australian skipper Mile Jedinak scored from the spot for his fifth goal in eight matches after Jonjo Shelvey had been penalised for fouling Marouane Chamakh.