Super Schurrle, Pardew shame
Andre Schurrle's hat-trick helped Chelsea win 3-1 at Fulham, Stoke beat Arsenal 1-0, but Alan Pardew's attempted headbutt stole the headlines.
Moussa Sissoko scored a goal in each half as Newcastle beat Hull City 4-1 at the KC Stadium, but the game will be remembered for Pardew's apparent attempt to headbutt David Meyler.
Newcastle forged ahead in the 10th minute when Mathieu Debuchy got down the right before pulling the ball back from the by-line for Sissoko to sweep beyond Allan McGregor at the near post.
Hull came close to an equaliser on 35 minutes when Nikica Jelavic's deflected free-kick struck the crossbar before Newcastle were gifted a second goal three minutes before half-time.
Maynor Figueroa's weak back-pass from just inside his own half was seized upon by Loic Remy and the on-loan striker took the ball round McGregor before slotting into an empty net.
The Tigers got back into the game in the opening minute of the second half when Curtis Davies beat Tim Krul to Tom Huddlestone's inswinging free-kick and the defender's header clipped the Newcastle keeper's gloves on its way into the net.
But a catalogue of errors from Hull presented Newcastle with a third goal on 55 minutes as Sissoko tucked away the loose ball after McGregor had failed to hold onto Yoan Gouffran's shot from the edge of the area.
Pardew was then sent to the stands following a touchline altercation with Meyler when the Newcastle boss appeared to aim a head-butt the Hull midfielder.
With Pardew watching on, Newcastle scored a fourth goal in the final minute when Vurnon Anita tapped home at the far post after Paul Dummett's shot from a tight angle had deflected into his path.
Chelsea opened up a four-point cushion to Arsenal at the summit after Schurrle's second-half treble secured a 3-1 success over bottom-of-the-table Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Maarten Stekelenburg almost gifted Chelsea a first-half goal when he dithered before clearing the ball against Fernando Torres, but the Spanish striker was unable to take advantage as his eventual shot was saved by the Fulham keeper.
Chelsea did take the lead seven minutes after half-time when Eden Hazard's ball over the Fulham defence was met by Schurrle's run and he cut inside before finishing past Stekelenburg.
The same two players combined again on 65 minutes as Hazard slipped a pass into the penalty area and Schurrle placed his shot beyond Stekelenburg.
Germany international Schurrle completed his hat-trick on 69 minutes with another clinical finish, this time after he had been played in by Torres.
Fulham pulled a goal back five minutes later when a corner from the left bounced around the box before Johnny Heitinga poked home the ball from close range.
Arsenal lost ground in the title race after Jonathan Walters' penalty earned Stoke a 1-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke scored on 76 minutes when Walters netted from the penalty spot after Laurent Koscielny had been penalised for handball following a challenge with the Republic of Ireland international.
Yaya Sanogo had a late chance to salvage a point for Arsenal, but the young substitute scooped his shot over the bar when he should have done better.
Substitute Romelu Lukaku marked his first appearance in over a month by scoring a late winner as Everton saw off West Ham 1-0 at home.
Everton finally made the breakthrough nine minutes from time when Leighton Baines rolled a pass across the penalty area and Lukaku reacted the quickest to side-foot beyond West Ham keeper Adrian.
Hull City 1 Newcastle 4