Championship leader Wolves had their momentum checked by a goalless draw at Barnsley, while promotion-chasing Derby County and Cardiff City claimed dominant wins.
Sunderland was on the receiving end at the Cardiff City Stadium, with a 4-0 defeat leaving it bottom, although second-bottom Birmingham City fared little better as Derby ran out a 3-0 winner at St Andrew's.
Leeds United missed out on the chance to replace Sheffield United in the play-off places, while Aitor Karanka began life as Nottingham Forest manager with defeat to Aston Villa.
Wolves' advantage at the top stands at a dominant 10 points despite being unable to find a way past Barnsley, where both Helder Costa and Diogo Jota were frustrated by offside flags and the latter struck the crossbar.
Victory was much needed for Cardiff, with Callum Paterson netting a double to help end a run of four consecutive defeats at the expense of lowly Sunderland.
Joe Ralls and Anthony Pilkington were also on target as City made the most of Didier Ndong receiving a straight red card for a 49th-minute challenge on Junior Hoilett.
Derby boss Gary Rowett made a more enjoyable return to an old stomping ground, with Johnny Russell's defected strike opening the scoring after 19 minutes.
Matej Vydra rifled his 16th of the season and Andreas Weimann converted a late third from close range to keep County two points ahead of Cardiff in second.
The Sheffield derby finishing all square meant Leeds would have moved into the top six by avoiding defeat at Portman Road.
But Ipswich Town took advantage against an opponent playing with 10 men after Eunan O'Kane's red card for an altercation with Jonas Knudsen, with on-loan Manchester City midfielder Bersant Celina curling in a superb long-range effort midway through the second half.
Nottingham Forest dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup last weekend, but was no match for Aston Villa, with Scott Hogan nodding in the only goal at the City Ground after 18 minutes.
Steve Bruce's men are fourth in the table – above Bristol City on goal difference after the EFL Cup semi-finalist lost 1-0 to Norwich City at Ashton Gate, where James Maddison netted the winner after Josh Brownhill hit the post for the host.
Sunderland and Birmingham's misfortune could not be capitalised upon by the sides third and fourth bottom respectively.
Burton Albion was beaten 3-1 at home by Queens Park Rangers, while Bolton Wanderers went down 2-0 at Brentford.
Like Bolton, Hull City is a point above the drop zone and drew 0-0 with Reading.
Elsewhere, Oliver Norwood's penalty deep into stoppage time saw Fulham past fellow play-off hopeful Middlesbrough 1-0 and Millwall and Preston North End shared a 1-1 draw.