Championship leader Wolverhampton Wanderers held off a late fightback from Preston North End to stay top of the table, while John Terry opened his account for Aston Villa in a 2-1 win over Fulham.
Cardiff City and Sheffield United kept up the pressure on Wolves with victories over Reading and Middlesbrough respectively, while Leeds United moved up to fourth by beating Bristol City 3-0 in a game where both sides finished with 10 men.
At the other end of the table, Sunderland remains second bottom, having been pegged back to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling encounter at Brentford, and basement side Bolton Wanderers was denied a second win of the campaign by Queens Park Rangers.
Leo Bonatini's quick-fire second-half double — the first coming from the penalty spot — put Wolves in complete control against Preston after Ivan Cavaleiro opened the scoring from close range on the stroke of half-time.
But Jordan Hugill headed Preston back into the contest and Conor Coady's own-goal set up the prospect of a grandstand finish, one that was tempered somewhat by the visitors' midfielder Alan Browne collecting a second booking in stoppage-time.
Cardiff left it late to edge past Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium, Joe Ralls converting an 84th-minute penalty after Adama Traore brought down Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.
Sheffield United is also two points behind Wolves on 27 and appeared in a good deal more comfort thanks to first-half goals from Paul Coutts and Billy Sharp against Reading, although Roy Beerens's goal five minutes from time made it sweat.
As he did so many times for Chelsea, Terry got on the end of a corner for Aston Villa to open the scoring against west London's other major club.
Fulham levelled through Stefan Johansen's curling free-kick but Albert Adomah sent Villa up to fifth, one place above Bristol City after Leeds enjoyed itself at Ashton Gate.
A run of three consecutive defeats for Thomas Christiansen's men never looked like being extended after Samuel Saiz made it eight for the season with a double inside the opening 14 minutes.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga converted Kalvin Phillips's 67th-minute corner and a clash between Leeds's Gaetano Berardi and City's Matty Taylor resulted in both men heading for the showers early.
Derby County is two points outside the play-off places thanks to a 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
Matej Vydra's seventh of the season came from the penalty spot in the fifth minute, with Glenn Loovens sent off for fouling the goalscorer.
Substitute Bradley Johnson sealed victory late on, while the Rams' East Midlands rival Nottingham Forest beat Burton Albion by the same scoreline.
Lewis Grabban's double either side of a David Bentley own goal had Sunderland 3-1 to the good at Brentford, who led through Nico Yennaris.
But Florian Jozefzoon scored spectacularly early in the second period and Neal Maupay's deflected shot ensured Simon Grayson's troubled side could not get over the line, much like Bolton.
The bottom side edge on to six points after Idrissa Sylla cancelled out Darren Pratley's first-half header.
Elsewhere, Hull City claimed their first away win in more than a year - 1-0 at Barnsley thanks to Fraizer Campbell.