Tenacious Hull hold Chelsea
London - Chelsea's Premier League title challenge suffered another hammer blow on Saturday as a goalless draw at home to Hull left Luiz Felipe Scolari's side languishing in fourth place.
The Stamford Bridge stalemate meant the Blues have won just two of their last six matches in the league and enabled on-form Aston Villa, 2-0 winners at Blackburn, to leapfrog them into third place.
If Manchester United win at West Ham on Sunday, Chelsea will find themselves eight points adrift of the leaders having played a game more and their fans final-whistle chants of "you don't know what you're doing" told their own story.
Villa meanwhile continue to go for strength to strength after what was a club record seventh consecutive away win in the league.
James Milner's 27th-minute shot gave Martin O'Neill's side a first-half lead and Gabriel Agbonlahor deflected shot sealed the points in the final minute.
Brazilian striker Jo had a dream debut for Everton, who followed up their FA Cup win over Liverpool in midweek with a convincing 3-0 win over Bolton.
After winning the penalty that enabled Mikel Arteta to put his new club ahead five minutes before the break, Jo opened his Everton account four minutes after the break then added a last-minute penalty of his own.
In one match since he signed on loan from Manchester City, the Brazilian has already scored twice as many goals as he managed in six months at City.
An equally impressive debut by Shay Given helped City pull a little further clear of trouble with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at the City of Manchester stadium.
Boro enjoyed the better of the chances but were frustrated by a string of fine saves from the former Newcastle goalkeeper before Craig Bellamy sealed the points for City with a 51st-minute strike.
The defeat left Boro mired in the relegation zone and without a win in 13 league games.
Newcastle handed ailing manager Joe Kinnear the perfect tonic with a 3-2 win at bottom side West Brom.
Marc-Antoine Fortune cancelled out Damien Duff's second-minute opener, but the Magpies reclaimed the lead through Danish winger Peter Lovenkrands and Steven Taylor's strike left them firmly in contol at the break.
Fortune struck again in the 73rd minute to ensure a tense finale but Newcastle held on for their first win in seven league matches.
Elsewhere, Wigan's meeting with Fulham ended in a dour goalless stalemate while Sunderland took another huge step towards securing their top flight status with a 2-0 win over 10-man Stoke City.
Trinidad and Tobago striker Kenwyne Jones settled the contest with 12 minutes left after Stoke had had Matthew Etherington ordered off for kicking out at Danny Collins an off-the-ball incident. David Healy notched Sunderland's second in the final minute.
Second-placed Liverpool are in action later on Saturday at struggling Portsmouth.