Manchester United are just one point from a record 19th top-flight title after beating their nearest rivals Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford.
Captain Nemanja Vidic’s header followed up Javier Hernandez’s first-minute strike and rendered Frank Lampard’s second-half goal in vain.
Arsenal and Manchester City, who are third and fourth respectively, suffered surprise defeats. Arsenal lost 3-1 at Stoke and City 2-1 away to Everton.
Fifth-placed Tottenham could not fully take advantage as they were held 1-1 at home to Blackpool and Liverpool will go above Spurs if they avoid defeat at Fulham on Monday evening.
Wolves climbed out of the bottom three at Blackpool’s expense with a 3-1 win at home to Black Country rivals West Brom. Bottom side West Ham were held 1-1 at home to Blackburn and second-bottom Wigan drew 1-1 away to Aston Villa.
Elsewhere, Newcastle beat Birmingham 2-1 and Sunderland saw off Bolton by the same scoreline.
Queens Park Rangers lifted the Championship trophy after the Football Association confirmed they would not be docked points this season or next over the transfer of Alejandro Faurlin.
Leicester will host Northampton and Gloucester will travel to Saracens in Rugby Union’s Premiership play-off semi-finals following the conclusion of the regular season on Saturday.
Leicester topped the table after coming from behind to beat London Irish 32-23, a result that still saw Irish qualify for next season’s European Cup.
Saracens saw off Harlequins 16-13, meaning Quins must beat Stade Francais in the European Challenge Cup final or rely on Northampton winning the European Cup to gain entry to the senior competition next season.
Gloucester thumped Sale 68-17 and Northampton came from 24-3 down to gain a 31-24 win over Leeds, who finished bottom of the table. However, they will only be relegated if Worcester win the Championship play-off final against Cornish Pirates, whose stadium does not meet Premiership criteria.
Leeds finished level on points with Newcastle, who lost 42-12 to fifth-placed Bath. Exeter finished a creditable eighth, a place above Wasps whom they defeated 21-8.
In Rugby League, all the Super League sides apart from Crusaders, who lost 30-20 at Leeds, are through to the Challenge Cup fifth round for which the draw is as follows: Huddersfield v Catalan Dragons; Warrington v Swinton; Leeds v Harlequins; St Helens v Featherstone; Wakefield v Castleford; Bradford v Wigan; Widnes v Hull; Salford v Hull KR.
Somerset, Surrey and Northamptonshire kept up 100% records in Cricket’s 40-over domestic competition with wins over Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire respectively.
Essex, who defeated the Unicorns, remain unbeaten and there were also victories for Glamorgan over Lancashire, Derbyshire over Worcestershire, Sussex over Middlesex and Yorkshire over Kent.
Sebastian Vettel extended his lead at the top of the Formula One standings with victory at the Turkish Grand Prix. Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was second and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso third.
Finally, golf legend Severiano Ballesteros died aged 54 following a protracted battle with cancer. The Spaniard won five majors and 87 titles overall in a glittering career, which also included successes in the Ryder Cup as both player and captain.