Chelsea toppled Arsenal at the second spot on the league log after a vintage 3-1 win at home against Birmingham to keep a foothold in the title race.
Chelsea took the lead in the third minute when Paulo Ferreira's cross was flicked on by Didier Drogba and French winger Florent Malouda pounced to poke home from close-range.
Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou scored a superb solo goal rounding two Birmingham defenders before drilling an unstoppable shot past Ben Foster in the 26th minute.
Malouda put the icing on the cake in the 62nd minute when he headed in a cross from debutant Ryan Bertrand.
Sebastian Larsson got one back for Birmingham with a 76th minute after David Luiz fouled Matt Derbyshire, but it was little consolation for Alex McLeish's team, who remain five points above the relegation zone.
PIX; Chelsea's trio of Malouda, Drogba and Kalou celebrating their win