Theo Walcott scored the fastest goal of the Premier League season as Arsenal beat Queens Park Rangers 1-0 to climb into third place.
Victory took Arsenal above both Chelsea, who visit champions Manchester United on Sunday, and Tottenham Hotspur, who had briefly claimed fourth place after Gareth Bale scored yet another superb goal in a 1-0 win over his former club Southampton.
FA Cup finalists Wigan are now just two points below fourth-bottom Sunderland, who host Stoke City on Monday, and three points adrift of Norwich City and Newcastle United, who could only draw 0-0 at West Ham United.
Elsewhere, deposed champions Manchester City were held to a 0-0 draw at Swansea City in a forgettable game.
The result left Roberto Mancini's men 13 points behind champions Manchester United, who could now move 16 points clear at the summit with victory at home over fourth-placed Chelsea on Sunday.