Andre Marriner gave Chelsea an early Christmas present, as Luis Suarez starred yet again for Liverpool in another dramatic day of English Premier League football.
With a minute of stoppage time remaining, Chelsea, down 2-1 to West Brom, were handed a contentious and controversial penalty with Eden Hazard slotting the spotkick to snatch a point at the death.
Jose Mourinho will be far from happy after another sterile attacking performance from Chelsea, and the point saw them close the gap to leaders Arsenal to four points. But the draw also meant going down a couple of rungs in the table after Liverpool and Southampton picked up comfortable wins.
Suarez netted a brace in a 4-0 thumping of Fulham at Anfield, while the Saints eased to a 4-1 victory over Hull. Liverpool, with 23 points, are now second, just two points behind Arsenal, who play Manchester United on Sunday, with Southampton jumping up to third courtesy a brilliant haul of 22 points from 11 matches.
At Stamford Bridge, it was pretty much the same Chelsea performance as the Newcastle game in the first half -- plenty of possession, with absolutely no penetration as the pace of the game could have lulled even a Blues fan to sleep.
However, out of nowhere, the Blues got their goal, and it was again courtesy the opportunistic Samuel Eto'o.
Eden Hazard, drafted back into the side after being dropped for the Champions League game for indiscipline, cut in from the left before driving a right-footed shot at Boaz Myhill. The West Brom goalkeeper made a nice save, with the ball falling for Liam Ridgewell to clear.
However, for some reason, that only Ridgewell can explain, the West Brom defender let the ball roll across him instead of clearing with his right foot, allowing the poacher extraordinaire Eto'o to pop in from behind and slot it past Myhill.
That goal came on the stroke of halftime, leaving Mourinho a much happier manager than he would have been had it remained 0-0.
The second half was not any better when it came to forward play from Chelsea, as the pressing and probing was hardly troubling the West Brom defenders.
Being 1-0 down though, West Brom needed to find a way through, and not too surprisingly it came via a setpiece. Gareth McAuley rose to power a corner, which went straight at Petr Cech with the rebound popping high into the air. Long, with the leap of a gazelle, out-jumped the static Chelsea defenders to head home past Cech for 1-1 on the hour mark.
Eight minutes later, and West Brom were incredibly ahead. Ridgewell, after West Brom got possession courtesy a contentious non-decision on Branislav Ivanovic, found Stephane Sessegnon on the edge of the box, and the playmaker's rather weak shot was tamely let in by Cech to the disbelief of the majority at Stamford Bridge.
A goal down, and really needing a win, Chelsea changed from their I'm-half-asleep gear to top gear, with Ivanovic, Willian and Demba Ba all coming desperately close, before Marriner gifted Chelsea the lifeline.
Ramires made a run into the West Brom box and went down rather easily under the challenge, or lack thereof, of Steven Reid, with the referee pointing to the spot much to the anger of West Brom.
Hazard stepped up, and, cool as ice, converted the penalty to salvage a dramatic point for Chelsea and keep Mourinho's unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge alive.
At Anfield, it was much, much easier than an apple pie for Liverpool as the game was put to bed well inside the first half.
A woeful Fulham side opened the door for Liverpool to barge through and complete a rout in the 23rd minute courtesy an own goal from Fernando Amorebieta. Steven Gerrard swung in a wicked freekick from the right with the ball after missing a couple of rising heads, hitting Amorebieta's arm before sliding into the corner of the net.
Three minutes later Martin Skrtel, reawakened and reborn at Liverpool, made it 2-0, rising high and powering a corner from, who else, Gerrard.
The Liverpool skipper, who was criticised for his underwhelming performance against Arsenal last weekend, had a hand in the third as well. Gerrard found Jordan Henderson with a nice little switch from left to right, with the latter then finding the perfect through ball for Suarez to coolly slot past goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg in the 36th minute.
Nine minutes into the second half, and Suarez, who could have left early for Uruguay duty but chose not to, completed his brace, with Gerrard yet again the creator. Henderson pressured left-back Kieran Richardson, who gave the ball away for Gerrard to slip through for Suarez to ease into the back of the net.
It might have been 6-0 or 7-0 had it not been for a bunch of saves from Stekelenburg, as Liverpool bounced back in style from that defeat to Arsenal, with Martin Jol left wondering if he will still be at the Fulham helm when the Premier League returns in two weeks' time.
Results: Chelsea 2-2 West Brom; Liverpool 4-0 Fulham; Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton; Aston Villa 2-0 Cardiff; Southampton 4-1 Hull.