CNN) -- Samir Nasri scored two superb goals to give Arsenal a 2-1 win in a London derby against Fulham to go top of the English Premier League on Saturday.
Previous leaders Manchester United had to sit out the action as their game at promoted Blackpool fell victim to the cold snap in England leaving Arsenal and Chelsea the chance to lead the standings.
Chelsea looked set to be the beneficiary as Didier Drogba's penalty put them ahead at Stamford Bridge against Everton.
But in the second half the visitors hit back through a late Jermaine Beckford goal and were unfortunate not to seal three points as Chelsea's poor recent league form continued.
Carlo Ancelotti's men have won only once in six games and have seen United and Arsenal leapfrog them in the standings.
Arsenal have 32 points from 16 games, one clear of United, who have played a game less, and two ahead of faltering Chelsea.
Manchester City are also taking closer order in the title race with a 1-0 home win over Bolton giving them 29 points from 16 games.
Carlos Tevez gave them a fourth minute lead at Eastlands but they had Aleksandar Kolarov sent off in the second half and had to battle hard for the three points.
Tottenham Hotspur are in fifth, six points adrift of their north London rivals Arsenal after drawing 1-1 at Birmingham.
Sebastien Bassong gave them a 19th minute lead but Craig Gardner equalized nine minutes from time to deny Spurs victory.
Arsenal were grateful for two inspired moments from French international midfielder Nasri, who fired them ahead at the Emirates after 14 minutes as he fooled two defenders before shooting high into the net, having been played in by Russian star Andrey Arshavin.
Fulham drew level on the half-hour mark as Clint Dempsey set up Diomansy Kamara, who curled the ball in from 12 yards.
But Nasri put Arsenal ahead again with 15 minutes left as he took advantage of a layoff from Robin van Persie to beat a defender and then visiting goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with another flash of individual brilliance.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger singled him out after his eighth league goal of the season.
"His goals were outstanding. He showed skill, calm and intelligence and it underlines how important confidence is," Wenger told BBC Sport.
In other games, Blackburn beat Wolves, who are now bottom, 3-0 to bounce back from their 7-1 defeat last weekend to Manchester United. Wigan and Stoke drew 2-2.