Championship leaders Wolves had their momentum checked by a goalless draw at Barnsley, while promotion-chasing Derby County and Cardiff City claimed dominant wins.
Sunderland and their former Wales boss Chris Coleman were on the receiving end at the Cardiff City Stadium, with a 4-0 defeat leaving them rock bottom, although second-bottom Birmingham City fared little better as Derby ran out 3-0 winners at St Andrew's.
Leeds United missed out on the chance to replace Sheffield United in the play-off places, while Aitor Karanka began life as Nottingham Forest manager with defeat to Aston Villa.
OAKWELL STALEMATE AS BLUEBIRDS AND RAMS MAKE HAY
Wolves' advantage at the top stands at a dominant 10 points despite being unable to find a way past Barnsley, where both Helder Costa and Diogo Jota were frustrated by offside flags and the latter struck the crossbar.
Victory was much needed for Cardiff, with Callum Paterson netting a double to help end a run of four consecutive defeats at the expense of lowly Sunderland.
Joe Ralls and Anthony Pilkington were also on target as City made the most of Didier Ndong receiving a straight red card for a 49th-minute challenge on Junior Hoilett.
Derby boss Gary Rowett made a more enjoyable return to an old stomping ground, with Johnny Russell's defected strike opening the scoring after 19 minutes.
Matej Vydra rifled his 16th of the season and Andreas Weimann converted a late third from close range to keep County two points ahead of Cardiff in second.
CELINA STUNNER DOWNS LEEDS
Friday's Sheffield derby finishing all square meant Leeds would have moved into the top six by avoiding defeat at Portman Road.
But Ipswich Town took advantage against opponents playing with 10 men after Eunan O'Kane's red card for an altercation with Jonas Knudsen, with on-loan Manchester City midfielder Bersant Celina curling in a superb long-range effort midway through the second half.
'We had to just wait for that one opportunity and not try to force it but I forced it into the top corner so that was alright!'@BersantCelina on Town's victory over Leeds at Portman Road #itfc pic.twitter.com/mHrAZuJSjM— Ipswich Town FC (@Official_ITFC) January 13, 2018
Nottingham Forest dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup last weekend, but were no match for Aston Villa, with Scott Hogan nodding in the only goal at the City Ground after 18 minutes.
Steve Bruce's men are fourth in the table – above Bristol City on goal difference after the EFL Cup semi-finalists lost 1-0 to Norwich City at Ashton Gate, where James Maddison netted the winner after Josh Brownhill hit the post for the hosts.
STRUGGLERS REMAIN IN STRIFE
Sunderland and Birmingham's misfortune could not be capitalised upon by the sides third and fourth bottom respectively.
Burton Albion were beaten 3-1 at home by Queens Park Rangers, while Bolton Wanderers went down 2-0 at Brentford.
Like Bolton, Hull City are a point above the drop zone and drew 0-0 with a Reading side themselves looking anxiously over their shoulders.
Elsewhere, Oliver Norwood's penalty deep into stoppage time saw Fulham past fellow play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough 1-0 and Millwall and Preston North End shared a 1-1 draw.
|Insigne prefers Messi to new Juve star Ronaldo|
|Koepka enjoys playing with a chip on the shoulder|
|Ryan Hall to leave Leeds Rhinos amid reports of NRL move|
|Hamann slams Lahm for Low criticism|
|Hart named in Manchester City squad for United States tour|
|F1 Raceweek: Leader Vettel heads home|
|Unfair to pin Brazil blame on Neymar, says Kaka|
|Thomas and friends ´want to beat each other´s brains in´|
|Woods´ love for links fathered at Carnoustie|
|Confident Rose targets tournament wins and number one spot|
|Hallgrimsson leaves Iceland post|
|Australian Open to consult players over fifth-set tie-breaks|
|Daley´s coming home - Ajax rewrite Three Lions anthem|
|Woods: Open my best chance at winning another major|
|Blind completes Ajax return from Manchester United|
|I belong at the top, says Anderson|
|Leaving Madrid was my biggest regret, Panucci warns Ronaldo|
|Folau in no rush to settle future amid Reds rumours|
|Degenkolb: I need two or three secretaries to manage congratulations!|
|Harrington v Garcia: When winning makes life tougher|
|Mafi and Timani fined by Rebels|
|Watson: Johnson and Woods can prosper at Carnoustie|
|Alderweireld hints at Tottenham departure|
|Maradona takes over as Dynamo Brest chairman|
|The Open 2018: Wounded animal Spieth is a danger to Carnoustie rivals|
|Wests´ Reynolds to miss the rest of 2018|
|Pussy Riot members jailed for World Cup final protest|
|Ronaldo capture boosts Serie A - Mourinho|
|Goals at three World Cups and 50 for the Socceroos – Cahill´s international career in numbers|
|Giroud: It´s coming home|
|Harper wins Home Run Derby in Nationals Park|
|Brighton sign Button from Fulham|
|Bolt set to trial with A-League club Central Coast Mariners|
|Thomas asks Seahawks for extension or trade|
|Walker doubts he´ll join Knicks, wants ´long´ stay at Hornets|
|Socceroos hero Cahill retires from internationals|
|Record income revenue for Barcelona|
|Kudla untroubled as Young bows out in Newport|
|Celtics still hoping to re-sign Smart|
|Villarreal sign highly rated Velez midfielder Caseres|
|Juventus signing Ronaldo should give Milan optimism – Kaka|
|Berrettini masters Mayer in Bastad|
|Manchester United and Ajax agree Daley Blind transfer|
|Familiarity with demands of Real Madrid an advantage – Lopetegui|
|Parmentier rallies to avoid Bucharest exit, Arruabarrena bows out in Gstaad|
|Steelers fail to sign Bell to long-term deal|
|Over 10 per cent of Croatia´s population welcomes World Cup heroes home|
|Thierry Henry quits pundit role to focus on coaching|
|France´s World Cup winners given heroes´ welcome in Paris|
|At the end we will see who is best - Ronaldo sidesteps Messi rivalry|
|Qatar? China? Ronaldo only has eyes for glory at Juventus|
|Proud Kane praises team-mates after Golden Boot win|
|The Open 2018 diary: Is that Tiger Woods? Harrington feels the Burn...|
|Porte targeting Vuelta after Tour de France anguish|
|Maradona madness, #WaistcoatWednesday, bruised Batshuayi - Alternative World Cup awards|
|It could be the best time - Martinez hints at Hazard Chelsea exit|
|England call up Billings as cover for injury doubt Roy|
|McIlroy on track for fitting major haul - Harrington|
|Froome plays down Thomas battle for Sky supremacy|
|Carnoustie record counts for little at The Open, says Fleetwood|
|I don´t see it - Napoli chief De Laurentiis plays down talk of Callejon-Suso swap|
|One or two changes required at Chelsea, says Sarri|
|Monaco confirm Golovin approach|
|Let´s keep making noise! - Serena dedicates Wimbledon run to fellow mothers|
|Full list of Open tee times|
|Fakhar inspires another big Pakistan ODI win|
|Spieth ´annoyed´ by re-watch of 13th hole|
|Kaka claims Ronaldo arrival will boost all Italian clubs|
|Spieth vows to be more artist than tactician in Open defence|
|Conte thanks Chelsea players, staff and fans|