Chelsea have notched a sixth successive Premier League win as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 to jump to third while Leicester City beat Arsenal by the same score to move into second place.
Stuttering Tottenham Hotspur's winless run continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United, leaving last year's Champions League runners-up languishing in 12th place.
Leaders Liverpool take on champions Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday in the biggest game of the season so far.
At Turf Moor, Burnley crushed West Ham United 3-0 to pile the pressure on Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini but Everton's Marco Silva finally found some cheer as his side won 2-1 at Southampton.
Newcastle United claimed a second successive win as they beat Bournemouth 2-1 to climb into mid-table.
Chelsea laboured in the first half against a rugged Palace but Tammy Abraham put them ahead after the break with his 10th goal of the season before Christian Pulisic sealed victory with his fifth goal in three league games.
The return of midfield shield N'Golo Kante helped Chelsea keep their third clean sheet of the season and move above champions City.
Lampard fielded the club's youngest-ever Premier League line-up at kickoff, giving 19-year-old defender Reece James his first league start, and his trust in youth is paying off.
"I am proud of the squad that we have got, but I also realise it's still a snapshot in what is the big picture which is the long-term future here," he said.
"We have got so much improvement to do because the gap was too big last year between us and the top two, and we want to try and close that."
The mood could not be more different across London at Tottenham.
Spurs were given a fortuitous lead after halftime by Son Heung-min but George Baldock's equaliser earned Sheffield United a 1-1 and extended their unbeaten run to five league games.
It was no more than United deserved after they had a David McGoldrick goal ruled out for a fractional offside after a VAR check that took almost four minutes to complete.
Sheffield United sit in the top six while Tottenham are without a league win since September.
"The reality is that for different reasons we are not showing the performances that we expect," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said after the match.
Arsenal have now gone four games without a win after their defeat at the King Power stadium to a Leicester side that is looking every bit as effective as their 2016 title-winning squad.
Jamie Vardy and James Maddison struck second-half goals as Leicester piled yet more pressure on Arsenal manager Unai Emery.
Premier League top scorer Vardy's 11th goal of the season left his manager Brendan Rodgers' purring.
"He is up there with the very, very top strikers in European football with what he brings to a team..." he said.