Everton put four points between them and 10th-placed Newcastle United with a cagey 1-0 win at Goodison Park that goes some way to lifting the gloom hanging over Sam Allardyce's reign.
Theo Walcott netted the only goal six minutes after the interval with one of few moments of quality in what was a disappointing 100th match in charge of the Magpies for Rafael Benitez.
The former Arsenal winger skilfully brought down Yannick Bolasie's cross and rifled an assured finish into the roof of the net for his third Everton goal and first in the top flight since notching a double against Leicester City in January.
With little other than mid-table positioning at stake, Walcott's goal only briefly livened up a contest that was largely mired in a sluggish tempo and minimal attacking risk, although Allardyce will be no less satisfied to end a three-game league run without a win.
The victory also served to improve the Toffees' recent dominance over Newcastle, a side they have now beaten in five successive league meetings, and ended the visitors' impressive run of four straight wins in the process.
| Introducing the world's first 'virtual matchday mascot’, enabling a a child too sick to travel from home get the full experience at Goodison! @_noisolation @WellChild! #JacksRobotMascot— Everton (@Everton) April 23, 2018
Story https://t.co/wnrxE4b8qJ pic.twitter.com/aTr4YOXQ65
Everton had won the four previous league meetings between the teams and might have been on their way to a fifth had Cenk Tosun made a better connection with a sliced attempt inside three minutes.
It was a rare sight of goal in an otherwise muted opening, with Newcastle keeping a compact defensive shape, content to allow the home side to dominate possession.
A brief lapse in concentration almost proved the visitors' undoing 10 minutes shy of half-time, but the chance fell to the wrong man as a stretching Phil Jagielka volleyed high and wide from Michael Keane's clever header back across the face of goal.
Afforded a reprieve in that instance, Newcastle repaid the debt moments later. Jordan Pickford's lackadaisical clearance deflected off Kenedy and straight to Perez, who wasted the opportunity to punish a scrambled Everton defence by over-hitting a pass intended for the unmarked Islam Slimani.
Perez, a scorer on each of his last three appearances, found himself in a good position soon after the interval but, having broken into the area, shot harmlessly wide under pressure from Keane.
Walcott made no such mistake in the 51st minute. Yannick Bolasie swung in a cross from deep on the right that dropped kindly for Walcott at the far post, before the winger cut inside and clinically fired into the roof of the net to break the deadlock.
10 - Theo Walcott has been directly involved in 10 goals in his last nine Premier League games against Newcastle (5 goals, 5 assists). Haunt.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 23, 2018
Morgan Schneiderlin limped off immediately after the goal, forcing the introduction of Tom Davies, while Benitez responded by replacing Slimani with fellow striker Dwight Gayle.
The twin changes almost worked in the Magpies' favour when Gayle manoeuvred space on Davies from a corner, only to wastefully hook his finish over the bar.
Newcastle did have reasonable claims for a penalty waved away inside the final 10 minutes – the ball striking Jagielka's arm – while Seamus Coleman made a key stoppage-time header from Jacob Murphy's dangerous delivery to leave the away side with a first loss since their last trip to Liverpool on March 3.
Everton, meanwhile, have now nudged into eighth, a point ahead of Leicester City.
|Icardi delight after Donnarumma error gives him another derby winner for Inter|
|Guardiola: Versatility the key for Stones|
|Vettel frustrated as mistakes continue to hamper title challenge|
|ECB refutes spot-fixing claims against England players|
|I thought we would do better - Hamilton queries Mercedes strategy|
|Inter 1 AC Milan 0: Icardi settles derby with dramatic late winner|
|Hamilton denied title party as Raikkonen wins in Austin|
|Patriots RB Michel out against Bears with gruesome knee injury|
|Kohli hails Rohit partnership after comprehensive India victory|
|Silva downplays his role after Everton super subs seal victory|
|Injured Bairstow out of final white-ball matches in Sri Lanka|
|Pliskova feeling confident after impressive start in Singapore|
|Big-hitting Imrul rescues Bangladesh in opening ODI|
|Leinster suffer late defeat at Toulouse, Newcastle snatch dramatic victory|
|Chargers pip Titans to dramatic London win|
|Everton 2 Crystal Palace 0: Substitutes Calvert-Lewin and Tosun clip Eagles´ wings|
|Thunderstorms push Andalucia Valderrama Masters into reserve day|
|Edmund masters Monfils to claim maiden singles title|
|Kohli and Rohit fire India to comprehensive ODI win|
|Manchester United didn´t play - David Luiz blasts Mourinho tactics|
|Svitolina out to silence ´haters´ in Singapore|
|Emre Can facing surgery on thyroid problem|
|Tsitsipas claims maiden ATP crown in Stockholm|
|Mariners boss Mulvey knows nothing of Bolt contract offer|
|WATCH: Vinicius Junior scores free-kick - then sees red!|
|Gronkowski ruled out of Bears clash|
|Khachanov enjoys home comforts with comprehensive Kremlin Cup win|
|Isner wants Wimbledon tie-break rule named after him|
|Hummels lauds ´outstanding´ Lewandowski|
|Liverpool´s defensive improvement no accident – Gomez|
|Pliskova overpowers defending champion Wozniacki in Singapore|
|Marquez dislocates shoulder celebrating MotoGP title|
|Henry taking positives from opening Monaco defeat|
|A-League Review: Mariners held as Bolt considers move|
|Dominant Svitolina ends Kvitova hoodoo in Singapore|
|Pereira warns Juventus to expect ´pumped up´ Manchester United|
|D´Antoni backs NBA to ´sort out´ Lakers-Rockets brawl|
|Mixed feelings for champion Marquez after Dovizioso crash|
|Bolt offered contract by Central Coast Mariners|
|Anthony accuses Rondo of spitting after Lakers-Rockets brawl|
|Martial insists he has good relationship with Mourinho|
|Bautista to replace Lorenzo at Phillip Island|
|Emery wanted Lacazette at Paris Saint-Germain|
|Wallabies centre Hodge suffers fractured ankle|
|Koepka claims top ranking with CJ Cup win|
|Dramatic Dovizioso crash gifts Marquez MotoGP title in Japan|
|LeBron´s home debut ends in defeat, Walker makes NBA history|
|Rondo, Ingram and Paul exchange punches in Lakers-Rockets clash|
|Dodgers to face Red Sox in World Series after beating Brewers|
|Valverde doesn´t care about extending Barca contract|
|Qualifying speed a ´positive surprise´ for Ferrari´s Vettel|
|I was in a different headspace – Hamilton revels in Austin pole|
|Barcelona can cope without Messi – Pique|
|Allegri: Juventus abandoned Genoa clash|
|Sale: Hospital visit was because of belly button ring|
|Valverde accepts Barcelona will miss Messi|
|No Messi or Ronaldo in El Clasico for first time since 2007|
|Barcelona have not won a Clasico without Messi since his debut|
|Ramos calls for Real Madrid unity after latest loss piles pressure on Lopetegui|
|Hamilton has title in sights after storming to Austin pole|
|Inter, El Clasico and more - the games Messi will miss with broken arm|
|End of Messi-Ronaldo duel good for LaLiga - Simeone|
|Messi out of Clasico with fractured arm|
|Awesome Ashton marks Sale bow with hat-trick|
|Klopp hopes for positive Henderson prognosis amid Liverpool injury issues|
|Benitez ´convinced´ Newcastle can survive despite seventh defeat|
|Barcelona 4 Sevilla 2: Messi injured but champions go top|
|Kovac relieved by Bayern´s timely victory|
|Strasbourg 2 Monaco 1: Sy howler and Grandsir red card cost Henry in first match|
|Leicester City defender Chilwell signs new six-year contract|