Chelsea and Norwich City's ambitions at opposite ends of the Barclays Premier League table hang by a thread after a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.
On the back of their midweek semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea were unable to restore winning ways against their relegation-threatened opponents. Andre Schurrle and David Luiz struck a post and crossbar respectively for the hosts either side of half-time as nerves worked against an engaging spectacle.
Jose Mourinho's title hopes will end if Liverpool win at Crystal Palace on Monday, while Manchester City, leaders having beaten Everton 3-2 on Saturday, will restrict them to third position if they win their match in hand against Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Norwich ended a run of five straight league defeats but Sunderland's 1-0 triumph at Manchester United means that Neil Adams' side must beat Arsenal on the final weekend and hope that Sunderland, who hold a vastly superior goal difference, lose their remaining home matches to West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City.
Schurrle tested John Ruddy's handling with a speculative third-minute strike, but both teams appeared weighed down by Saturday results that made their respective tasks tougher. Adams selected left-back Martin Olsson in an unfamiliar advanced wide midfield role for Norwich, and he had a penalty claim rejected in the 11th minute. Bradley Johnson slipped a pass through as Olsson burst into the Chelsea box, where Ashley Cole was at full stretch to get a faint toe to the ball before home captain John Terry clattered into the former Blackburn Rovers player.
Johnson hacked at fresh air when he might have aimed a diving header at Olsson's searching 20th-minute cross from the right, while Terry found space to thud a Schurrle corner into Ruddy's chest at the other end.
Nemanja Matic produced a wonderfully weighted ball to find Schurrle in the 32nd minute, and the Germany forward shot across Ruddy to strike the base of the right post. Norwich almost had a 41st-minute lead when Johnson's drive clipped Terry and the ball looped agonisingly wide.
Mourinho looked to lift Chelsea with a double half-time substitution, David Luiz and Eden Hazard replacing Frank Lampard and Mohamed Salah. David Luiz almost made an instant impact when he thudded a rising strike against the underside of the crossbar.
Hazard also started brightly and was at the centre of a penalty appeal when he collided with Ryan Bennett before an offside flag was raised to end Chelsea's attack.
Robert Snodgrass had Norwich’s best chance on a 71st-minute break but Gary Cahill recovered to touched his shot behind, while Hazard called Ruddy into action and Demba Ba headed wide as both sides faced up to a final week in which they will need favours from elsewhere.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: "We had one team that needed three points to have a chance to survive and they didn't play to win, and you have a team that needs one point to finish third and in the Champions League group phase.
"That team played like the team needed three points. So it was a bit of a contradiction. "In the first half we were very slow. The players were playing really slow, no intensity. In the second half, yes, the intensity was completely different. The players wanted much, much more and we tried everything.
"At the end of the day, we know we have no chances to be champions and we know we needed one point to finish in the group phase of the Champions League, which obviously is not a cup for us.
"[Norwich's game plan] surprised me but everyone plays like they want. It is not my responsibility, it is their responsibility. We were waiting for a kind of crazy game, especially in the second half, where they would gamble everything to try the last chance to survive but they didn't."
Norwich manager Neil Adams: "Full credit to the players. It was a phenomenal effort. We executed the gameplan virtually to perfection. I would have liked a little bit more attacking threat from us as a team. Chelsea had a lot of possession and put us under a lot of pressure. Had we done that then who knows? In terms of the players’ effort it was fantastic.
“I’ve said from Day 1 that I’ve been here, the response that I’ve had from the players both on the training ground and in games has been absolutely first class. The intensity is there, the desire in there, we’ve got a good group of players. It’s been a really frustrating season, of course, and I feel, the players feel and the supporters feel that we should be in a better position. In terms of today, though, everybody has seen exactly what we’re capable of doing, and I think we definitely deserved something from today, which we got.
"We've got to keep our fingers crossed now and hope for a few results but if we go into the last game of the season at Carrow Road against Arsenal needing to win the game … that's all we can hope for. You've seen today that if that's the case we'll give it every go. We'll be ready for it."