Meanwhile, reigning champions Arsenal dropped a point further behind the front two as a result of their game being postponed to make way for an FA Cup clash against second-tier Lewes.
Second half goals from winter signing Caitlin Foord and Danielle van de Donk gave the Gunners a routine 2-0 win in the rearranged fifth-round tie to progress to the quarter finals.
But Manchester was where the real drama was on Sunday, with both City and Chelsea looking to force the issue in the incredibly close-fought title race.
Ellen White opened the scoring for City after a little over 20 minutes, only to be pegged back by Ji So-yun. Georgia Stanway restored the home side’s lead with the landmark 2000th goal in WSL history, but that lead was again cancelled out when Magda Eriksson struck.
Chelsea then took the lead themselves with the latest goal of the season contender from Bethany England, with the City equaliser from Lauren Hemp almost immediate. Prior to each side’s third goal, Stanway had also seen a penalty saved by Chelsea's Ann-Katrin Berger.
Elsewhere, Manchester United returned to fourth spot by ending a run of two consecutive draws with a 3-2 win over ‘best of the rest’ rivals Everton.
This was the first game at Everton’s new home at Walton Hall Park, but it was United who raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to a first-half brace from returning winger Leah Galton and a third just after the hour mark from Ella Toone.
The Toffees’ fightback began when United goalkeeper Mary Earps missed a cross, the loose ball headed in from close range by Dan Turner before tense final few minutes after Lucy Graham further reduced the deficit to just one goal when a deep cross flew into top corner.
United leapfrogged Reading in the process, with the Royals having been due to face Arsenal.
Tottenham remain part of the middle pack and jumped ahead of Everton courtesy of a 1-0 away win over Brighton. Rianna Dean scored the only goal from the penalty spot in the second half.
Further down the table, there were also crucial wins for both West Ham and Bristol City.
The Hammers ended a difficult month by beating bottom club Liverpool 4-2. Despite staring relegation in the face, Liverpool haven’t been thrashed by anyone this season and it was unusual that West Ham raced into a 4-0 lead through Adriana Leon and Martha Thomas braces.
A late brace from Liverpool winter signing Rachel Furness proved too little too late.
Also in the scrap near the bottom, Bristol City put welcome breathing space between themselves and Liverpool after inflicting a fifth consecutive WSL defeat on Birmingham. Ebony Salmon scored the only goal in the 1-0 win, leaving Birmingham only a point off the bottom.
With the Continental Cup final played next week and the FA Cup quarter finals also coming up, the WSL will return for matchweek 17 on Sunday 22nd March.