Chelsea may have extinguished Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes at Anfield for a second straight season after a 2-1 win on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers’ side came into the game looking to banish the memories of last term’s corresponding fixture, Steven Gerrard’s slip and the defeat which halted their trophy charge.
But they again shot themselves in the foot, with slack defending allowing Gary Cahill and Diego Costa to overturn Emre Can’s first Liverpool goal and move Chelsea a daunting 15 points clear of the Merseysiders.
Much had been made of Rodgers’ team selection away to Real Madrid in midweek, with the likes of Gerrard, Mario Balotelli and Jordan Henderson recalled after being omitted from the starting line-up for the UEFA Champions League clash.
Yet it was one of the supposed second string to have impressed in the Spanish capital, Can, who put the hosts ahead early on with an effort that deflected in off Cahill.
The England man – perhaps fortunate to twice go unpunished for handball in the Chelsea area – atoned just five minutes later, though, bundling home despite Simon Mignolet’s best efforts.