When Liverpool beat Everton 4-0 in last week's Merseyside Derby, it was all systems go as far as next season's Champions League was concerned.
Those around the Reds were dropping points on a regular basis, while Brendan Rodgers' side looked simply irresistible in front of goal. That memorable result took them four points clear of the Toffees - and three ahead of Tottenham.
A week on, though, and that gap has decreased once again after another average performance on the road at West Brom. Daniel Sturridge had struck yet again to put Liverpool 1-0 ahead at the Hawthorns on Sunday - but a Kolo Toure error allowed Victor Anichebe to swoop in and hit the equaliser that saw the Reds drop two more points.
And this was not the first time Liverpool's travails on their travels have cost them season. Indeed, 12 away league games have brought them only four wins, with Rodgers' side drawing four and losing four of their other eight.
That's a return of just 16 points out of a possibly 36. Compare that to their home form: 10 wins, one draw and one defeat in as many games. That's a return of 31 from 36.
The contrast is staggering - and the ramifications could be devastating. Long have the Anfield club searched for a route back into the Champions League, with the competition evading them since 2009. This term has provided them with their best chance in years - but their away form could cost them the ultimate prize.
Of course, the majority of Liverpool's points dropped on the road have been against better sides on the day. The Reds were unlucky in terms of refereeing decisions against both Chelsea and Manchester City, while Arsenal outclassed them at the Emirates.
But in the 3-1 loss to Hull City, along with the draws at Everton, Newcastle and Swansea City, Liverpool were simply too lax.
Now, another draw has added itself to the list - and there is no sign of anything changing if the Reds do not pick up on their travels. There is a lot on the line and any more slip ups could become very costly.
image: © helly - b