Brendan Rodgers' side were undone by a Jose Mourinho masterclass as Chelsea secured a crucial 2-0 win at Anfield to turn the title race on its head.
Liverpool's 11-match winning run came to an end as Jose Mourinho tasted a tactical success over his former protege Brendan Rodgers with Chelsea running out 2-0 winners at Anfield.
A slip from Steven Gerrard in first-half stoppage time allowed Demba Ba to run clear on goal and slot the Blues into an important lead which they never looked like relinquishing as they contended with whatever Liverpool threw at them.
Willian put some gloss on a wonderful performance with a runaway second on a disappointing day for the Reds, who were in expectant mood at kick-off.
After watching Liverpool in action, we rate their performance player by player:
Simon Mignolet 6
Had little chance with either goal and kept his side in the contest with a terrific save from Andre Schürrle in the second period but looked slightly nervy at times, especially when attempting to deal with a rather routine cross in the first half.
Glen Johnson 5
Failed to offer his usual attacking spark and left too much space in behind for the likes of Schürrle and Salah to exploit at times, particularly during the first half and did not fare much better after the interval.
Martin Skrtel 5
The Slovakian struggled to deal with Ba's physical frame throughout and was unable to provide his usual threat from set pieces either in what turned out to be a largely ineffectual display.
Mamadou Sakho 6
The Frenchman looked nervous on occasions in his battle with Ba but stuck to the task and was undone on the counter by a lack of midfield protection more than his defensive performance, none less than when the Chelsea striker stole clear after he pounced on a Steven Gerrard error.
Jon Flanagan 6
Solid, without being at all spectacular, and refused to allow Salah the time or space he craved on the right flank. Struggled more when Willian was introduced, perhaps due to the Brazilian's industry, which had a telling impact on the Liverpool youngster's offensive contributions.
Steven Gerrard 5
Will be forever haunted by his latest gaffe against the Blues if Liverpool do go on to lose the title after contributing hugely to his side's loosening of their grip on the Premier League.
Collecting a routine pass from Sakho, the Liverpool skipper inexplicably allowed the ball to roll under his foot before slipping and allowing Ba to score. His second-half display failed to show any tangible improvement as he took a series of optimistic shots that did not test Mark Schwarzer in the Chelsea goal.
Joe Allen 6
Was neat in possession, as he always is, but did not offer the hosts any cutting edge in the final third, an area in which they required a craftsman to pick a lock in the resolute Chelsea backline.
Lucas Leiva 5
It was clear that Liverpool longed for the sort of energy Jordan Henderson provides in abundance and, in his absence, there were precious few lung-bursting runs from any of the Reds midfield triumvirate.
Lucas was wasteful in possession and could not have any sort of tangible impact on the contest.
Philippe Coutinho 6
The Brazilian started brilliantly, probing away at the Chelsea defence but as his team became frustrated, so Coutinho's contribution began to wane. He produced one superb cross for Suarez in the second half, though, which the Uruguayan could not quite convert.
Raheem Sterling 7
The best player on the pitch from a Liverpool perspective. Sterling buzzed around throughout, constantly seeking to get at the Chelsea backline and his pace caused numerous problems for the Blues, even if the scoreline does not suggest as much.
Luis Suarez 6
The star attraction at Anfield will be disappointed by his display, but he worked tirelessly up front in the face of stern Chelsea defending as they fought tooth and nail onto the clean sheet they worked so hard to keep. Snatched at the chances that did come his way but he was fighting a losing battle all afternoon.
Daniel Sturridge 6
Failed to inject the pace and invention into the attack that was required to offer Chelsea something to think about in defence. Fought hard up front but was undone by his side's toothless display.
Iago Aspas 4
For some reason decided to seize control of corner-taking duties and the flop signing somehow contrived to pass the ball straight to a Chelsea player on the edge of the area when he had a plethora of bodies to find in the area. Shocking contribution when he arrived, irrespective of Liverpool's toils in the game.