Liverpool had won 11 games on the bounce, and Chelsea became only the third side this season to prevent Liverpool from scoring which ended the Reds' unbeaten league run in 2014.
The result leaves the destiny of the Premier League title in the hands of Manchester City, who could win it on goal difference if they win their remaining league games, whilst Chelsea are just two points behind Liverpool going into the last month of the season.
In his Daily Mirror column, Lawrenson said: “The extent to which Chelsea frustrated Liverpool was shown by the fact Brendan Rodgers’ side got in behind them only once all afternoon.
“Mourinho is simply a brilliant manager.
“He could see the weaknesses in the Liverpool team, psychological as well as tactical, and he exploited them. He knew that by slowing down the game from the start and preventing Liverpool exploding out of the blocks as they have done so often this season, that half the job would be done.”
Liverpool have had a habit of starting games quickly this season and getting ahead of their opponents early on, but Mourinho’s tactics took any sting and intensity out of the game, and didn’t allow the Reds to go about their business as they would normally.
The goal before half time had its element of fortune about it but it gave them a platform to build from, something to protect. They protected it well by defending on their 18 yard line and kept on showing any of Liverpool player in a wide position inside, and as a result no real threat came about in a terrific defensive display.
It was a massive result in the context of this season’s title race, the effect it will have on the season as a whole remains to be seen in the next couple of weeks.