Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has more reason than most to perform well against Chelsea, given the fateful slip he will never be allowed to forget by Blues supporters.
But despite being benched for the Champions League match against Real Madrid last week, Gerrard was unable to use his freshness to his - and his club's - advantage.
Ultimately Emre Can's goal was wiped out by Gary Cahill and Diego Costa, leaving Chelsea undefeated and Liverpool wondering just where this faltering season will lead.
Gerrard's contribution was not awful, as his 87 per cent pass accuracy and three interceptions went some way to proving. But the simple passes were always going to come easy for the Liverpool man; it is the vital ones that he used to play with regularity that are now on the wane.
Just one key pass in a vital clash against the league leaders is simply not good enough. Nor is the fact that neither of Gerrard's attempts hit the target.
|Passing Accuracy||Accurate Passes||Shots||Shots On Target||Key Passes||Tackles Won||Duels Won||Interceptions Won||Mins Played|
The Liverpool great also failed to win a single tackle and was successful in just two duels, against a midfield that he would have relished coming up against, but one that quite simply upstaged him.
It was not Gerrard alone who struggled against Chelsea but as the captain, and given his history, he is the player this defeat is likely to hit the hardest.
Playing at your best and losing anyway is nothing to be ashamed of. But the Liverpool captain was nowhere near his best, and that will be a concern for both him and his manager.