Jordan Henderson scored an early contender for goal of the season as Liverpool deservedly beat Chelsea 2-1 on Friday night in the English Premier League.
The fixture had been billed as the highlight of the weekend, and while the pre-game lights show was quite spectacular, the hosts were far from it.
Liverpool raced into a two-goal lead in the first half itself, thanks to goals from Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson as they were bizarrely allowed to play crisp, expressive football.
Chelsea made only one change from the team that drew at Swansea, club captain John Terry being replaced in the lineup by £32 million signing David Luiz.
The visitors were forced to make a major change of their own, as Roberto Firmino was deemed unfit and compatriot Phillippe Coutinho took his place in the starting XI. Centre back Lovren returned to the side after a spell on the sidelines, replacing Lucas Leiva.
Chelsea captain for the night, Branislav Ivanovic had a night to forget, as he began the game repeatedly fouling Liverpool players despite their being no apparent danger.
And he paid for his indiscretion, when Coutinho took a quick free-kick on the left win, playing a rapid one-two with James Milner before whipping in an inviting cross for Lovren to tap in in the 17th minute.
Chelsea&’s entire defence had been caught napping, as an unmarked Lovren applied the simplest of finishes to silence Stamford Bridge.
Despite going a goal down, the Blues didn’t seem up for a fight and were well and truly shell-shocked when Liverpool captain Henderson sent in a screamer from the edge of the box to double the visitors lead in the 36th minute.
Gary Cahill&’s poor clearance came straight to Henderson, who took a touch to control the ball before sending a viciously dippping, curling shot into the top corner, leaving Thibaut Courtois with no chance.
Antonio Conte was a worried man but his opposite number Jurgen Klopp was jumping on the sidelines as the Scousers got the best possible start they could have hoped for.
Despite his side looking out of sorts, Conte made no changes at half-time, and while they did increase the tempo of their game, a serious comeback never looked likely.
Indeed, Diego Costa&’s 61st minute goal came against the run of play, after Nemanja Matic made an excellent run on the left flank and laid it on a platter for the Spanish striker.
Liverpool&’s new signing Joel Matip, had been quite impressive up until that point, but his mistake allowed Matic to cross it for Costa, who couldn’t miss from five yards out.
Liverpool had not lost at Stamford Bridge since December 2013, and while Chelsea began to press for an equaliser, the Reds held them at bay quite comfortably.
It wasn’t perfect for them though, as Daniel Sturridge came off for Divock Origi in the 57th minute and went straight down the tunnel, sparking fears of another injury.
The young Origi had a chance to put the game beyond doubt, but his downward header was superbly saved by Courtois in the 81st minute.
With the win, Liverpool move up to fourth place in the league table, level on points with Chelsea, who drop a place to third. Jurgen Klopp&’s revolution is well and truly underway, and judging by his side&’s performances against the elite teams, they are one to watch out for.
Conte has tasted his first-ever defeat as Chelsea manager in the English Premier League and he will surely not be in a hurry to experience it anytime soon.