Everton ended their 22-year wait for a Merseyside derby win at Anfield with a 2-0 victory which consigned Liverpool to their worst home league run in almost a century.
There were echoes of Kevin Campbell’s early goal in 1999 when Richarlison scored in just the third minute and, if there is one thing Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti does well, it is setting up sides to hold on to leads.
Despite coming under mounting pressure, the visitors held out and hit their hosts with an 83rd-minute sucker punch via Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty.
Victory, their first in 23 derbies, saw Everton draw level on 40 points with their seventh-placed hosts but with a match in hand.
The last time Liverpool lost four in a row at home was 1923 and, just when they thought their season could not get any worse with defeat to their neighbours for the first time this millennium, they lost yet another centre-back option as Jordan Henderson became the fifth no longer fit for duty.
Henderson’s problem appeared to be a groin injury as he pulled up running the ball out of defence in the first half.
Mason Mount’s penalty rescued off-colour Chelsea in a 1-1 draw at Southampton as the Saints frustrated Thomas Tuchel’s Blues and put a halt to their six-game losing run.
Takumi Minamino’s fine finish put Southampton ahead at the break and Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men held on for a morale-boosting point.
Former RB Leipzig boss Hasenhuttl’s Saints hassled ex-Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea off their composed stride at St Mary’s Stadium.
Chelsea headed to the coast with five straight wins in all competitions, while Saints were smarting from a record six consecutive Premier League defeats.
But in the end two managers cut from the same cloth cancelled each other out.
Fulham’s first home league win since November took them to within three points of safety as they held on to a 1-0 victory over rock-bottom Sheffield United.
Ademola Lookman broke the deadlock for the Cottagers in the 61st minute, with the home side able to secure their fourth win of the season.
Scott Parker’s men went into the game six points adrift of 17th-placed Newcastle, but have closed the gap to just three, ahead of the Magpies’ trip to Manchester United on Sunday.
The Blades started the evening 14 points from safety and struggled to really trouble an in-form Fulham.
West Brom overcame Semi Ajayi’s first-half red card but spurned several gilt-edged chances in a goalless draw against Burnley as the Baggies missed the chance to boost their survival prospects at a blustery Turf Moor.
Mike Dean, refereeing his first match since asking for a break after receiving death threats on social media, gave Ajayi his marching orders as the defender’s handball stopped Matej Vydra going clean through
That left the relegation-threatened Baggies to play with 10 men for the remaining hour, but they had the clearer chances after the interval, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mbaye Diagne and Matheus Pereira all going close.
Diagne clattered the top of the crossbar from close range, while Pereira’s effort was blocked on the line by James Tarkowski, with West Brom settling for a draw that leaves them 11 points adrift of safety.