Goals from Willian and Ross Barkley saw Chelsea cruise past Liverpool in a 2-0 victory to secure their spot in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalga seized the chance to reassert his worth to boss Frank Lampard with a stunning triple save as the Blues battled to the fifth-round win at Stamford Bridge.
Only two weeks ago runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool had lost just twice in 41 matches in all competitions this season.
Fast forward 14 days and Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have surrendered their rampant form, with defeat at Atletico Madrid, a 3-0 humbling at Watford and now this hefty blow in west London.
Chelsea emerged worthy winners to storm into the quarter-finals but were left to count an ever-increasing injury toll, with Mateo Kovacic and Willian the latest Stamford Bridge stars to pull up with problems.
Manager Lampard will be boosted enormously, though, by a virtuoso turn from 18-year-old Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour.
The teen sensation more than merited his inclusion in a performance of poise and maturity, digging out his defence as often as threading killer passes.
Chelsea battled their way to a 1-0 lead at half-time, with the resurgent Kepa keeping the Blues afloat.
Willian had hardly finished kicking himself for firing straight at Adrian when he found the ball back at his feet on the edge of the Liverpool area.
Joe Gomez’s loose pass had Fabinho at full stretch and the Brazil midfielder could only prod desperately square – inadvertently teeing up his compatriot.
Willian latched onto the gift and stubbed another strike on goal, and another straight down Adrian’s throat. The 33-year-old Spanish keeper should have saved with ease, but could only fumble the ball into the net.
To add insult to injury, Chelsea’s under-fire keeper Kepa then jumped back to top form. The Spain star’s triple save to deny Mane, Origi and Curtis Jones proved just as pivotal in assuring Chelsea’s interval lead as Willian’s fortunate strike.
The luck that kept Lampard’s men ahead at the break did not extend to the injury front however, as Kovacic hobbled off in a worrying new fitness concern.
And no sooner had the second half begun than Willian left the field in some distress too.
The Blues continued in the same vein and Barkley conjured a sumptuous break and finish to solidify the home side’s dominance