Mason Mount fired Chelsea into fourth place in the Premier League as the midfielder’s superb strike clinched a 1-0 win against troubled Liverpool, while Everton boosted their top four bid with a 1-0 victory at West Brom on Thursday.
Mount’s first half goal was enough to see off lacklustre Liverpool and extended Chelsea’s impressive renaissance under new boss Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea are unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
The Blues sit one point clear of fifth placed Everton, who have a game in hand on the west Londoners.
While Chelsea are on the up, injury-hit Liverpool crashed to a fifth successive home defeat for the first time in their illustrious history, leaving the spluttering champions without a win at Anfield since before Christmas.
Jurgen Klopp’s team are languishing in seventh place, four points behind Chelsea after losing five of their last six league matches.
Chelsea dominated the first half, with Timo Werner denied by the narrowest of offside decisions.
Werner had flicked the ball round Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker and poked into the empty net, but part of the German forward’s arm was ruled offside after a VAR check.
Even that escape couldn’t shake Liverpool into life and Sadio Mane missed a sitter before Chelsea took the lead in the 42nd minute.
N’Golo Kante launched a high pass towards Mount and the England midfielder cut in from the left, leaving Fabinho trailing in his wake before curling a superb finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.
Liverpool were furious not to get a penalty when Roberto Firmino’s cross hit Kante’s arm, but they were well below their best for long periods.
The Reds didn’t have an effort on target until the 85th minute as Klopp surprisingly hauled off leading scorer Mohamed Salah.
Everton made it three consecutive victories thanks to the in-form Richarlison, while their improving defence recorded a third successive clean-sheet.