Chelsea 1 Liverpool 3: Coutinho double leaves Mourinho on the brink
Two goals from Philippe Coutinho saw Liverpool come from behind to beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge and pile further pressure on Jose Mourinho.
A Ramires header gave the Premier League champions the lead after just four minutes, but compatriot Coutinho fired Liverpool level in some style just before half-time.
Oscar came close with a long-range chip, but chances were few and far between in the second half until another Coutinho effort clipped John Terry and flew past Asmir Begovic.
Christian Benteke made sure of the points with a composed finish in the closing minutes as Jurgen Klopp secured his first league win since taking charge of Liverpool.
The result leaves Mourinho feeling the heat as Chelsea slumped to a sixth Premier League defeat of the season at the end of a week in which the holders were also dumped out of the League Cup at Stoke City.
Afterwards, Klopp was quick to ridicule a question over a potential Liverpool title challenge, but it was still an encouraging outing for the Reds under their new man.
Ramires, who signed a new four-year deal this week, gave Chelsea the perfect start with just four minutes on the clock. Diego Costa's back-heel gave Cesar Azpilicueta time and space to cross from the left of the area, and the Brazil international arrived to power a header across Simon Mignolet and into the bottom corner.
Liverpool responded well, Nathaniel Clyne - their League Cup hero against AFC Bournemouth in midweek - dragging a snapshot wide from 18 yards out before Adam Lallana tested Begovic from close range, as Chelsea showed an improved rearguard resilience against the visitors' possessional dominance.
But they were undone by a moment of brilliance from Coutinho in the dying seconds of the half. The Brazilian twisted away from his countryman Ramires on the edge of the box before curling a brilliant left-foot finish beyond Begovic and into the far corner.
Chances were scarce in the early part of the second half, but Kenedy almost made an immediate impact after replacing Eden Hazard, driving into the area past Clyne before scuffing a shot wide of the near post.
The match developed into a scrappy affair in the central areas and both sides were a little fortunate to escape being reduced to 10 men. Referee Mark Clattenburg failed to spot Costa flick a boot into the midriff of Martin Skrtel after a tangle in the centre-circle and Lucas Leiva escaped a second yellow card after checking a strong run from Ramires through the middle.
Oscar almost lit up Stamford Bridge with a brilliant effort from close to halfway, but a retreating Mignolet reacted well to tip the ball wide of the target, a save that proved pivotal as Liverpool snatched the lead moments later.
Following Benteke's knock-down, Coutinho picked up the loose ball on the edge of the Chelsea box and his right-footed shot took a deflection off Terry and nestled high in Begovic's net.
Alberto Moreno almost made it three barely two minutes later as he surged into the area on the break, but Begovic stuck out a leg to deny him at the near post, and Jordon Ibe's deflected effort after cutting in from the right had the goalkeeper scrambling across goal.
Liverpool did promptly seal the points, however, as substitute Benteke turned into space in the penalty area before slotting a composed finish across Begovic into the bottom corner with just seven minutes to play.
The Chelsea faithful sang their support for Mourinho, but his future at the club appears more uncertain than ever following another costly defeat.
Key Opta stats:
- Jose Mourinho has lost six Premier League matches this season – he’s never lost more in a Premier League campaign at Chelsea (lost six in the entirety of 2013/14).
- Philippe Coutinho ended a run of 710 minutes without a Premier League goal by scoring against Chelsea.
- It was the Brazilian’s first brace for Liverpool in all competitions.
- This is the first Premier League game since Middlesbrough 8-1 Man City to see a Brazilian scorer on both sides.
- Liverpool won back-to-back Premier League games on Halloween; having lost the previous four.
- James Milner (29y 9m 27d) made his 400th Premier League appearance, becoming the 3rd youngest player to make this milestone after Wayne Rooney (29y 4m 26d) and Gareth Barry (29y 5m 22d).
- Chelsea have lost their first game against Liverpool in seven Premier League meetings (W3 D3).
- This is the first time Liverpool have netted more than twice at Stamford Bridge in a league game since December 1989.