Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher (R) blocks an attempt on goal by Chelsea’s Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres' Chelsea debut ended in the disappointment of defeat and a failure to last 90 minutes against his former club as Liverpool's revival under Kenny Dalglish continued with victory at Stamford Bridge Sunday evening.
According to the BBC, Chelsea's £50million British record buy from Liverpool cut a subdued figure and was well shackled before being replaced by Salomon Kalou after 66 minutes.
If that was not enough to delight the Liverpool fans who taunted their former idol mercilessly and brandished banners to demonstrate their displeasure at the manner of his departure, their joy was complete three minutes after Torres' exit when Raul Meireles pounced to give Dalglish his fourth successive win.
Meireles took advantage of a mix-up between Chelsea keeper Petr Cech and Branislav Ivanovic to score his fourth goal in five games when he turned in Steven Gerrard's cross at the far post.
Chelsea's loss represented a missed opportunity after Manchester United slipped to their first league defeat of the season at Wolves, Ancelotti's side remaining 10 points behind the leaders. Liverpool, in contrast, move into the top six for the first time this season.
The win was no more than the rejuvenated Reds deserved - and it will have come as a relief to Maxi Rodriguez, who hit the bar when almost on the goalline in the first half.
Liverpool's resilience and organisation ensured it did not prove costly, but it was a forgettable start to Torres' Chelsea career and provided early evidence that coach Carlo Ancelotti has work to do to integrate the Spaniard into his attacking system, after also including Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka in a lop-sided starting line-up.
Chelsea looked unbalanced, lacked width and were eventually reduced to playing into Liverpool's hands with a succession of aimless long balls that were mopped up with the minimum of fuss, to the home fans' increasing frustration.
And in the early game, Birmingham City ended West Ham's mini revival after beating the Hammers 1-0.
Nikola Zigic scored the only goal of the game when he headed in Sebastian Larsson's free-kick on 65 minutes. The win sent the home team back to the foot of the table, while City moved up to 16.