Liverpool will end the Premier League weekend in eighth, with results elsewhere shifting the race for Europe – but Chelsea are even worse off.
Defeat to Man City was always possible on Saturday, but the manner of the Reds’ capitulation has only led to further concern over their prospects.
A 4-1 loss at the Etihad saw Jurgen Klopp‘s start a crucial run of three games in nine days in the worst way possible.
Up next are Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, before league leaders Arsenal arrive at Anfield on Sunday.
Normally, those two games would resemble key fixtures in the top-four race, but the midweek trip to London is closer to a Europa Conference League playoff.
* Premier League table after Saturday fixtures.
Liverpool stayed in sixth at the final whistle in their game, but a 3-3 draw between Brighton and Brentford later on Saturday then saw them slip to eighth.
Chelsea then had the chance to reduce the gap when they took on Aston Villa, only for Graham Potter’s side to slip again on their way to a 2-0 defeat.
Nevertheless, there are only four points separating Liverpool in eighth and Chelsea in 11th at this stage, with Villa and Fulham now sitting between them.
It remains tight in the hunt for Europa League and Europa Conference League places, with only five points between Brighton (sixth) and Chelsea (11th).
There is still a disparity in games played, with Liverpool holding a game in hand over Brentford, Villa, Fulham and Chelsea.
But by the same token, the upwardly mobile Brighton have played one game fewer than the Reds, while Newcastle are still to play Man United on Sunday before they catch up on fixtures fulfilled.
It is far from the position Liverpool wanted, having missed the chance to close the gap between them and fourth-placed Tottenham to just four points and a game in hand on Saturday.
Instead, they are left facing the reality of a mid-table tie in west London on Tuesday night.