Outstanding team performance from Liverpool yesterday. The only goal of the game from Xabi Alonso may have come courtesy of a fortunate deflection, but the Reds deserved to win at Stamford Bridge and end a truly phenomenal home record.
Chelsea had gone an incredible 86 games without losing on their own patch - a stunning sequence stretching back to February 2004.
The record was going to end some day, it’s just that John Terry, Frank Lampard and the other Chelsea players would have preferred for it to happen next May against Blackburn with the Premiership already in the bag.
They certainly didn’t want to lose it to Liverpool.
Since Jose Mourinho’s time at the Bridge, there has been an extra bit of bite between the clubs.
The self styled Special One may have gone but there is still little love lost when red and blue collide.
That’s why the 1-0 victory will have been that little bit sweeter for Liverpool fans.
Obviously the victory over Chelsea should do wonders for the confidence of Rafael Benitez’s side, who as I said a few weeks back are at last genuine contenders for the Premiership.
They have now beaten the two title favourites Manchester United and Chelsea, both incidentally without the fabulous Fernando Torres.
It is worth remembering though that after beating United they followed that up with an appalling scoreless draw at home to Stoke.
They must not allow the same scenario to happen on Wednesday night when they host a Portsmouth side with ex-Anfield favourite Peter Crouch leading the line.
Liverpool fans have every right to feel good about themselves, but they shouldn’t get too excited, even though they are three points clear at the top of the table.
If they still lead the way by that margin come March, that’s the time to start thinking that the long wait without title glory could be over.
Manchester United, with a game in hand, are eight points behind Benitez’s side.
Without question they will be up there in May, as long as Wayne Rooney stops kissing his badge and moody Cristiano Ronaldo starts playing for his.
Arsenal, too, are in with a shout, though I suggest that in January Arsene Wenger buy a few players - a central defender and midfielder who can tackle for starters - to make it into a four horse race.
Despite yesterday’s defeat I still believe Chelsea are the team to beat this season.
Injuries to key players like Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and Michael Essien have not helped them, and clearly the loss to Liverpool is a bitter blow, but prior to that they were in excellent form.
I fancy there will be a major reaction come Wednesday night.
I know Hull City are on fire at present and enjoy playing London teams - if they beat another one they get to keep Big Ben and Buckingham Palace - but I expect Chelsea to blow them away.
This is the first test for Luis Felipe Scolari since taking over at the Bridge and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t pass it. He’ll be in the market in January and before then Chelsea will have gone on another long unbeaten run.
Benitez got the better of the Brazilian in yesterday‘s battle at the Bridge. If Rafa gets the better of Scolari in the title war, Liverpool will be the champions.
At last, Spurs choose the right manager
Good old ‘Arry.
It wasn’t that long ago that he was known as a wheeler dealer manager - a bit of a geezer, if you will.
Now he is a respected elder statesman of the game who is called upon when a once big club are in major trouble.
Newcastle tried to land Harry Redknapp, but he was much too shrewd to go there. When Tottenham came calling though, he couldn’t resist.
Just a few weeks ago Redknapp was slamming Spurs fans for singing some rather unsavoury songs about Portsmouth skipper Sol Campbell.
Now good old ‘Arry is the saviour for those same supporters, depressed at the thought of being involved in a relegation battle this season. That’s football for you.
Tottenham have had a history of appointing the wrong manager. Remember Christian Gross and Jacques Santini? On the face of it Juande Ramos looked a decent choice, but keeping Damien Comolli as Sporting Director in charge of transfers, when the Spaniard came in, was ill-judged.
The good news for Spurs followers is that chairman Daniel Levy has finally got it right with Redknapp who will be in total control, now that Comolli has gone.
He is just what Spurs need - someone to inject enthusiasm, heart and belief into a side desperately lacking all three. Already he has made an impact with yesterday’s 2-0 victory over Bolton.
It wouldn’t surprise me if he followed it up with a win at Arsenal on Wednesday night. That would be typical of Redknapp.
The pathetic Ports need to get their act together
At the start of the season, I wrote that Portadown should and would run away with the Championship.
After all, despite making that horrendous error of not having their application for the new 12 team Irish League top flight in on time, they managed to keep hold of their top players.
Manager Ronnie McFall started the campaign with a squad that could beat Glentoran, let alone Glebe Rangers!
Instead of running away with the Championship, however, Portadown are stumbling in embarrassing fashion, having already lost four times in 10 league games. On Saturday they were defeated 1-0 at home to Limavady United and are now in fifth position in the table five points behind leaders Ballinamallard.
It really is a pathetic effort from the Portadown players, who are being paid more than most of their counterparts in the JJB Premiership.
They need to buck up their ideas - and fast.
This is not how legendary boss Ronnie McFall envisaged the season going. He deserves better.
Portadown recently unveiled a superb new stand at Shamrock Park.
Right now that old saying that often relates to Glenavon is more fitting for their mid-Ulster rivals.
Decent ground, shame about the team.